NOTE: Better Public Media Trust appealed the decision of the Board, and the appeal was dismissed by the High Court(external link). Better Public Media Trust has appealed to the Court of Appeal. Further updates will be included as this appeal progresses.
The role of the independent Charities Registration Board (“the Board’) is to maintain the integrity of the Charities Register by ensuring that entities on the Charities Register qualify for registration. A purpose is charitable if it advances a public benefit in a way that is analogous to cases that have previously been held to be charitable.
The Board makes its decisions based on the facts before it, applying the law including relevant case law, and maintaining consistency of approach with previous Board decisions.
The Board has carried out a full assessment of the eligibility of the Better Public Media Trust (“the Trust”) for registration. In its decision dated 24 April 2019, the Board declined the Trust’s application. The Board considers that the Trust has a primary purpose to promote its points of view on public service media (“PSM”) that does not advance a public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable.
The Board considers that the Trust’s focus is promoting its views on the importance and benefits of PSM, and advocating for increased funding and support for PSM. The Board does not consider the Trust’s advocacy for PSM is directed towards a charitable end goal.
Although the Board considers some of the Trust’s activities may advance education, the Board considers the focus of the Trust is promoting its points of view on PSM.
In making its decision, the Board is not taking a position on whether or not PSM is of benefit for New Zealand, but on the Trust’s eligibility for registration under the Charities Act 2005.
The Board’s full decision can be read at the link below.
The Charities Registration Board’s statement regarding the decision can be found here.