20th September, 2004.
Recently there has been much discussion about the CHARITIES BILL which has been open for public discussion and submission – both written and verbal before the Select Committee.
Most of the submissions against this Bill (including our New Zealand Parent Teacher Association one) took exception to the compliance costs the overbearing nature of the organization that would be set up to administer this the complex reporting requirements and the fact that a sledge hammer had been used to fix a problem that a tack hammer would have performed. lack of protection for those involved in the running of charities and other groups the introduction of measures which would turn away volunteers who are already in short supply
Most specifically our organization deplored the fact that all schools handling funds - Boards of Trustees and PTA/Parent Groups – would have to become ‘Charitable Trusts’ and ‘Registered Donees’ It was not compulsory but there would be many losses if one was not so, e.g. parents would not be able to claim a tax rebate on school donations, and the Charitable organizations who make grants to the community would not give if the organization was not a ‘Registered Donee’. This would affect a lot of millions of dollars raised by schools.
The New Zealand School Trustees have been asked to provide a supplementary submission on the matter.
We unequivocally endorse NZSTA in their stand that school organizations need to be exempt from the clauses of this Bill and we thank them for including our perspective in their submission.
The figures published recently on the amount of money raised by parents to keep their schools afloat is absolutely phenomenal and indicates the HUGE number of hours that parents give in voluntary work for their children in schools. We are looking here to amounts around the $85,000,000 (no, it’s not a typing error) in fundraising alone – and that probably means at least 3 hours per $1.00 in voluntary effort. Do the mathematics on that!! If the Community Grants are not available, many children in many schools will miss out on the necessities – not the luxuries.
Schools – PTAs/Parent Groups and Boards of Trustees must be exempt from the Charities Bill as it stands now.