Charities Act Review: Public meetings begin, discussion document released

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Government is consulting with the public on the review of the Charities Act 2005.

The deadline to make a submission has been extended to 31 May 2019.

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has announced community meetings across the country. This includes one meeting specifically for Pasifika charities and one for Māori charities. The meetings run from 6 March to 18 April 2019. View the full schedule and register to attend a meeting on the DIA website. DIA has also published one page flyers about the community meetings, available on the Charities Act review website.

DIA has also published a discussion document and four page brief summary. The discussion document sets out key issues the review is examining:

  • "Can we improve on the purposes of the Act?
  • Are the duties and obligations placed on charities too onerous or too light touch?
  • Could the accessibility or content of the charities register be improved?
  • Do current regulatory arrangements protect the sector’s independence, and strike the right balance of support versus compliance?
  • Could current mechanisms for the appeal of registration decisions be improved?
  • How well is the Act working for Māori charities and Māori communities?
  • What limits, if any, should exist on charities running businesses or advocating for their views?"

For each of these areas there are a number of specific questions.

This is the first time since 2005 that the Charities Act has been reviewed.

Written submissions can be made by completing the submission form and emailing it to or posting it to: Charities Act Team, Policy Team, Department of Internal Affairs, PO Box 805, Wellington 6140.

For questions about the review email

For background information, see our previous story Government reviewing Charities Act (May 2018).

Independent opportunity to provide input

Sue Barker (Director of Sue Barker Charities Law) and Dave Henderson (former positions include Chair of Kidney Health New Zealand and External Relations Manager for Hui E! Community Aotearoa) are running a survey, with support from a consortium of philanthropic trusts. Both are members of the Core Reference Group for the review of the Act however say they are gathering information to feed into the review in their independent, private capacities. They have raised concerns that the outcomes of the review could have negative impacts on charities. They highlight what they believe are 'Key risk areas of the review' including:

  • Scope
  • Timeframe
  • Appeals
  • Structure of the agency administering the Act
  • Officers
  • Businesses run by charities

You can complete the survey online. For more information email

Conference on Charity Law

The Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand are hosting a national conference on Charity Law on 11-12 April 2019 in Wellington.  

Presentations, videos and audio recordings from the conference are available Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand website.

Related media

Government seeks public views on charities legislation, Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs press release, 22.02.2019


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