The following is taken from a media-release issued by Seed the Change | He Kākano Hāpai on 3 October 2023. We are publishing it here as the information is of general interest/importance to NZ Charities. Opinions expressed are those of the author and not those of NFP Resource.
The main provisions of the Charities Amendment Act 2023 come into force on 5 October 2023. They will aﬀect all New Zealand charities. It’s important that charities know what they have to do to meet the new requirements.
“The Charities Amendment Act 2023: What Charities Need To Know” is a free booklet explaining the changes and what charities practically need to do.
It has an accompanying website (www.seedthechange.nz/charities-reform) from where a more extensive pdf can be downloaded explaining the legal detail and how the Act came about, and what remains to be done to bring New Zealand charities legislation to a contemporary international standard.
The booklet, website and pdf are freely available under the Creative Commons Licence C00.
Charities and not-for-proﬁts are important and distinctive parts of civil society. They deal with problems in social life directly, unmediated by political and commercial agendas, and have a unique understanding of them. They are free to innovate and try new approaches. They should be protected in this and able to advocate about issues which aﬀect their areas of work. This is always under pressure. The Act has not supported this but mainly added new bureaucratic burdens.
Charities get a special tax-free status which rightly imposes obligations on them to demonstrate why they should earn this. But this Act increases their burdens without extending their ability to act in areas where they have direct expertise. As well as providing a practical resource, we argue that it needs further amendment.
The booklet and accompanying report were written by Sue Barker who has worked in this area for many years. She is an international expert on charity legislation, and a member of the Core Reference Group for the New Zealand government’s review of the Charities Act. She’s a co-author of “The Law and Practice of Charities in New Zealand”. Most recently, she undertook an international study, as the New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellow Te Karahipi Rangahau ā Taiao, which was published in April 2022 as “Focus on purpose – what does a world-leading framework of charities law look like?” available at www.lawfoundation.org.nz/?p=47523 .
Seed the Change | He Kākano Hāpai (CC55476) was the booklet’s principal sponsor. Its CEO, Anake Goodall, said, “We think it’s essential that New Zealand’s charities are regulated well but they need supporting in this and the regulation needs to be commensurate with the nature of the organisations and the many beneﬁts they bring. We have been delighted to support Sue’s continuing work in this. We’re grateful to Community Foundations of New Zealand and other partners in providing support too.”
The booklet can be obtained from
Seed the Change | He Kākano Hāpai at Millworks, Level 2, 14 Wise Street, Christchurch.
It can also be downloaded along with the detailed report at www.seedthechange.nz/charities-reform.