|Club Bylaws Page|
Cette page n'est pas disponible en français
- seulment relevant pour Nouvelles Zélande.
This page is only relevant for New Zealand.
|Why Are Club Bylaws Important?
|• ||First and
foremost, bylaws define how your club operates : the club's purpose,
the club's structure, which officers the club has and their
|• ||The bylaws set out your
club's agreement with the goals and principles of Kiwanis International.
This is why approval of the bylaws of Kiwanis International is
|• ||The bylaws set out the
club's legal requirements under New Zealand law. Properly formulated
bylaws are a prerequisite for getting registered as an incoporated society or as
a charitable organization.|
|Suggested New Zealand Kiwanis Club Bylaws
Kiwanis International adopted in 2013 a new "Standard Form for Kiwanis Club
Bylaws". These were a significant departure from the previous version
recommended by Kiwanis International and clubs were requested to "adopt" them.
These new standard club bylaws were examined by the New Zealand - South Pacific
District and found to be incompatible with New Zealand requirements for registration
with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies or with the Charities Commission.
Country specific modifications were made and agreed with Kiwanis International and
it is this modified version that is referenced below.
However, no club has yet tested whether club bylaws
with this wording are acceptable to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies or to the
One or two clubs are currently in the process of testing this by registering with
the New Zealand Charities Commission. Until the results of this are known, it
is recommended that existing Kiwanis clubs in New Zealand should NOT
attempt to change their bylaws and re-register them with either the Registrar of
Incorporated Societies or with the Charities Commission. Newly formed Kiwanis
clubs will have to use the wording referenced below and hope for a good result.
To download the suggested New Zealand Club Bylaws document
as a zipped MS Word 2003 file, click
here (202 KB).|
A committee of the New Zealand - South Pacific District board, led by 2013/2014
Kiwanis Law Chairman Michael Hill has discussed and recommended these club bylaws
for adoption by the individual clubs (but see the above caveat in red). They
have been approved by Kiwanis International for use in New Zealand.
|Why should our club bother to register?
Registering with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies as a non-profit society or
with the Charities Commission as a charity is VERY HIGHLY recommended. If your
club is registered with NEITHER of the above bodies, your club board of directors
needs to seriously consider the risk you are taking. By New Zealand law,
unregistered clubs are not clubs but rather simply a group of individuals acting on
their own behalf. If those individuals, acting as a club, cause damage, they
are each financially liable for the restitution. If those individuals earn or
receive money for their "club" they are liable for any taxes on that income.
Registration with either of the above bodies takes care of the individual liability
problem. If damage is caused as a result of any club-sanctioned activity, it
is the club that must pay the restitution. If the club cannot pay, it is the
club that may be forced into bankruptcy rather than the each of the individuals in
the club. A registered non-profit incorporated society is not liable for any
tax on income received from members and is not liable for tax on the first $1000 of
non-member income as long as the non-profit status is retained. An
incorporated society must file an annual tax return and the financial accounts must
be sent to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies annually. A registered
charity is not liable for any tax as long as the charitable status is
retained. An annual tax return is not required. Furthermore, donations
to registered charities can be claimed as a tax deduction by the donor. A
Kiwanis club which regularly gets more that $1000 per year from its fund-raising
activities, is going to be considerably better off being a registered charity.
The downside of being a registered charity is that the application and the annual
reporting is a bureaucratic nightmare.
|How should our club proceed?
If your club is already registered with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies as a
non-profit society or with the Charities Commission as a charity then your board of
directors will need to decide whether you want to update your bylaws by registering
the new version. If you chose to leave the status quo then you MAY at some
point come under pressure from Kiwanis International to adopt the new version of
To register with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies as a non-profit society or
with the Charities Commission as a charity or to update your bylaws with one of
these bodies :
|1) ||The club board of
directors needs to decide whether the club wants to be a non-profit society or a
|2) ||Appoint a person or special
committee to read and understand the implications of the suggested bylaws and to
draft the club's own bylaws. As a minimum, this will involve filling in
the blanks on the suggested New Zealand club bylaws form. If you feel
wording changes are needed, try to formulate them as policies in the optional
policies section. Changes to the main part of the bylaws will be
scrutinized by Kiwanis International and you may end up negotiating such changes
|3) ||Deliberate on and approve the
draft club bylaws at a club board of directors meeting.|
|4) ||Submit the draft for approval
by the membership in accordance with the club's current requirements for
amendments to bylaws (see your club's current bylaws). You will probably be
required by your current club bylaws to do this at the club annual general
meeting or at a special general meeting.|
|5) ||Send the club-approved bylaws
to Kiwanis International for approval.|
Rene Booker - Kiwanis
International Club Processing
|6a) ||To register as a non-profit
incorporated society see :|
|6a) ||To register as a charity
NZ-SP District home page /
NZ-SP district information /
NZ-SP district bylaws