[This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.]
These regulations provide for the registration of co-operative societies in the Cook Islands, and define their functions, powers, and procedure.
Part 2 (regulations 4 to 10) provides for the registration of societies having for their objects the promotion of the economic interests of their members in accordance with co-operative principles, or societies established with the object of facilitating the operations of societies of that nature. Societies so registered will have limited liability. Each society must have at least ten members, unless at least one of its members is another registered society, in which case two members is the minimum. This Part prescribes the method of applying for registration, and regulation 9 provides that each registered society is to be a body corporate.
Part 3 (regulations 11 to 21) prescribes the duties and privileges of registered societies. Regulation 14 provides that a society which includes among its objects the disposal of articles produced or obtained by the work or industry of its members may provide in its by-laws or may otherwise contract with its members that every member who produces any such article must dispose of the whole or any specified amount, proportion, or description thereof to or through the society and shall pay to the society damages in respect of any breach of this requirement. No contract entered into under this regulation is to be invalid on the ground only that it constitutes a contract in restraint of trade. Regulation 15 gives the society a first charge on all crops, & c, for debts due by members to the society, subject to prior claims of the Crown, to the claims of lien holders or the claim of the landlord in respect of rent, and in the case of immovable property, to any prior registered charge. Under regulation 16 a society is entitled to a charge on the interests of its members in respect of debts due to the society from those members. Under regulation 17 the shares or interests of members cannot be attached.
Part 4 (regulations 22 to 30) defines the rights and liabilities of members. Under regulation 22 the only persons qualified for membership of a society must have attained the age of eighteen years and be resident or a title holder by Cook Islands custom within the society's area of operations. This Part contains provisions prohibiting defaulting members from exercising rights, prohibiting a person from being a member of more than one registered society whose primary object is to grant loans to its members, and providing for the method of voting and for proxies and for contracts with the society by members who are minors. Regulation 28 provides that no individual may hold more than one-fifth of the share capital of any society.
Part 5 (regulations 31 to 35) contains provisions with respect to loans by societies, the investment of societies' funds, and the disposal of their profits.
Part 6 (regulations 36 to 39) provides for the audit of societies' accounts, for inspection of their books, accounts, papers, and securities, and for inquiries into their constitution, working, and financial condition.
Part 7 (regulations 40 to 47) specifies the procedure for winding up of registered societies, the appointment and powers of liquidators, and the distribution of their surplus assets.
Part 8 (regulations 48 and 49) enables the Registrar of Co-operative Societies to surcharge officers who have misapplied or retained or become liable for money or property of the society or been guilty of misfeasance or breach of trust in relation to the society. There is a right of appeal under regulation 49 to the Resident Commissioner.
Part 9 (regulations 50 and 51) provides for the settlement of disputes concerning the business of registered societies, and confers rights of appeal to the Resident Commissioner.
Part 10 (regulation 52) authorizes the Resident Commissioner to make rules for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the regulations. Regulation 52(2) specifies the matters in respect of which rules may be made.
Part 11 (regulations 53 to 58) contains miscellaneous provisions. Regulation 55 prohibits the use of the word
“co-operative” in connection with any trade or business not carried on by a registered society. Regulation 58 makes it an offence for any person to solicit or persuade any other person to sell or deliver any article in violation of a contract with a registered society.