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Removal of Cap on Giving is a Bold Move

Media Statement
For Immediate Release

17 May 2007

Removal of Cap on Giving is a Bold Move in Encouraging a Culture of Generosity and Giving

The Government is to be congratulated for its budget commitments in promoting a culture of giving and generosity, members of COmVOiceS, an independent network of Tangata Whenua, and the Community and Voluntary Sector said today.

Dave Henderson, National Coordinator of the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations of Aotearoa (ANGOA) says the announced removal of tax rebate caps for individuals, companies and Maori authorities, were significant in encouraging philanthropic giving in New Zealand and had the potential to positively impact Sector groups.

“This, along with removing the cap for the hundreds of thousands of closed companies, will be significant in encouraging a culture of generosity and giving in this country.”

Tina Reid, Executive Director of the New Zealand Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (NZFVWO) says it was also great to see the Government making a commitment to looking at payroll giving this year and to doing further work on how to streamline the treatment of volunteers' reimbursement payments and honoraria.

Tim Burns, Executive Director of Volunteering New Zealand says there are more than a million volunteers in New Zealand who regularly donate their time, energy and expertise to Sector organisations.

“Many currently incur personal financial expense and any work to assist their reimbursement is to be welcomed,” he says.

Ric Odom, National Executive Officer of YMCA New Zealand says the Inland Revenue Minister, and leader of United Future, Peter Dunne is to be particularly congratulated for his tenacity in driving the issue through in this Parliamentary term.

“Today’s announcement will not only help to sustain a philanthropic spirit in this country it also helps to support Sector organisations in the great work they do for our local communities,” he says.

Gary Williams, Chief Executive Officer of DPA, the National Assembly of People with Disabilities, says funding and sustainability is an issue facing most community and voluntary organisations in New Zealand.

“Many groups rely heavily on multiple funding sources, including donations and philanthropic giving, to maintain the huge range of community services, from care for the elderly, to ambulances, and sport and recreation activities,” he says.

A wide range of Sector organisations have been working for nearly a decade to get the issue of tax incentives for giving on to the Parliamentary agenda.

Jo Lake, National Executive Officer of Presbyterian Support says taxation is one of the levers available to government in encouraging a culture of giving and generosity in the community.

“Encouraging giving benefits all New Zealanders. Not only will increased donations help to support individual Sector organisations, it ensures they continue to provide the important services that our communities have come to depend on,” she says.

Kevin Haunui, General Manager of Funding Information Services congratulated the Government for showing they are prepared to take a lead role in promoting generosity and giving within New Zealand, but says there also needs to be more education and public promotion on the issue.

“There is definitely scope for further work to be undertaken to ascertain what other approaches are taken in overseas jurisdictions could be adapted to fit the New Zealand environment,” says.

Robyn Scott, Executive Director of Philanthropy New Zealand says this is particularly true among New Zealand business, who according to a Philanthropy New Zealand’s study Giving New Zealand only contribute around 7% of total giving in New Zealand, with Trusts and Foundations giving about 58% of the total amount.

“The same research also places New Zealand at the low mid-point of giving: we give more than Canadians and Australians, but not as much as those in the United Kingdom or United States,” says Ms Scott.


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