New Zealand Shuts Down Its Charities Commission

While the Federal Government is setting up a charity regulator in the form of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC), the New Zealand Government is shutting down its Charities Commission.

A statement from the NZ Government says it has decided that its Charities Commission is unnecessary, carrying out a duplication of functions of Government, and has ordered its ‘disestablishment’.

NZ State Services Minister Tony Ryall announced late last year the transfer of functions from the Charities Commission to the Department of Internal Affairs and will result in a saving of $2.032 million in the four years from 2012/2013.

The transition is expected to cost the Government $300,000.00.

“Decisions on charity registrations will remain independent from Ministers through a statutorily independent board in the Department of Internal Affairs,” Minister Ryall said.

Bill d'Apice, Partner with Sydney-based law firm Makinson & d'Apice Lawyers says: “With the ACNC Implementation Task Force conducting its public consultations, it will be interesting to see whether the public is of the view that the Federal Government’s expenditure on a separate commission established to carry out some of the functions of the Australian Taxation Office and some new functions related to transparency and education, justifies the expenditure of the Federal Government in Australia.”

The New Zealand Charities Commission was set up for a period of four years and is the first Charities Commission of the nations of the Commonwealth to be disestablished.

Bill d'Apice is a principal legal advisor to the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference and advises many charities and Not for Profit organisations. He is immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Catholic Church Insurances Ltd and serves on a number of boards of public companies, private companies and charities.

Details of the NZ decision can be found at the New Zealand Government website. 

Read Makinson & d'Apice's Charities and Not for Profits Law in Australia blog here. 

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