Posts Tagged ‘Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook’

Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook, now available

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook, now available


Parry Field Lawyers have just released the book: “Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook”.


Written by Steven Moe, the book features an introduction by Alex Hannant, the CEO of Ākina, and more information is here or it can be requested as an e-book for free by emailing

The 100 page book covers a range of topics such as:

  • what Social Enterprises actually are;
  • the different forms of legal structure they can take in New Zealand;
  • options for reform of the Social Enterprise sector; and
  • useful information for Social Entrepreneurs.

This handbook is a first of its kind and contains information that is relevant for those involved with Social Enterprises in New Zealand. It is an attempt to speak the language of Social Enterprises, raise awareness of what they are and stimulate discussions.

About Parry Field Lawyers


Parry Field Lawyers is a Christchurch, New Zealand based law firm which started in 1948. It is a full service law firm handling disputes, property and company work. Today it has 40 team members with its main office in Riccarton at 1 Rimu Street but also an office in Hokitika, an office in Rolleston and a presence in Christchurch City as well.  The tag line “To the Heart of What Matters” summarises the vision for the firm which seeks to understand clients’ needs and provide uniquely tailored solutions in a cost effective way. The firm has three teams: Disputes (which represents clients in court and in mediations and arbitrations), Advisory (focusing on business, commercial contracts, sale and purchase of businesses, immigration, rural sector work and also a special emphasis on IT companies and other start-ups), and a Property team (residential conveyancing as well as commercial leasing and subdivisions).

Having acted for charities, not for profits and social enterprises for many years, in early 2017 a website was launched which focuses on their unique questions, at It is the first website of its kind in New Zealand to really focus on this sector and features free resources such as thought leadership pieces in the form of articles about legal structures, governance issues, trustee responsibilities as well as many videos, template documents and a blog.

(charity, not for profit and Social Enterprise focused website)


Comments from advance readers of the book:

This is one of the clearest and succinct summaries of issues around Social Enterprise I have read. It is a great resource for those entering into Social Enterprise and a good reference for those already involved.

Peter Townsend
CEO, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce


Social Enterprise is becoming increasingly important in New Zealand as we work to solve our complex social and environmental issues. This handbook is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in learning more about social enterprise. I hope it will stimulate discussion and understanding of what is a very exciting opportunity for social and economic development in our country.

Louise Edwards
Chief Executive, Rātā Foundation


Our world has changed. It is now time for New Zealanders to take social enterprise and social impact seriously. This book clarifies the meaning of social enterprise and begins to show organisations how they can have a real positive impact on society. It is an excellent start to enable us all to move collectively to a new way of doing business.

Dr Rachel Wright
Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship
University of Canterbury


A great starter booklet for those wanting to get a basic understanding of social enterprise and the issues and opportunities for making it blossom more fully in New Zealand.

Dr James E. Austin
Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration,
Emeritus Co-Founder Social Enterprise Initiative Harvard Business School


I found Steven Moe’s book both interesting and valuable and believe it will stimulate discussion and further progress in this important area of social and economic development. A strong economy that marries sound business practice with social purpose will mean a more resilient New Zealand.

Dr. John Vargo, Executive Director
Resilient Organisations Ltd


This clearly written handbook is full of practical guidance and thought-provoking insights for social entrepreneurs and their advisers.

Professor Matthew Harding
Chair of the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand


Steven Moe’s book serves to demystify the fast growing social enterprise sector, making it more accessible to both the practitioners and the curious. There is an unnecessary divide between the purely commercial and the charitable, and when they come together some of the most challenging social and environmental issues can be solved and we get a little bit closer to building a more diverse and inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity to participate on an equal basis.