Update on Destiny International Trust and Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Limited from Te Rātā Atawhai, the independent Charities Registration Board

On 22 November 2017, Te Rātā Atawhai, the independent Charities Registration Board (the Board) decided to remove the Destiny International Group and its member charities (collectively, “the Destiny charities”) from the Charities Register on 20 December 2017 because of their persistent failure to meet their annual return obligations.

https://www.charities.govt.nz/news-and-events/hot-topics/update-on-destiny-international-trust-and-te-hahi-o-nga-matamua-holdings-limited-from-the-independent-charities-registration-board/(external link)                                              

The Destiny charities appealed against the Board’s deregistration decision to the High Court, and this appeal was to be heard on 29 October 2019. The Destiny charities also applied for re-registration.

The Board has noted that the Destiny charities are now fully up-to-date with their annual returns. The Board is satisfied that the charities currently meet registration requirements, so can be re-registered.

The Destiny charities applied to the High Court to have their re-registration backdated to the date of their de-registration, and this was granted by the High Court on 29 October 2019. The Destiny charities abandoned their appeal against the Board’s original decision.

The Board does not play an active role in appeals, and therefore abides the Court’s backdating order.

Roger Holmes Miller

Chair, Charities Registration Board

Background

Registration as a charity under the Charities Act 2005 (“the Act”) provides a number of benefits to an organisation. For example, registered charities may receive exemptions from income tax and may receive tax donee status. Registration also gives public status and credibility to a charity.

However, charities must meet certain obligations to qualify for and maintain their charitable status, and to enjoy the benefits of that status. One of these obligations is that registered charities must submit annual returns (with accompanying financial statements or performance reports that comply with reporting standards) within six months after their balance date (section 41 of the Act).

The information provided in annual returns is important to ensuring a charity’s transparency and accountability to its supporters, donors, funders, members of the public and the regulator. This ultimately supports public trust and confidence in the charitable sector, which is a key purpose of the Act.