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Charities Commission


Charities Act 2005


The Charities Commission - Komihana Kaupapa Atawhai - is responsible for registering and monitoring charitable organisations in New Zealand, as well as providing support and education to the charitable sector on good governance and management.

The functions of the Charities Commission, as set out in section 10 of the Charities Act, are to:

  • promote public trust and confidence in the charitable sector;
  • encourage and promote the effective use of charitable resources;
  • educate and assist charities in relation to matters of good governance and management;
  • make appropriate information available to assist persons to make registration applications under the Charities Act;
  • receive, consider and process applications for registration as charitable entities;
  • ensure that the Register of charitable entities is compiled and maintained;
  • receive, consider, and process annual returns submitted by charitable entities;
  • supply information and documents in appropriate circumstances for the purposes of the Inland Revenue Acts;
  • monitor charitable entities and their activities to ensure that entities that are registered as charitable entities continue to be qualified for registration as charitable entities;
  • inquire into charitable entities and into persons who have engaged in, or are engaging in, conduct that constitutes, or may constitute, a breach of the Charities Act or serious wrongdoing in connection with a charitable entity;
  • monitor and promote compliance with the Charities Act, including by taking prosecutions for offences against this Act in appropriate circumstances;
  • consider, and to report and make recommendations on, any matter relating to charities; and
  • stimulate and promote research into any matter relating to charities.


Charities Commission structureRECORDS

The Charities Commission's website hosts the register of charities. Charitable organisations can apply online for registration under the Charities Act 2005, and members of the public can search for details of registered charities.  Registered charities must file an Annual Return and provide a copy of their financial statements, which are also published on the Charities Register.


Guide to the Charities Act

Further published information available at including the Commission’s Update newsletters and numerous information sheets


The overall outcome for the charitable sector is that the “social, economic and environmental benefits to New Zealand from charitable activities are maximised” through a stronger, more effective charitable sector. 


The Commission contributes to the charitable sector outcome by focusing on three specific outcomes that are directly within the Commission’s influence:

  • the public is better informed about registered charities
  • charities are better informed
  • Government is better informed about charities

A primary function of the Commission is to register charities and to ensure that the Charities Register is compiled and maintained.  Its priorities for 2011-12 are to continue providing information and support to charities to enable them to maintain registration and to improve their governance and management practices. It will also process and publish the annual returns of registered charities, and investigate and monitor the activities of registered charities.


Chief Executive - Trevor Garrett

General manager, Corporate – Barry Hayman

General manager (Acting), Registration – Sally Stonier

General manager, Education – Philip Kearney

Manager, Monitoring and Investigations – [Vacant]

Contact details (names/title/phone) within the agency for clarification and comments

Barry Hayman, General manager Corporate,, tel 09 978 7785