Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Scrap the Charities Bill, say Greens

18 August, 2004

Scrap the Charities Bill, say Greens

The Green Party today called for the Charities Bill to be axed before it inflicts serious damage on the not-for-profit sector.

Green MP Sue Bradford said the bill was so unsound that the best outcome would be for the Government to scrap it entirely and start again. The Social Services select committee, of which Ms Bradford is a member, will be hearing submissions in Auckland this Thursday and Friday.

"This bill is fundamentally flawed and has created widespread dissatisfaction throughout the community sector," said Ms Bradford, the Party's spokesperson for the Community and Voluntary Sector. "Right from the start it showed a total lack of understanding about the way the not-for-profit 'third' sector works.

"This mess is the result of the bill being drafted by Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development officials who lack the necessary familiarity with the needs and values of the third sector. Now we have a bill that simply doesn't achieve anybody's goals - the Government's or community groups'.

"The problem with this bill is that it's trying to fix problems that don't necessarily exist, without adequately addressing those that do exist, so now the Government is seeking to impose regulation and control on the sector in a way that is completely out of line.

"I call on the Government to start again, drawing on the knowledge and good work that the Ministry of Social Development has carried out with the voluntary sector over the last five years. It is important that the public have confidence in the sector's integrity, but this bill will be of no help," she said.

Ms Bradford added that the Bill in its current form threatened to undermine the very essence of the community and volunteer sector.

"The Charities Bill poses a real threat to one of the cornerstones of our democracy - the ability of people to come together and advocate for all manner of social, economic and environmental causes," she said.

"Freedom of speech would be clouded because organisations that speak out on political issues would risk being deregistered by the Charities Commission.

"And the Charities Commission, as a 'Crown Agent' will be required to implement Government policy. Many organisations such as social services and environmental groups would be directly threatened, especially if a National - Act Government ever wielded that power.

"For goodness' sake, this badly conceived, badly written legislation even threatens the ability of religious organisations to continue to attract tax-exempt status for providing relief work. It's just not on," she said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Report Released: Harmful Behaviour In Parliamentary Workplace

Rt Hon Trevor Mallard today released a report containing the findings and recommendations of the independent external review into harmful behaviour within the parliamentary workplace.

“This review was commissioned to establish if the parliamentary workplace is a place where harmful behaviour occurs, and in some cases is supported by the system. The report confirms this harmful behaviour occurs, and recommends changes that can be made to ensure the system does not enable or support this behaviour.” More>>


camouflageGordon Campbell: Why We Shouldn’t Genuflect To Security

Reportedly most (and possibly all) of the Royal Commission investigation into the Christchurch mosque shootings will be closed to the general public and to the media… More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Pike, Bullying, Carbon...

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her post-cabinet press conference by announcing that the zero carbon bill would have its first reading the Parliament this week. More>>

Budget Announcements: Family And Sexual Violence Response

The family and sexual violence package, which sits across eight portfolios, is the result of the first ever joint Budget bid from multiple government departments. More>>


Deals, Sanctions, Consultation: National's Foreign Policy Plan

“National will prioritise our relationship with the United States.. National will also further the strong and dynamic economic relationship with China." More>>


Taking Children Into State Care: Minister For Children On The Nation

Simon Shepherd: ... So, we’ve seen this jump in the number of newborn Maori babies being taken from their parents in the last three years. Is that because it’s a directive from Oranga Tamariki to get involved earlier? More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Christchurch Call

The zigzagging nature of Christchurch Call To Action's content (“steps to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online” on one hand… and “a free, open and secure Internet” on the other) reflects the genuine tension on this subject. More>>


Getting Moving: Wellington Transport To Get $6.4b Overhaul

A new $6.4bn transport project aiming to free up traffic in Wellington CBD will combine a mass transit system with an improved bus network, the government says. More>>





InfoPages News Channels