Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

June 2015

View a text only version of Charities Update


Lesa Kalapu

Kia ora koutou, talofa lava and warm greetings.

Helping to increase public trust and confidence in charities is what drives all the work we do.  We believe we can increase public trust and confidence in charities by publishing more information about our investigations into charities and the other regulatory work that we do.

Experience and research tells us that although the public’s trust and confidence in charities is extremely sensitive to media reporting about wrongdoing in the sector, we can also encourage the public to think more positively about charities, by letting them know that we are dealing with wrongdoing in the sector, and only registering charities that meet all the criteria. 

The Australian Charity Commission has published some interesting research about public trust and confidence, which you might like to read.

You may have seen the news alert we sent you a little while ago about our investigation into a Christchurch youth charity which was linked in news media to the sex industry, and which had an officer who was disqualified.  Our reason for telling you about our decision to remove the charity was so that you didn’t read about it in news media first, and to explain the context and our regulatory response. Although a couple of charities contacted us to ask why we had sent you this information, the reaction from others in the sector was very positive. 

We are currently considering whether we should routinely release information about completed investigations where there is a high level of public interest.  We would consider publication of each investigation on a case by case basis.

There are a number of factors we would balance in each case  ̶  for example: whether providing information where there has been serious wrongdoing could increase public trust and confidence and act as a  deterrent to others that might be involved in wrongdoing; compared with the potentially significant impact on the charity’s reputation and future. If you have any views on our publishing information about our investigations, you are welcome to contact us (the best way is by emailing info@charities.govt.nz). 

And – I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of all of us in the Charities Services team – to acknowledge and thank outgoing Board member Kirikaiahi Mahutariki, and wish her well for the future; and to congratulate Board chair Roger Miller and Board member Caren Rangi on their re-appointments.  We also warmly welcome new Board member Simon Karipa.

Nāku, nā


Lesa's signature


General Manager, Charities Services


Minister Jo Goodhew – celebrating National Volunteer Week – 21-27 June

Jo Goodhew

Being Volunteer Week this week, I wish to congratulate everyone in New Zealand who makes such a fantastic contribution to the community sector.

New Zealanders are amongst the most generous in the world when it comes to donating and volunteering to help others.  About a third of all New Zealanders volunteer in their community, providing millions of volunteer hours a year and making a significant economic contribution. But I also want to acknowledge the work of New Zealanders who care for family members, or help with cultural activities in their community. Most of these people do not consider this work ‘volunteering’, and yet they are voluntarily making the community a better place for all of us to live.

National Volunteer Week is held from 21 to 27 June, and is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the knowledge, skill and time given by past and present volunteers.

This year’s theme is “There is a place for you to volunteer” or “he wahi mohou hei tuao”, which highlights the diversity of volunteer opportunities, volunteers themselves, and the positive impacts of volunteering.

Charities might like to seize the opportunity provided by National Volunteer Week to thank your volunteers, and encourage others to come forward.

Minister Jo Goodhew's signature

For more information, free promotional posters you can download and thank-you certificates for your volunteers, visit http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/national-volunteer-week/

Independent Charities Registration Board chair and Board member reappointed, new Board member announced

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Jo Goodhew has announced the appointment of a new member to the independent Charities Registration Board, and confirmed the reappointments of Chair Roger Miller and Board member Caren Rangi.

Appointed for a three-year term, Simon Karipa is a Wellington-based barrister and solicitor. He will join Roger Miller, who has been reappointed as Chair for a three-year term, and Caren Rangi, reappointed for a one-year term.

The new appointments will commence on 1 July 2015.

You can read the Minister’s news release announcing the appointments.

New reporting standards – Tier 3 and 4 workshops conclude, new resources available

Yes next to a ticked box and No next to an empty box

It has been wonderful for members of our Charities Services team to see and meet so many of you over the last few months at the new reporting standards workshops for Tier 3 and 4 charities. (If ‘Tiers’ sounds like gobbledygook to you, visit our website for information about the new reporting standards.)

Between October and mid-June, around 9,000 of you registered to attend one of the many workshops held throughout the country by Charities Services and the External Reporting Board (XRB). Feedback about the workshops was overwhelmingly positive, and 80% of our March to June workshop attendees said afterwards that they felt confident to get started with the new standards.

In March we carried out a survey to find out how much registered charities knew about the new standards and 90% of almost 2,000 respondents were aware of the standards, while 74% replied that they are at least a little ready to use them.

We use information like this to measure the effectiveness of the work we’ve done so far and to identify gaps, so that we can keep developing appropriate tools and resources to meet charities’ needs. To find out what is needed though, talking with you - the representatives of charities - is the best research. We’ve progressively developed resources over the last few months in response to questions raised through the workshops, your correspondence and calls, and added these to our website. Since our last Update newsletter we have added the following resources: Tier 3 Get Started videos and resource booklet. The video closely follows the recent workshops’ presentation and we recommend that you watch while following the booklet. The equivalent Tier 4 Get Started video and booklet are also there.

We’ve also added information to the website about related party transactions, member and non-member receipts, and operating receipts and payments (or for Tier 3 revenue and expenses). The links to Tier 3 resources are here and for Tier 4 here.

You can contact us with any questions about the new reporting standards on 0508 CHARITIES (0508 242 748) and at nrs.charities@dia.govt.nz – we’re happy to help!

New reporting standards meetings for Tier 1 and 2 charities

Text on a page. The heading reads "Teamwork". The words "combined effort" are beeing coloured with a green highlighter pen.

To support larger charities with the new requirements, we’re holding eight networking meetings in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in late July and early August. The meetings are especially for registered charities with annual operating expenditure over $2 million, which will report using the Tier 1 or Tier 2 standards. They’re being held in conjunction with the External Reporting Board (XRB) and will provide an update and overview of the Tier 1 and 2 standards, and opportunities to discuss progress in implementing them and to network with others on implementation issues.

We are inviting charities to submit questions for discussion to us beforehand via nrs.charities@dia.govt.nz. Even if you can’t attend a meeting, you are welcome to submit a question. We’ll circulate any presentation materials and summaries from the meetings afterwards to all Tier 1 and 2 charities.

If you haven’t yet registered for one of these networking meetings and would like to attend, please click here for your invitation. These meetings replace our chief executive forums this year, as our focus is on supporting the sector to get ready to use the new standards.


Review of reporting terms and conditions for charities registered as a single entity group

several person shapes in a group

The Charities Act 2005 allows charities that are related or closely affiliated to register as a group (called a ‘single entity’). There are currently 110 single entity groups, which represent around 1,200 registered charities.

As a consequence of the introduction of new reporting standards for registered charities, Charities Services is reviewing the reporting terms and conditions for charities that are registered as single entity groups.

One of the benefits of being registered in this way is that the “parent” charity can request that annual returns are filed by the parent on behalf of all members of the group. Charities Services can set and vary terms and conditions that cover these reporting arrangements. Options include, for example, the parent consolidating the relevant information and reporting annually on behalf of the group. Another option is the parent submitting the individual annual returns and financial statements from each member of the group.

The purpose of the review is to consider, and take account of, the impact of the new reporting standards on the financial reporting of the group’s members. The first stage of the review requires parent charities to inform Charities Services by 31 July 2015 whether any of the charities that form part of their group control another entity for financial reporting purposes. This is because, under the new standards, only charities that control other entities are permitted to prepare consolidated financial statements. We will take this information into account when setting the new reporting terms and conditions, and keep you informed.

Positive feedback about the Tier 4 Annual Return template!

Charities Services were very pleased to receive positive feedback from a charity member who has used the Annual Return reporting template for a Tier 4 charity.  They told us:

I have recently introduced myself to the Template that you developed to assist in creating an annual return.

I am impressed with what is a very user friendly programme. I have been able to mesh our existing internal reporting with yours with the minimum of difficulty (tier 4).

As a matter of interest, we have been running with an Excel cash book and with minor modification to our columns I found that I could link our year to date results to your return. Each single cash book entry now is able to give me live year to date and month end reporting as by-products of what will become our Annual Return to you and Annual Reports to our members. A great error reducer and time saver!

With regards,

Treasurer, Canterbury Philharmonia



Vulnerable children – important info for charities that work with children

Child standing on a beach. A picture of a house is drawn in the sand.

New regulations come into force on 1 July 2015 that set out requirements for safety checks for children’s workers. The requirements apply to charities that:

(i) receive money from a State service to provide a “regulated service”, and

(ii) employ or engage children’s workers to perform that regulated service.

The list of regulated services is broad, and includes mentoring and counselling services, youth services, youth work, home-based and residential disability services, and educational/early child care services.

Safety checks must be completed (or updated as required) for any paid employees or contractors who will be working as a children’s worker.  The children’s workforce is made up of all workers who have regular (at least once each week or on at least four days each month) or overnight contact with children, without a parent or guardian being present, as part of their role. Children’s workers are “core workers” if they work alone with children or have primary responsibility for children. The requirements don’t apply to volunteers, unless that unpaid work is part of an educational or vocational training course.

The safety checking requirements are being phased in over three to four years to give organisations time to have all of their children’s workforce checked:

  • From 1 July 2015 new core children’s workers starting a job or contract must be safety checked before they start work
  • From 1 July 2016 new non-core children’s workers starting a job or contract must be safety checked before they start work
  • By 1 July 2018 existing children’s core workers (that is, those currently employed or engaged as a contractor) must have been safety checked
  • By 1 July 2019 all existing non-core children’s workers must have been be safety checked.

The regulations set out what checks must be made, including identity checks, Police vetting, gathering other information and undertaking a risk assessment.

The regulations are available on the Government’s legislation website. Further information is available on the Children’s Action Plan website.

Opinion piece – who holds the keys to change in the NFP sector?

view through a key hole to hills

Sector commentator Craig Fisher says that getting change to occur in any organisation is difficult. Often it seems even more so in the NFP/charity sector. In his article (reproduced in part below), he explores some of the reasons why, and seeks to answer the question:

Who holds the most effective keys to facilitating change?

We all know the truism that “change is constant”.  And it is.  However in many organisations, being able to instigate change, or effectively respond to change, is often very difficult.  Generally the barrier to change is not the nature of the changes needed, but rather the emotional or human barriers to accepting the need and then moving to doing something about it.

Interestingly this situation is usually more pronounced in NFP organisations than it is in For-Profit organisations.   This is understandable when you consider some of the key differences between the two types of organisations.  This includes that most For-Profit organisations are generally more command and control in operational style, and more binary in their decision making, i.e. the driver for most decisions are: Will this make us more money – yes or no?

NFPs by contrast are commonly much softer in governance and management style because they often involve elements of volunteering and social motivation, as well as being driven more by service delivery rather than a single minded financial profit driver like the majority of For-Profit businesses.

Sadly however this can translate into NFPs being much more inefficient in how they do what they do, and much more resistant to change.  By not being forced to innovate as much as many For-Profit entities they can become flabby and inefficient.  Conversely, some NFPs are too lean, such that innovation is unable to flourish through lack of skills, time and resources.

Ironically though given the above, in times of financial crises or stress it is usually NFPs that will survive, or survive longer than many For-Profits.  Even though they don’t have the same single minded focus on their financial bottom line and financial sustainability, when times get tough their key stakeholders will generally support them “just enough” so they can struggle on.  Whereas by contrast, the situation for companies is much more binary; they either make enough money to stay in business or they go out of business.

Related to the above is the concept that; starvation often forces innovation.  And those that don’t innovate generally decline.….

You can read the rest of the article here

Posted 13 May 2015 by Craig Fisher, RSM Hayes Audit

Govt.nz – Find current government consultations and engagement

drawing of hills and buildings

Govt.nz was launched in July 2014 to make it easier for New Zealanders to find and use government information online.

Govt.nz has recently developed a list of current cross-government consultations and engagements, making it easier for the New Zealand public to get involved with government decision making. 

The listing can be searched by topic to make it easier for people to find out what’s happening in an area of interest, like health or education. RSS feeds are already in place so those interested can keep up-to-date with new listings for certain topics. There are also plans to enable email subscription to the listings.

Since its launch a month ago, there have been more than a hundred referrals to agency sites via the consultation listing. That’s a positive indication that people are getting through to the information they are searching for. And while not all of the consultations from every source are there now – we are working on that – it’s an important step in making it easier for people to have their say.

“Mastermind” behind advertising scam targeting charities jailed

(Abridged from a story in the NZ Herald)

The mastermind behind a complex advertising scam targeting charities and small businesses has been sent to prison.

Previously called a "parasite" of the advertising industry, Anthony John Hendon was also labelled a "blight on commerce", as he was sentenced on two dozen fraud charges.  Justice Jill Mallon said Hendon, 54, used "a variety of deceptive tactics" to con people into buying ads for sham magazines.

At the High Court in Wellington, Hendon was sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

In February, he pleaded guilty to 24 charges of reproducing a document with intent to cause loss.

Hendon's operation ran from October 2009 to October 2012. It involved persuading advertisers to spend money on ads that were fictitious, or printed in absurdly small numbers -- sometimes just 20 to 30, never more than 200, prosecutor Grant Burston said.

The Serious Fraud Office earlier said the scam was the focus of a major operation called Operation Edit.

Volunteers available for a day

The BNZ is running its “Closed for Good” programme again in 2015.  On Wednesday 2 September the bank will close its stores and make its 5,000 staff, tools and money management workshops available for the day to community groups.

Charities are invited to visit www.closedforgood.org before 24 July to register your project request.

Raggamuffin Festival seeks charity for 2016 event

Reggae and urban music festival, Raggamuffin is seeking a charity to be part of its February 2016 event at the Trusts’ Arena in Auckland. One per cent of ticket sales will be donated to the selected charity with profile and fundraising opportunities also available during the event.

Applications to be the Raggamuffin charity for 2016 are now open.

Applicants must not have received a Government grant or support in the past three years, must be a registered charity and be involved in stopping violence against women or supporting children or young people.

Applications close on Friday 26 June and the successful charity will be selected by a panel including representatives from Iwi and Pacific communities.

Full details can be found at www.raggamuffin.co.nz or email charity@raggamuffin.co.nz