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Community Development Resource Kit

SECTION A: Community Development Practice

SECTION B1: Setting Up A Community Group - Introduction

SECTION B2: Setting Up A Community Group - Legal Structures

SECTION B3: Setting Up a Community Group - Incorporated Societies

SECTION B4: Setting Up a Community Group - Charitable Trusts

SECTION C: Planning and Managing

SECTION D1: Employment Matters - Agreements

SECTION D3: Employment Matters - Support

SECTION D2: Employment Matters - Recruitment

SECTION E: Running Meetings

SECTION F: Project Management

SECTION G: Financial Management

SECTION H: Funding

SECTION I: Keeping Good Records

SECTION J: Technology - The Internet

SECTION K: Political Processes and Submissions

SECTION L: Legislation

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SECTION L: Legislation

Information on the Legislation Affecting Community Groups

Voluntary community organisations are subject to New Zealand’s/Aotearoa's laws and regulations in the same way as other groups and individuals - and some laws impact significantly on the way that community groups organise their workplace, employ their staff and carry out their work in their communities.

To become familiar with the relevant legislation (and avoid inadvertently breaking the law and, in some cases, heartache and hefty penalties) organisations should obtain the explanatory guides and pamphlets put out by the Government Departments that administer the legislation. Virtually all of these are available in plain English (some are also available in several other languages) and they are generally free.

Below is a list of statutes and some related matters. Community organisations should be familiar with some of them, depending on the circumstances and activities of the group. Also included are contact details of government agencies that can supply more information.

Suggestions for additions to the list should be sent to: Analyst, Community Development Group, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington.

This information does not constitute legal advice. Groups should see their lawyer or community law centre for legal advice.

Information Sources For Community Groups

Interim Website of NZ Legislation

The Public Access to Legislation Project provides free public access to unofficial versions of New Zealand statutes (Public, Local, and Private Acts) and Statutory Regulations. An official Parliamentary Counsel website will provide free public access to New Zealand legislation, including Acts, regulations, and Bills

Building Work

The Building Industry Authority
Greenock House
39 The Terrace
PO Box 11846
phone (04) 471 0794, toll-Free 0800 242 243, fax 04 471 0798
e-mail, website

Employment Matters
  • the Employment Relations Act 2002;
  • the Equal Pay Act 1972;
  • the Minimum Wage Act 1983;
  • the Holidays Act 1981;
  • the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987; and
  • the Wages Protection Act 1983.

The Employment Relations Service, Department of Labour: offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin:
phone free Infoline 0800 800 863
e-mail, website

Health and Safety in the Workplace
  • the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

Occupational Safety and Health Service, Department of Labour: offices in Whangarei, Auckland (Manukau, Takapuna, Penrose, West Auckland), Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Wellington, Nelson, Greymouth, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill

PO Box 3705, Wellington
phone (04) 915 4444

Human Rights and Race Relations
  • the Human Rights Act 1993 (includes Race Relations legislation).

Human Rights Commission, incorporating Race Relations: for all human rights and race relations enquiries. Offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
P O Box 6751, Auckland
phone free Infoline 0800 496 877 (voice and TTY), fax: 09 377 3593
e-mail, website:

Human Rights in New Zealand are also administered by the Privacy Commission, the Children’s Commissioner and the Ombudsmen.
The Privacy Commission
PO Box 466
phone (09) 302 8655 or 0800 803 909.
The Children’s Commissioner
PO Box 12537
phone (04) 471 1410,
email:, website,

Office of the Ombudsmen
PO Box 10152
phone (04) 473 9533

The Health and Disability Commissioner

Incorporated Societies and Charitable Trusts
  • the Incorporated Societies Act 1908
  • the Charitable Trusts Act 1957
  • the Companies Act 1993.

The Companies Office, Business and Registries Branch, Ministry of Economic Development,
Registrar of Companies
Private Bag 92061
Auckland Mail Centre
Freephone helpline during office hours: 0508 COMPANIES (0508 266 726).
e-mail, website

Local Government Meetings: Rights of Public
  • Local Government Official Information And Meetings Act 1987.

Department of Internal Affairs
46 Waring Taylor Street
PO Box 805
phone (04) 495 7200, fax 04 495 7222

Maori Trusts
  • Te Ture Whenua / the Mäori Land Act 1993.

Te Puni Kokiri / the Ministry of Mäori Development regional offices or
PO Box 3943
phone (04) 922 6000, fax 04 922 6299
e-mail, website

Obtaining Official Information or Complaining about Decisions of Government Departments and Local Bodies
  • the Official Information Act 1982
  • the Ombudsmen Act 1975
  • the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.
  • the Protected Disclosures Act 2000

The Office of the Ombudsmen

Level 5, 17 Albert Street
phone (09) 379 6102
or (09) 379 6103
fax (09) 377 6537
Level 14, 70 The Terrace
PO Box 10152
phone (04) 473 9533
fax (04) 471 2254
Level 6, 764 Colombo St
Cnr Colombo and Armagh Sts
PO Box 13-482
phone (03) 366 8556
fax (03) 365 7935
New Zealand wide after hours answerphone 0800 802 602
e-mail complaints,
general information and inquiries,

Personal Information and Privacy
  • the Privacy Act 1993.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner
PO Box 466
phone (reception) (09) 302 8680, (enquiries) (09) 302 8655 or 0800 803 909
e-mail: (Wellington), (Auckland).

Resource Management (including obtaining Resource Management Consents)
  • the Resource Management Act 1991.

Ministry for the Environment:
Head Office
(and Central Regions office)
Grand Annexe Building
84 Boulcott Street
PO Box 10 362
phone (04) 917 7400,
fax 04 917 7523
e-mail, website
Northern Regions Office
PO Box 8270
phone (09) 913 1640,
fax 09 913 1649.
South Island Office
PO Box 1345
Christchurch 8015
phone (03) 3963 0940,
fax (03) 963 2050.

Also from your local district council.

Tax Matters
  • the Income Tax Act 1994
  • the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985
  • the Child Support Act 1991

Inland Revenue Department service centres, or
PO Box 2198
phone (04) 472 1032

Treaty Matters: Responsiveness to Maori

Te Puni Kokiri / the Ministry of Mäori Development: contact their regional offices or
PO Box 3943
phone (04) 922 6000, fax 04 922 6299
email, website:

The Office of Treaty Settlements
PO Box 919
phone (04) 494 9800, fax 04 494 9801
e-mail:, website:

The Waitangi Tribunal
Department for Courts
P O Box 5022
phone (04) 914 3000, fax (04) 914 3001
e-mail:, website:

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Last updated: 13/05/2005