The Vegan Society of Aotearoa was registered as a charity with the Charities Commission on 15 September 2010 (Reg. No. CC 45333). Like The Animal Welfare Institute of New Zealand (AWINZ), it is an unincorporated “charitable trust”. Its Annual Return for the financial year ending 31 March 2011 that was due on 29 September 2011, has yet to be filed. It is almost one year overdue. The Commission has a statutory duty to send out reminder letters to charities that have failed to meet their obligations under the Charities Act 2005. No doubt the Vegan Society Trustees (see below) have received repeated reminder notices from the Commission over the last year over their Trust’s failures to file.
Significant and persistent failures by Trustees to fulfil their obligation under section 41 of the Act, have by now, no doubt, led to the Commission sending the Trust a “Notice of Intention to Remove” it from the Register of Charities, under section 32(1)(b) of the Charities Act.
Trustees listed on the Charities website for The Vegan Society of Aotearoa are: Alice Leonard and Amanda Sorrenson, both appointed on 15 September 2010, as well as Hannah Lessells and Johanna Vroegop, who were both appointed in March 2011. Amanda Sorrenson is Promotions Manager for another registered charity – the “animal rights” lobby group Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) which is active in political advocacy. Alice Leonard runs the Auckland-based vegan business Angel Food (www.angelfood.co.nz) – dealing with dairy-free and vegan products.
The Vegan Society filed its annual return for the 11 months ending 31 March 2010, and uploaded it onto the Charities website on 6 October 2011. Because it was registered as a charity on 15/09/10, these financial statements were not required to be filed and their presence on the website has served only as a smokescreen to hide the fact that the 2011 annual return has not been filed.
On 6 December 2010 the charity ChildSafeNZ.Org was deregistered by the Charities Commission for failing to file its Annual Return as required by s. 41 of the Act. The Electronic Media Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand Trust was registered with the Charities Commission on 29 January 2009 and failed to file its annual returns that were due on 30/09/10 and 30/09/11. The Trust was consequently deregistered as a charity on 11/01/12