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 responsibilities.
• 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 required.
• 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 Charities Commission.
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 club bylaws.
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 registered charity.
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 with them.
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 see :

NZ-SP District home page / NZ-SP district information / NZ-SP district bylaws
Page last updated by (David Fentress) on 15 May, 2018.
Your comments, questions and suggestions are welcome.