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Charities Commission processes robust

Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector

16 October 2006 Media Statement

Charities Commission processes robust

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Luamanuvao Winnie Laban today said the Charities Commission was established by the Labour-led government to promote public trust and confidence in the charitable sector.

"New Zealanders can have full confidence in the fairness and neutrality of the Charities Commission criteria and processes. The aim is to strengthen charitable organisations, not undermine them," Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said today.

"Charities are not about to have their charitable status ripped off them for advocating their views. Charities are able to act as advocates for their causes – but their main purpose must be charitable. This means organisations must advance education or religion, relieve poverty or be otherwise beneficial to the community.

The Commission is an Autonomous Crown Entity (ACE) established by the Charities Act 2005.

"ACEs are required by law to act independently from the government in carrying out the roles and functions required of them. Therefore, as Minister, I cannot interfere in the Commission’s decision-making processes.

“The key role of the Commission as set out in the Act is to promote public trust and confidence in the charitable sector. It will achieve this by being fair and impartial, consistent, transparent, accountable and independent.

"I am confident that the Board appointed to oversee the work of the Commission, will give effect to these principles in all its governance activities.

"The Commission will ensure that charities appearing on its register, due to open in February, are genuine charities.

"The Labour-led government recognises the important role of the charitable sector and supports its unique contribution to New Zealand society. Public confidence is important to the whole sector. The new law, and the work of the Charities Commission will help build that confidence," said Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.


ENDS

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