The Peace Foundation Disarmament and Security Centre (“PFDCS”) was registered as a charity by the Charities Commission on 10 September 2007 (Charity No. CC11049). On its website [www.disarmsecure.org] it advertises itself as – Promoting Alternative Security: Specialist Branch of the Aotearoa/New Zealand Peace Foundation (“The Peace Foundation”), an Incorporated Society based in Auckland.
The PFDCS was first registered as a Charitable Trust (Reg. No. 1534262), under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957, on 9 July 2004, prior to becoming a registered charity with the Charities Commission. It has as its stated primary purposes (source “Rules” registered 03/11/2007: Charities Commission website www.charities.govt.nz ):
(a) Promote a climate of peace in Aotearoa/New Zealand
(b) Promote peace and disarmament education throughout the education system and wider community
(c) Make regulations to advance the attainment of any of the above objects
(d) Do any act or thing incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the above objects.
“The Peace Foundation (the ‘parent body’ of PFDCS), based in Auckland, which received a total income of $651,920 in 2005/06 and which has been engaged in political advocacy since 28 May 1975 when it was first registered as an Incorporated Society; describes the PFDCS on its website as “The Christchurch Office of the Peace Foundation” – it provides the link to its website ( http://www.disarmsecure.org/links.php). The Peace Foundation and PFDCS are therefore inextricably linked (http://www.peace.net.nz).
The PFDCS recorded a gross income of $104,812 in its Financial Statements for the year ending 31/03/2011 and $50,415 was spent on salaries and wages (one full time + one part-time employee: total average hours per week 80 hours). (Source Charities Commission website). Its total expenditure that year was $114,646.
The “particular point of view” the PFDSC (a registered charity) seeks to promote – involving nuclear disarmament etc – involves as one of its “primary objects” states – the making of regulations (legislation) to advance its objects (peace and disarmament promotion).
(Note: This purpose constitutes “political advocacy” according to the Charities Commission’s guidelines to charities).
Another of its primary purpose is doing any (!) act or thing incidental or conducive to achieving this object (achieving legislative change on disarmament matters).
This very broad written purpose could be seen to legitmise/cover street protest marches (presumably peaceful!), public advertising in favour of disarmament legislation, lobbying MPs to bring in legislation to support disarmament, raising money for funding political advocacy work, and boycotting of advertisers associated with TV programmes that support or tend to support the maintenance of NZ armed forces etc.
However, such lobbying “activities” highlighted could not be regarded as ancillary to the main charitable purpose of the PFDCS – which comes within the “Advancement of Education” Head of Charities Law.
All of these types of lobbying activities outlined have been engaged in by another high profile entity that has been registered as a charity by the Charities Commission. This group has taken out full-page advertisements in the Sunday Star Times, each costing about $34,000 to call for the repeal of a certain piece of controversial legislation. It has also been involved in street marches, the use of megaphones in a public square to proclaim its message, boycotts on advertisers etc.
While the Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. – also a registered charity like PFDCS – admires such dedication and zeal evident in the Peace and Disarmament Movements etc., it has never engaged in such activities as noted above involving “political advocacy”. None of the SPCS’ written purposes refer to it or support “political advocacy” as a primary purpose. Unlike PFDC it does not seek to “Make regulations [laws] to advance the attainment of nuclear disarmament or any other such matter.