The Charities Act 2005

The Charities Act 2005 ("the Act") established the Charities Commission. The Commission was given the responsibility of administering the Act and the registration of charitable entities began on 1 February 2007, when the Charities Register (“the Register”) opened. The Charities Commission became Charities Services in 2012 and the core functions of the Commission were transferred to the Department of Internal Affairs. 

You can view the Charities Act 2005 on the government legislation website(external link).

The Charities Act 2005 says the key functions of Charities Services include:

  • deciding on whether to accept an application for registration
  • monitoring annual returns submitted by registered charities
  • reporting and making recommendations to Government about charitable sector matters
  • promoting public trust and confidence in the charitable sector
  • encouraging the effective use of charitable resources
  • educating charities about matters of good governance and management
  • stimulating and promoting research about the charitable sector.
View the Charities Act 2005 (external link)

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Charity Law in New Zealand
Written by Dr Donald Poirier, a former senior employee of the Department of Internal Affairs - Charities Services, 'Charity Law in New Zealand' provides an analysis of charity law in this country.

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