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Re-Open Submissions On Charities Bill

Wed, 20 Oct 2004

Re-Open Submissions On Charities Bill

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Other

ACT New Zealand deputy Leader and Social Services Select Committee Acting Chair Dr Muriel Newman today launched an online petition urging the Government to re-open submissions on the Charities Bill as soon as the re-written version is available.

"The Charities Bill was a Labour attempt to regulate the voluntary sector - virtually all of which opposed the Bill in its current form. It is imperative that the sector has a say on whether the Government has got it right on its second go," Dr Newman said.

"Given Labour's seeming intention to drive this wholesale regulation of the voluntary sector through by Christmas, I'm worried that groups which raised valid concerns about the original Bill will not be given an opportunity to examine the new version and express their views.

"ACT has always opposed the need for wholesale regulation, and I strongly believe that when a Government misjudges legislation in a massive way - which was certainly the case with this Bill - then there is a fundamental obligation to re-open the submission process.

"The problem is that the Charities Bill has the power to undermine the voluntary infrastructure that underpins civil society. If the Government gets it wrong again, the impact could be disastrous.

"Kiwis deserve an assurance that Government will consult properly before forcing heavy-handed rules and regulations onto agencies which could drive them out of business.

"My petition, at www.charitiesbill.co.nz (http://www.charitiesbill.co.nz/) , states:

`I support Dr Muriel Newman MP's call to open the Charities Bill up for full public consultation, so that all of these organisations that will be affected by the Government's proposed regulations are able to make a submission'.

"Anyone who supports this view should sign the petition, and send it on to others who share their concerns, as a priority," Dr Newman said.

ENDS


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