Keeping records

It is important for community organisations to maintain certain records, either electronically and in hard-copy files. These records should be accurate and regularly maintained. If you are considering becoming a paperless office make sure you have an electronic filing system that is backed up and are still retaining all the required documents.

Keeping accurate and up-to-date records enables better control over the community venue, provides good evidence during performance reprisals, more efficient audits, and better information for potential funders.

Records a community venue must keep by law


Retention Details


Business (financial) records, including:
books of account
bank statements, vouchers, receipts, invoices and tax invoices, and payment details
details of assets and liabilities
details of services provided and invoices issued
details of tax returns

Keep for seven years after the end of the year the records relate to
Keep them in safe custody
Records, including tax returns, can be kept in electronic rather

Tax Administration Act 1994
Goods and Services Tax Act 1985
Companies Act 1993
Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017, Part 4 (allows use of electronic documents)

Annual accounts and audit reports (if applicable).


Not specified but good practice

Employment records:

Wages and PAYE tax records (including KiwiSaver deductions and employer contributions)

Retain for seven years

Tax Administration Act 1994
(KiwiSaver Act 2006)

Wages and employee
time records

Retain for six years

Employment Relations Act 2000

Records of serious injuries, and dangerous incidents like gas leaks

Keep for five years after notifying WorkSafe NZ
(also, any accident/ serious harm register that was started before April 2016 under the old 1992 Act must be kept until 4 April 2021)

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Vehicle mileage records/log books

Retain for seven years

Income Tax Act 2004

Charitable (tax-exempt) organisations need to keep records of donations received and how the funds have been spent

Retain for seven years

Tax Administration Act 1994


Retain permanently

Companies Act 1993
(but this should guide other entities)
Incorporated Societies Act 1908
Charitable Trusts Act 1957

Share register (for a company) register of members

Retain permanently

Minutes of general meetings

Retain for seven years

Minutes of directors meetings

Retain for seven years

Annual reports

Retain for seven years

Trustee, board or committee records for other organisations

Retain for seven years

In addition, the following table sets out the length of time that a community venue is recommended to retain records:

RecordsType of documentRetention details

Contracts with customers / clients

Agreements licenses, rentals (includes suppliers, agents, purchases, indemnities, guarantees)

Retain for six years after expiry of the contract

Deeds of title

Deed evidencing title to property

Retain permanently (or until the property is disposed of)


Lease of land and/or other property

Retain for 12 years after the lease is terminated (or following the determination of all enquiries related to the termination)

Financial records

Stock inventories

Retain for 10 years

Investments, schedules and related documents

Retain for 10 years

Cheque butts

Retain for 10 years

Instructions to banks

Retain for 7 years

GST records

Retain for 10 years

Staff records

Expense accounts

Retain for 10 years

Accident book

Retain permanently

Individual and group policies

Retain for 12 years after cessation of the benefit(s)