The Government is modernising the Charities Act 2005 and we want to ensure the needs of member brigades registered as charities are represented.
The Act currently ensures the provision by Charities Services of registration, reporting and monitoring systems for charities. The government is recognising the different needs of NZ’s diverse charities and how the Act needs to remain fit-for-purpose. We want to ensure fire brigades are in that consideration!
While the Charities Services will take an over-arching and broad-view of all charities there are certain aspects of the Act that are relevant to brigades, particularly around the need to ensure ongoing advocacy for charities, community fund raising activities and accumulation of funds. It’s important too to remind government that charities and volunteerism often go hand in hand.
Maintaining transparency and charities’ obligations remain clear, manageable and robust for public confidence should remain, however we are keen to stress that any increases in reporting and regulation are likely to put extra pressures on volunteers.
Already brigades with charity status must maintain a charitable purpose (that’s easy enough with the community service you provide!), file an annual return and inform the regulator of changes to key personnel or rules. However certain brigade activities are monitored under FENZ and others by Charities Services, so we have raised the concern around doubling up and increased administration for volunteers.
Please take a look at our submission and do contribute your feedback towards it.
This is your chance to have a say to represent the individual needs of your charitable brigade, supported by the weight of our the UFBA, itself a registered charity. Please provide your thoughts and concerns to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 15th April.
A quick read summary document is available here.
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