NZBA Membership Criteria

Full membership is open to every person who is the holder of a current New Zealand practising certificate as a barrister sole.

Associate membership is open to persons other than barristers sole (e.g. barristers and solicitors). Some associate member categories have an automatic entitlement to membership and some associate member categories require approval by the Bar Council.

All members (full, associate, honorary and life) are entitled to receive member pricing at training (both in person and via live and recorded webinars) and social events, attend the NZBA Annual Conference, receive the quarterly NZBA At the Bar publication and regular email newsletters, as well as access the wide range of membership benefits (nb: a small number of member benefits are only open to full members).

Criteria for each membership category can be found below. Full membership details are contained in the NZBA Rules.

The NZBA's financial year runs from 1 April to is 31 March. Membership subscription pricing is pro rated to the current quarter if joining part way through the membership year.

Membership is divided into the following categories:

Full Member

Associate Member

Non-Practising Member

Honorary

Full Members

  • Every person who is a holder of a current practising certificate issued by the New Zealand Law Society, which entitles them to practise as a barrister sole (that is, not as a barrister and solicitor) may be a full member of the NZBA.
  • Full members may display their professional details on the NZBA Find a Barrister website list.  
  • Full members are eligible to become and remain a member of the Council and to nominate and vote for the office of President and for members of the Bar Council, to vote at or requisition meetings of the NZBA and receive notice of such meetings.

Associate Member

The following persons shall be entitled to become associate members of the NZBA:

  • Any New Zealand judicial officer;
  • Any person employed as a judge's clerk and eligible to hold a practising certificate;
  • Any person employed in the Crown Law Office and holding a practising certificate;
  • Any person working as a legal academic who does not hold a practising certificate;
  • A Crown Solicitor;
  • Any person who is in practice with, or employed by, a Crown Solicitor classified as "Crown Counsel" by the Solicitor-General for the purposes of the Crown Solicitor's Regulations 1994;
  • A Public Defender;
  • Any person who is in practice with, or employed by, a Public Defender holding a practising certificate who predominantly undertakes litigation.

The following persons shall be entitled to become associate members of the NZBA upon request in writing, subject to the approval of the Bar Council. The Bar Council may grant or refuse its approval on such grounds as it in its sole discretion considers appropriate and may likewise revoke its approval at any time:

  • A person, other than one under any of the above associate member categories, who is enrolled as a barrister or solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, who does not hold a practising certificate as a barrister sole. If applying for this category, please click here to email a covering letter outlining your qualifications and reasons for applying to be an associate member of the NZBA;
  • International membership is open to any person with a right to practise law as a barrister or in a manner similar to a barrister in any other country. If applying for this category, please click here to email a covering letter outlining your qualifications and reasons for applying to be an associate member of the NZBA.

An associate member shall not be eligible to nominate or vote for the office of President or for members of the Bar Council, except the associate member representative, or to vote at or requisition meetings of the NZBA or to receive notice of such meetings.  Nor shall associate members be regarded as part of a quorum at general meetings.

Non-Practising Member

Any person may become a non-practising member of the NZBA who is enrolled as a barrister or solicitor and who at retirement held:

  • A practising certificate which entitled them to practice as a barrister (that is, not as a barrister and solicitor), which was issued by the New Zealand Law Society but who has since retired from practice and who no longer holds a practising certificate; or
  • Office entitling them to become a judicial member but who has since retired from such office and who does not hold a practising certificate,

A non-practising member shall not be eligible to become or remain a member of the Bar Council or to nominate or vote for the office of President or for members of the Bar Council or to vote at or requisition meetings of the NZBA or to receive notice of such meetings. Nor shall non-practising members be regarded as part of a quorum at general meetings.

Honorary Member

The NZBA may appoint as an honorary member of the NZBA, without payment of a levy, any person who has practised at the independent bar, but who is not the holder of a current practising certificate as a barrister, as an expression of the esteem in which that person is held by members of the bar.

Such an appointment may be made in recognition of a persons excellence of advocacy, a career of distinction; a notable forensic achievement or achievements; or outstanding contribution to any one or more of the objectives of the NZBA.

Honorary membership shall be suspended in respect of any honorary member who takes out a practising certificate.

Honorary members shall not be eligible to become or remain members of the Bar Council, to nominate or vote for members of the BarCouncil, to vote at or requisition meetings of the NZBA,  to receive notice of such meetings or be regarded as part of a quorum at general meetings.

Life Member

The NZBA may appoint, any past or current member as a life member, without payment of a levy.  Such appointment will only be made on rare occasions in appreciation for, and in recognition of a person's work and service for, efforts on behalf of, and dedication to the NZBA.

A life member shall not be eligible to become or remain a member of the Council or to nominate for the office of President or to requisition meetings of the Association. A life member shall be entitled to vote at any meeting of the NZBA and to receive notice of such meetings. A life member will be regarded as part of a quorum at general meetings.

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