Charities, CAN and political lobbying

Charities, CAN and political lobbying


Following the recent deregistering of Family First as a registered charity and the on, off and now back on the register of the National Council of Women of NZ Inc, it is worth looking at what a registered charity can do in the way of political lobbying; as this was raised at the strategy meeting this June.

From the attached registered decision of the independent Charities Registration Board on the NCWNZ application to be reinstated as a registered charity:

Para. 35 "In NZ law, a political purpose is not charitable.  An entity that has a political purpose will only qualify for registration if that purpose is ancillary to a valid charitable purpose of the entity."

Para. 37 "The proposition (that political purposes lie outside the scope of charity) is recognised in Sect. 5(3) of the Act which specifically provides that advocacy of a non-charitable purpose, which will disqualify an entity from registration under the Act uniess it is ancillary to the valid charitable purpose of the entity."

Para. 40 "The courts have recognised three categories of political purposes excluded from the scope of charity.  These are first, purposes to further the interests of a particular political party or representative; secondly, purposes to procure governmental actions, including through legislation and other regulatory, administrative and/or judicial actions; and thirdly, purposes to promote a point of view, the public benefit of which is not "so self-evident as a matter of law" that the requisite public benefit is achieved."

Para. 49 ".. the Board notes that charities may undertake some political activities as a means to advance charitable purposes without thereby adopting an independent non-charitable political purpose. Political activities can be seen as a means to advance charitable purposes where they further the purposes of the charity to an extent justified by the resources committed, and the objectives are not the dominant means by which the charity carries out its objects." 

CAN's Objectives:

From our Rules:

  1. To increase public and official recognition of the benefits of more cycling.
  2. To increase safety for cyclists by educating cyclists and other road users and by improving provision for cyclists in transport planning and engineering.
  3. To promote the development of a cycling environment that is:
    1. convenient
    2. accessible
    3. safe
    4. pleasant
    5. comprehensive
    6. connected
    7. constructed to standards reflecting international best practice
  4. To develop cycle advocacy and cycle action.
  5. To encourage cycle tourism.
  6. To promote the integration of cycle and transport planning with planning in areas like housing, land use, education, health and the environment.
  7. To do all such other things as are conducive to or incidental to the attainment of any of the above objects.






More to come :)

Groups audience: 
- Private group -
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