12 August 2011
Kia Tutahi fails its first test
“Last week along with many others we signed the Government’s high level Kia Tūtahi Standing Together Relationship Accord
in good faith to state our commitment to a strong, joint community-Government relationship. Yet we find that on the same
day Government had made a decision at Cabinet to disestablish the Charities Commission,” says Tina Reid, NZFVWO
“The recognition of Government obligations to charities under its Accord has been ignored.
“Now we join with ANGOA and others in feeling let down and angry about this decision. This decision does not address the
issues raised by charities about wanting a review of definition and application of the definition of charities.
“In a hasty move to transfer the work of the Commission to the Department of Internal Affairs, we now expect this will
further delay the issues raised by the sector along with a call for a considered review of the Charities Act.
“We have further concerns about what could now also amount to the loss or curtailment of the Commission’s now
well-established education and capacity-building function. As an independent agency the Commission has committed senior
staff to establishing strong relationships across the country in the charities sector.
“We do not have confidence that these will be maintained at the same level from within a larger government department.
“There’s also been no consultation with the charities’ sector by Government on this decision, despite hundreds of
charities contacting the Minister of State Services to oppose the move. The decision is based entirely on cost cutting,
not on supporting essential community services at a time they are needed more than ever,” said NZFVWO President, Tony
“We totally understand the need for financial discipline, and stand ready to work with Government to address this, but
“The Federation will continue to campaign for an independent Charities Commission along with the importance of
addressing issues of definition and interpretation through the Select Committee process and within its own networks.”