Women’s advocate wins trust battle for charitable status

The Manawatu Standard (20 April) reports:

Palmerston North women’s advocate Barbara Arnold has led the National Council of Women of New Zealand [NCWNZ] to victory in the battle to get reinstated as a charitable trust.  [As of 6 May NCWNZ has yet to receive the full decision of the Charities Registration Board/Department of Internal Affairs, setting out the reasons and the grounds for the reasons for the reinstatement]

The council, established 117 years ago to empower women, family and the community, was deregistered by the Charities Commission in 2010 after a review of the Charities Act.

Ms Arnold, the national president, said it has taken 32 months of hard work and considerable anxiety to have that decision reversed.

“We always knew the commission’s original decision was wrong,” she said.

“The fact the council was alone among other national councils of women throughout the world in being a non-registered charity was a telling factor in itself.”

Ms Arnold said the work involved in overturning the decision was significant and could be common among other not-for-profit groups.

“We feel for other charities which may be forced to accept an adverse decision because they do not have the resources to challenge it,” she said. “We need to ask as a community whether the system we have in place for challenging decisions of the charities regulator is working for us as a country.

“The decision puts the council back where it belongs as a registered charitable entity and allows us to get on with what we have been doing for over a hundred years and what we aim to continue doing for many more.”


Women’s advocate wins trust battle


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