Charities Act change hub

Updated 5 October 2023

The Charities Act 2005(external link) (the Act) has been amended by the Charities Amendment Bill(external link), which came into force on 5 July 2023.

There are a wide range of changes for charities to be aware of. We will keep updating this page with information about the changes and when they will affect your charity. We will also be including information in our newsletter and Facebook page, so please consider subscribing.

If you need any more information, you can email us at


Different changes come into play on three key dates between 2023 and 2024. The key upcoming changes are included below:

Immediate changes

3 Month changes

12 Month changes

Key Updates (as of 5 October 2023)

Forms consultation

Consultation on our forms began on 14 August 2023, and will be open until 24 October 2023. There is still plenty of time to have your say, so check them out(external link) and let us know your thoughts.

Model rules published

Three sets of model rules documents have now been published, and are available to download from our website here(external link). There is currently one each for charitable trusts (a trust deed), charitable companies (a constitution), and societies.

Changes to officer definition

Who counts as an officer is defined under the Charities Act 2005. As of 5 October 2023, this definition has changed, allowing charities to represent themselves more accurately on the register. This change also helps the register better reflect the delegation of powers and responsibilities in charities.

The main thing to remember is the new definition doesn't remove any of your currently qualified officers, but you may find you need to add more. We have created an article that explains the changes, to learn more follow this link.(external link)

Requirement to review your governance procedures

One of the key changes to the Act is the requirement for your registered charity to review its governance procedures at least once every three years. This change is about ensuring your officers are regularly thinking about how your charity runs, and whether your rules and processes are still fit for purpose.

We have an article that explains this change and how it affects your charity. You can find out more by following the link to our website.

Application response time

If we need you to provide any additional information as part of your application for registration, you now have two months to respond instead of 20 working days.

It is always good to provide information as soon as possible. The sooner you provide the necessary information, the sooner an organisation can be considered for registration.

Consultation on publications

This formalises our existing process, where we consult with the sector on any significant guidelines that we publish. In practice, this means we’ll come to you and the Charities Sector Group when we’re considering publishing guidelines on new or changed processes that might affect the sector. Doing this means any resulting guidance and material will be as ‘fit for purpose’ as possible, and bring as much value to you as we can.

Disqualification of officers

Te Rātā Atawhai, the independent Charities Registration Board, now has powers to disqualify officers for serious wrongdoing without having to deregister the charity they are associated with. This would follow the completion of an investigation. Previously an officer could only be disqualified if their charity was also deregistered.