Timaru Herald (11 May 2013) reports: Timaru National Council of Women New Zealand members are celebrating the organisation regaining its charitable status after a 2 -year battle.
NCWNZ lost its registration in 2010, one year after being first registered as a charity, due to its alleged political lobbying.
Timaru council president Avril Demetriades said they were shocked when they lost the charity status as they had not changed what they had been doing.
“We are not party political, we treat all governments the same and give them hell when we think they need it.”
She said all types of people benefited from NCWNZ’s work, not just women and children.
Its budget did not allow for an appeal against the deregistration at the time; instead it reapplied.
National president Elizabeth Bang said the successful reapplication was backed up by boxes of evidence on the organisation’s activities.
New Zealand was the first NCW in the world to be deregistered, which Mrs Bang said was quite ironic.
“We were the first country to give women the vote.”
She said it had been worth persevering as the lack of registration had affected the council badly, as it could not apply to trusts for funds without it and was dependent on membership fees only.
The organisation did not have a single focus as it had members who were far Left and far Right in their views and it would continue to make submissions on a variety of issues, Mrs Bang said.
“We have proven education, and public benefit and we are not for profit.”
Established in 1896 at a women’s convention in Christchurch with suffragette Kate Shepherd. Its aim is to serve women, family and community through research, information, representation and action. There are 23 branches throughout New Zealand, and about 4500 members. which includes those who do not belong to a branch
Story by Esther Ash-Coventry. 11 May 2013
Fairfax NZ News