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Care of Children

Community venues often run different kinds of activities involving children, or hire their premises out to groups that run programmes for children. In these instances, the community venue becomes an umbrella organisation to the different groups that operate out of the centre. Early childhood centre programmes For early childhood centres, the Wellington City Council lease… Read more »

Liquor licensing

If you want to sell or supply alcohol at your community venue or if tickets are being sold to a function at the community venue where liquor is going to be consumed, a license will be required. The law which controls the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol is governed by the Sale and Supply… Read more »


The following is a list of funding sources available to community organisations and venues. Wellington City Council Funds for Community Venues Lottery Community Funding Te Puni Kōkiri – Short projects Community Organisations Grants Scheme The Trusts Community Foundation Tindall Foundation Funding for environmental projects Creative NZ Rātā Foundation JR McKenzie


There are a range of templates and resources included in this toolkit. Simply download and adapt for your own purposes. If there are specific resources you need, we may be able to help. Please send us an email.


Your organisation’s capacity to enter into contracts will depend on the legal form the organisation has adopted. Any organisation entering into a contract should understand the legal consequences for the organisation itself and for individual officers and members. This section explains: legally enforceable contracts and how they can be entered into when a person or… Read more »

Choosing the right legal structure for your group

If you’re setting up a new community organisation, whether it is social, charitable, sporting, political or something else, you’ll need to consider which legal structure will be most appropriate for the group and its activities. For example, will an informal unincorporated group be sufficient? Or will you need something more formal, like an unincorporated group… Read more »

Health and Safety

Health and safety legislation is administered and enforced by WorkSafe New Zealand.  The primary legislation governing health and safety in the workplace is the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, which went into force on 4 April 2016. Health and safety legislation is administered and enforced by WorkSafe New Zealand.  The primary legislation governing… Read more »

Managing a Venue

Buildings that contain certain safety and essential systems, known as specified systems, need a compliance schedule and an annual warrant of fitness. Some examples include things like lifts, automatic doors, or emergency power or emergency lighting systems. Specified systems help ensure a building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or work in.… Read more »


Good financial management is essential to any community group’s survival. Community.net.nz has an excellent resource to help organisations put in place strong policies and procedures, as well as support around keeping records and reporting. This comprehensive resource includes support for financial planning and is recommended for organisations wanting advice on budgeting and cash flow forecasting.… Read more »

Staff and Volunteers

There are different laws that cover different kinds of workers. This section briefly summarises the differences between volunteers, employees and independent contractors and explains your organisation’s obligations and potential liability in relation to these different kinds of workers. Volunteers Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, s 16 (definition of “volunteer”), s 19(3) (“volunteer worker”);… Read more »

Information & Privacy

Data privacy and the law Privacy Act 1993, s 2 All organisations, businesses and individuals, whether in the government or private sector, must follow the rules in the Privacy Act. This includes companies and organisations of all sizes, religious groups, schools and clubs. (In setting out the different privacy rules, the Act uses the word… Read more »

Media and publicity

Dealing with the media – Help for Community Organisations Community Comms Collective Communications and media relations can play a powerful role in an organisation’s success and reach, and can be an effective channel for raising awareness about your cause and gaining support from the public. However, planning, writing and delivering effective content can be time-consuming,… Read more »

Charities and charitable status

Why apply for charitable status? Many groups in the community sector exist for purposes that the law recognises as being “charitable.” Because these groups provide a benefit to the public, they don’t have to pay tax on income that they earn. To get this tax-exempt status – called “charitable status” – your group will need… Read more »

Common Legal questions for Community Groups

Should your group seek charitable status? If your group exists for a charitable purpose, you have the option of registering on the Charities Register and obtaining charitable status from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) under the Charities Act 2005. The main consequence of this will be that your group won’t be taxed on any… Read more »

Good Governance

Good governance is the cornerstone of a successful, thriving community organisation. There are many different styles and structures that organisations can consider when setting up or as they expand. Sometimes, systems and structures may develop in an organic way, particularly when groups are small and members are voluntary. In the beginning, it can be quite… Read more »

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Te Tiriti o Waitangi needs to be considered across all your work, both at governance and operational levels. This is not simply case of writing one policy once, rather, it’s a continual process – or a journey. Like a sea voyage, organisational Treaty journeys involve factors that can be influenced and others that can’t. Engaging… Read more »