Hui E! Pānui – Haratua / May 2019

 Tēnā tātou katoa

In this special pānui we want to reiterate the importance of making a submission to the government on the Charities Act 2005 Review by 31 May. We put together what we hope is some useful background information, key messages, and tips for making your submission.  

  • Why everyone should get involved
  • How to send your submission and when
  • Some of the key messages for a submission

On a slightly different but related matter, the Government released its draft Voluntary National Report (VNR) on its progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals yesterday and invites feedback from the public by 26 May (see more in this pānui).

Review of the Charities Act 2005

Why everyone should get involved

This is the first time since 2005 that the Charities Act is being reviewed. The Act is the main piece of legislation for the charitable sector and sets out how the regime is administered, what individuals and groups need to do to register as a charity, what benefits and obligations they have as a registered charity, and how they can appeal decisions.

During recent community meetings on the review many of you voiced your concerns with the current legislation, particularly with regard to the definition of charitable purpose and inconsistencies with registrations; the compliance burden especially on small charities; ineffective and costly appeal processes; and lack of clarity around advocacy. Concerns were also raised that the technical nature of this law review makes it difficult to engage for many in the sector.

The charitable sector helps with every aspect of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – housing, education, health, poverty reduction, closing the wealth gap, protecting the environment, wellbeing, etc. However, currently, the framework of charity law, and the way it is being administered, are “getting in the way” of charities’ ability to do that.

We now have an opportunity to make a charities act that supports a vibrant sector. It is therefore essential that charities get engaged with the review, and make a written submission to help the Government consider improvements to the Act.

How to send your submission and when

Any person or organisation can make a submission and the consultation period has recently been extended until 31 May 2019.

A submission does not need to follow a specific format and you should focus on the aspects that are most important to you. You can also endorse others’ submission, and Philanthropy New Zealand (PNZ) prepared a template letter submission for this.

The Department of International Affairs also developed a form with questions that relate directly to their discussion document. You can download the submission form from the DIA website at – copy and paste link and click on discussion document and submission form

Once finalised, you can send your submission by email to

or by post:

Charities Act Team
Policy Team
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140

Some of the key messages for a submission

We encourage you to focus on the aspects that are most important to you but also realise the myriad of aspects this review covers. We therefore pulled together some of the key messages for a submission below and encourage you to have a closer look at the links above. Garth Nowland-Foreman also provides some useful tips for a submission on each of the topic areas under review in this article and we’ve drawn some links here: 
We want to acknowledge the work of Dave Henderson and Sue Barker for their in-depth analysis of the issues and advice given to the sector (and you can still request their analysis by emailing them directly at or, and thank Philanthropy New Zealand and Volunteering New Zealand for sharing their submissions with us.

  • We welcome this long-awaited review of the Charities Act 2005 and support the view of the sector that the review should be referred to the Law Commission following this first stage of public consultation, to enable a more considered wide-ranging and independent review.
  • The purpose of the Charities Act needs to be clearly articulated and it should be specifically limited to an information and disclosure regime. Two additional purposes that respect the independence and creativity of the sector could be:
    • To support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative charitable sector, and
    • To respect the autonomy of charities and charities’ rights to freedom of expression, in particular their right and duty to advocate in furtherance of their charitable objectives.
  • Advocacy is a key aspect of a vibrant civil society and plays an important role in the development of social policy and is integral to community wellbeing. Therefore, advocacy activities of charities carried out in furtherance of their stated charitable purposes, without fear of loss of registration, needs to be explicitly protected in the legislation
  • Charities’ ability to raise funds for their charitable purposes, including by way of running businesses, must also be protected and supported.
  • Ensure that all of the pieces of legislation that govern the voluntary and community sector, the Charities Act, Incorporated Societies Bill and Trusts Bill, work together to support, rather than hinder, a cohesive, robust and impactful sector
  • Reduce the reporting requirements on small charities
  • Charities should have the right to appeal all decisions made under the Act

Other important things to note

SDGs: Government report now out for public feedback

The Government is submitting its first progress report towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development this July. The draft report is now available publicly and the Government is seeking feedback by 26 May via the Have Your Say website.

We hope that many of you will be in a position to comment and please pass this on to your networks.

Some of you also submitted case studies to be included in this report. MFAT still invites success stories to be submitted and more info can be found at


And what else has been happening

Multicultural NZ Race Relations Event and International Volunteer Network launch – 7 May 2019

Workshop on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

Hui E! attended a workshop last Wednesday where Minister Shaw discussed the contents of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill recently introduced to Parliament. The Zero Carbon Bill will set the framework for New Zealand's transition to a low emissions and climate resilient economy. It will have its first reading in Parliament House on Tuesday 21 May.

The lives of people with dementia – Research Report and Dementia Declaration

Alzheimers NZ have just launched some brand new landmark research into the lived experience of dementia - the story of the diverse lives and experiences of 49 New Zealanders living with dementia. The findings shine a much-needed light on what people living with dementia need to live well, both from friends, family and whānau, and from the health sector, which often lets them down badly. Read the report here and pledge your support to the Dementia Declaration The launch was attended by Hui E! Pou Āwhina Viola Lombard (pictured below with research participant Alister Robertson).

Welcome to pēpi Ngārimu

Hui E! welcomes the newest addition – Ngārimu Fraser-Pari – to the whānau. He is a healthy baby boy born 9.58pm on the 16 April 2019 to Moe-moana Fraser and Anaru Pari at Horowhenua Maternity Unit.


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We thank you warmly for your support, and hope to see you at our sector hui!

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