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Charities Report Received

Finance Minister Michael Cullen today congratulated the charities working party on the quality and prompt delivery of their report.

“They were given an extremely tight timetable as they were appointed in late November and had all the disruptions of the Christmas break to deal with yet still made their 28 February deadline.

“The ball is now in the government’s court. We will give careful consideration to their recommendations and will come back with a formal response in mid-April,” he said.

The working party’s principal task was to design a registration, reporting and monitoring regime for the charitable sector, including how it should be administered and by which agency.

“The need for reform is clear.

“Currently there is no reliable information base and no simple means for members of the public to check the bona fides of organisations claiming charitable status and the regulatory framework is so fragmented that charities can find themselves having to deal on a regular basis with at least five different government agencies,” Dr Cullen said.

The working party was chaired by the former CEO of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Sid Ashton. Other members are: Frank Claridge, Treasurer of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, Gordon Copeland, Chair of the Inter Church Working Party on taxation, Pat Hanley, Manager of the Non Governmental Organisation of Aotearoa, Judith Timpany, Chair of Philanthropy New Zealand, Hemi-Rua Rapata, Chairman of the Federation of Maori Authorities, and Pat Webster, former Executive Director of the Council for International Development.

The report will be available early next week on the Treasury website: www.treasury.govt.nz/charities/

Ends

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