Philanthropic trusts contributed more than $120 million last year to charitable organisations, education initiatives,
the arts and sporting programmes and the Government wants to see the sector better recognised for its efforts, Community
and Voluntary Sector Minister Steve Maharey said today.
Mr Maharey this morning addressed the biennial conference of Philanthropy New Zealand, the umbrella organisation
representing private trusts, foundations, and grant-making trusts. Philanthropic-funded projects make a real difference
to the wellbeing of New Zealand communities. As the first ever Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Mr
Maharey said he wanted to give higher profile to the role of philanthropists and their support for locally-devised
solutions to the needs of particular communities.
"Philanthropic trusts make an enormous contribution across New Zealand which has often gone unrecognised.
"Better promotion of the rewards of philanthropy, together with a genuine commitment on the part of government to
partnership is a commitment which I give as New Zealand's first Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.
"The Government is currently looking at how we can encourage more New Zealand individuals and companies to get involved
in philanthropic projects. A tax review of charities has commenced, with a public discussion paper pending.
"In addition we are looking at other ways to incentivise philanthropy, including the tax status of donations to tertiary
institutions which was raised at the Business-Government Forum in Auckland last week," Steve Maharey said.