Myth Busting: your officers always need to be NZ Citizens and physically in New Zealand

Published 21 November 2022

When we’re out and about, we often hear myths about what charities can and can't do. Our Myth Busting series is a regular feature where we address some misconceptions and bust some myths about the obligations of charities.

This month, we’re looking at whether or not your charity’s officers need to be physically in New Zealand, or if they need to be New Zealand residents or citizens to hold their position.

Myth: All your charity’s officers need to be physically in New Zealand

Your officers can be based overseas. Many charities operate internationally, and could have officers all around the world. If your charity operates overseas you may have to travel on behalf of your charity.

Of course, where your officers live may be looked at when we assess whether your charity has a “strong connection” to New Zealand. To qualify for registration all charities must be established in, or have a “strong connection” to, New Zealand. Check out our page on International charities and activities to read more about this.

Myth: Your charity’s officers need to be New Zealand Residents or Citizens

Your charity’s officers can come from anywhere, and do not need to hold New Zealand citizenship or residency.

When appointing your officers, you need to make sure they are qualified, and that they meet any requirements you might have in your charity’s rules document. If you have any questions or doubts, please get in touch! We want to bust more myths, and make it easy to be a charity in Aotearoa.