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Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook, Now Available
11 Sep 2017 Post by:
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Parry Field Lawyers are pleased to release "Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook" by Steven Moe.  The book is a first of its kind and is intended to resource the Social Enterprise sector with useful information relevant for Social Enterprises.  It is available as an eBook or a printed copy.

The 100 page book features an introduction by Alex Hannant, the CEO of Ākina Foundation and covers a range of topics such as:

To get the ebook click here

Printed copies will also be available to those who would like one with a suggested donation of $5 to the Parry Field Charitable Foundation (you can learn more about that registered charity here).

Comments from a few advance readers are set out below.

If you find this resource helpful then please consider joining us in spreading the word to others by sharing this page on social media (see icons above) or emailing the link to one or two other people.

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 been solved and we getting a little bit closer to building a more diverse and inclusive society, where everyone has the opportunity to participate on an equal basis.

Michelle Sharp, Chief Executive Officer


Excellent answers to common questions facing the growing number of humans waking up to the new way of thriving in business. I’m excited about the time when this is a history book, marking the time when global business began the paradigm shift to all business being ‘business for good’. Thank you Steven for being a powerful part of this change in New Zealand.

Kit Hindin, Start-Up Activator
Ministry of Awesome


I think the book will make a very valuable contribution to the emerging discussion about social enterprises in New Zealand, and how we can create a better eco-system that will allow them to flourish. I commend the book to anyone who is interested in exploring how we can remove barriers to finding innovative solutions to some of New Zealand’s pressing problems.

Susan Barker
Co-author of The Law and Practice of Charities in New Zealand,
Director of Sue Barker Charities Law, Wellington


At last a lawyer’s perspective on the social enterprise sector in New Zealand. Steven Moe’s book provides valuable and useful information for social enterprise practitioners on how to approach the messy legal and regulatory environment faced by the sector. It is a welcomed addition to New Zealand’s social enterprise literature.

Lindsay Jeffs, Director
Social Enterprise Institute


This is an excellent resource for the growing social enterprise sector in New Zealand! Parry Field are leading by doing, which is what this sector needs most right now.

Camia Young
Founder of Ohu Development


An easy to read book that touches on key topics that will surely stimulate a lot of discussion at both theoretical and practical levels among the New Zealand Social Enterprise community.

Dr Sussie Morrish, Associate Professor of Marketing
Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship University of Canterbury


Steven Moe has written a very readable, practical and accessible primer for all those interested in driving social change in New Zealand through the application of sound business principles. I congratulate Steven on his proactive leadership and heartily recommend his legal handbook, “Social Enterprises in New Zealand,” to social enterprise stakeholders in New Zealand and throughout the world.

Marc J. Lane
Author of “The Mission Driven Venture: Business Solutions to the World’s Most Vexing Social Problems.”
The Law Offices of Marc J. Lane in Chicago.


This is a landmark piece of work for the emerging social enterprise scene in New Zealand. This resource will be a great conversation starter to help build this community in NZ. Great leadership on the start of this journey. Kapai!

Tim Jones
Grow Good/ B Corp Ambassador


A big change that we have seen over the last few years is with the number of people looking to include values and a purpose within their early stage enterprises. Often these entrepreneurs don’t have the knowledge of the legal options and this “legal handbook” will not only reduce time spent but also minimize costly errors. The handbook also gives a great overview on a number of questions which are important for New Zealand to tackle over the next few years.

Geoff Brash
Founder, GBJ Innovation
Organiser/Facilitator/Mentor, Startup Weekend


An excellent “Field Guide” to social and business structures; what they are and how they work. Steven outlines a path through a very complicated maze of options. Disruptive technologies (exponential and otherwise) are having a significant impact on traditional structures. It is time to rethink how social focus can be most effective.

Rob Lawrence, R & D Specialist
Canterbury Employer Chamber of Commerce


Social Enterprises are becoming an increasingly popular topic of conversation. But with a variety of different meanings attached. Steven Moe provides a very helpful attempt to add clarity to our conversations, to explore some creative options and to point us to some helpful resources.

Alistair Mackenzie
Teaching Fellow, Laidlaw College
Author of “SoulPurpose: making a difference in life and work”


This helpful text comes at an exciting time for social enterprise in New Zealand. We need to use this opportunity to talk about the path of existing social enterprises and about the possibilities across the social enterprise spectrum. We need to help the current not for profit sector gain the skills and experience to explore enterprise. And we need to understand the role of the private and philanthropic sectors in providing capital and support.

Jenn Chowaniec
Trust Coordinator, Wayne Francis Charitable Trust


The label ’social enterprise’ seems to be very ‘on trend’ at the moment - however defining a ’social enterprise’ still remains reasonably elusive. In a country where many businesses have always operated in a socially good way without seeking recognition or formalising business models - this book will help us look at our unique way of doing business and I hope gather conversation to ensure our communities and governments insist Aoteoroa not only does ‘business for good’, but is a leader in the business transformation.

Jo Blair
Founder of Brown Bread


This is an incredibly poignant time to really kickstart this conversation: Canterbury is full of talented and dedicated people working in the ‘social enterprise space’, but oftentimes without a legal structure that really works for them. As leaders, customers, volunteers and commentators in this space, we have all grappled with this particular question - so we’re fortunate to have this piece of work aggregate some of the common opportunities and challenges to enable us to move forward. Onwards and upwards!

Erin Jackson
Director, Narrative Campaigns


This is a “must have” for anyone looking to start up their own social enterprise. It’s a great snapshot of the Social Enterprise legal landscape leading up to the 2017 SEWF and I can’t wait to see what opportunities exist for Aotearoa New Zealand afterwards.

Anthony Rohan
Enspiral Accounting


This book pulls everything you need to know to set up a social enterprise from a legal perspective in a way that is easy to read and understand. It will serve as a reference point for much of our decision making and is a must if you are setting up in social enterprise.

Rebecca Parnham
Co-founder, Krama & Co.


Social enterprise is the future, and this book provides a great launching point for practitioners and their advisors. Thank you for providing this insight and snapshot, Steven!

Anna Guenther
Chief Bubble Blower & co-founder
PledgeMe, a crowdfunding social enterprise 








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