How to register as a union

The steps to becoming a union, and what's required

A group of employees wishing to register as a union must first become an incorporated society.

Becoming an incorporated society

For information about becoming an incorporated society please refer to the information on the Incorporated Societies Register website.

Before applying to register as a union

As an incorporated society, you’ll also need to:

  • check that your rules comply with the requirements of the Employment Relations Act (ERA)
  • satisfy yourself that the union is independent of any employer.

What you’ll need to provide

Your application to register as a union must include:

  • the completed application form (Form RU1), signed by an officer of the union
  • a statutory declaration, also signed by an officer of the union.
    The statutory declaration should set out the reasons why the society is entitled to be registered as a union. The union officer who makes this statutory declaration needs to carefully consider the requirements of the ERA before signing the declaration.
  • copies of:
    • the union's certificate of incorporation under the ISA
    • the union's rules as lodged with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.

Complete your application

To submit your application manually

Complete the application form (Form RU1), ensuring it is signed by an officer of the union.

Send the completed form and statutory declaration, together with the copies of your society's rules and your certificate of incorporation to us.

Registrar of Unions
Companies Office
Private Bag 92061
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142

What happens next

If your application is in order and complies with the ERA, we will register your union and send you a certificate of registration.

If you applied for incorporation as a society at the same time, we'll also send you the certificate of incorporation.