The role of the independent Charities Registration Board (“the Board”) is to maintain the integrity of the Charities Register through 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 Sea Shepherd New Zealand Trust Limited (the “Trust”) and Sea Shepherd New Zealand Limited (the “Company”) (collectively, “the Sea Shepherd New Zealand entities”) for registration. The Board has approved the applications of the Sea Shepherd New Zealand entities. This is because the Board considers they advance charitable purposes, and any non-charitable purposes are ancillary to their charitable purposes
The Sea Shepherd New Zealand entities’ education purpose
The Board considers the Trust advances education through, for example, its informative talks at schools, other children’s spaces, Te Papa Tongarewa and in collaboration with Wellington and Auckland City Councils. The Trust also advances education through the collection of marine wildlife data for Otago University and the provision of marine mammal medic training.
The Board considers that the Company advances education through running particular educational events; specifically, marine conferences and marine conservation forums
The Sea Shepherd New Zealand entities’ purposes to protect the environment and advance animal welfare
The Board considers the Trust’s primary focus is on carrying out tangible activities to protect the environment and advance animal welfare. For example, the Trust organises monthly beach clean ups, builds little blue penguin nesting boxes, conducts beached whale rescue operations and monitors and collects data to support conservation of the Hector’s Dolphin. The Board considers these activities provide public benefit similar to previous cases on the protection of the environment and advancement of animal welfare.
The Board considers the Company advances education, however it does not consider it carries out any other tangible activities to protect the environment and advance animal welfare.
The Board has not made a determination on whether the Trust’s advocacy for points of view on environmental and animal welfare issues is charitable. The Board considers that the advocacy is a small part of the Trust’s overall activities and is connected to the Trust’s charitable purposes. For this reason the Board considers that it is merely ancillary to the Trust’s identified charitable purposes
The Board does not consider the Company carries out any advocacy.
The Board noted the Sea Shepherd New Zealand entities are separate organisations from the various Sea Shepherd entities operating in other jurisdictions and in international waters.
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.