News Alert - 7 July 2016

News Alert sent out to registered charities on 7 July 2016

 

Tēnā koutou, talofa lava and warm greetings,

This news brief is being sent to you to clarify the details of the Charities Amendment Bill. These amendments were formerly contained in a Statutes Amendment Bill.  Information has recently been circulated suggesting the Charities Amendment Bill (the Bill) removes charities' ability to appeal decisions of the charities regulator.

We can assure you that this is incorrect.

Statutes Amendment Bills are relatively routine matters where minor amendments are made to legislation from time to time. The amendments must be technical and non-controversial in nature to be included in these types of Bills.

The Bill:

  • includes tax evasion and similar offences under the Tax Administration Act to the list of disqualifying factors for officers (section 16)
  • deems an application “withdrawn” if an entity fails to respond within 20 working days to a notice to provide more information to progress a registration application (section 18) 
  • removes the words “or chief executive”, to correct a drafting error at the time when the Charities Act 2005 was amended in 2012 (section 61)

All of these items are minor technical amendments. We can assure you that the amendment to section 61 will have no impact on charities' appeal rights under the Charities Act (section 59), and that it doesn’t change how Charities Services or the Charities Registration Board operate on a day-to-day basis.

All current avenues for charities to seek a review of Charities Services’ and the Board’s actions and decisions will remain open and unaffected by the amendment.  For example, the Office of the Ombudsman could be asked to open an investigation into a matter not covered by the statutory right of appeal.  Making a complaint to the Ombudsman is free.

The Government Administration Committee has called for submissions on the Bill and they close on 29 July 2016.


Nāku, nā

Lesa Kalapu
​General Manager
Charities Services