Lobbyists to seek charity status

Radio NZ News 7 August 2014
Non-profit groups originally denied charity status for being too political plan to re-apply after the Supreme Court ruled political activity should not make a difference. The ruling was a victory for Greenpeace, which fought through the courts for five years to regain the right to be considered a charity. Organisations with charitable status do not pay income tax, can apply for different grants, and their donors are eligible for rebates.

Lobby group Family First said it was de-registered because of its lobbying against the Marriage Equality bill. The national director, Bob McCoskrie, said they were waiting on an appeal against that decision to go to the High Court. He said after the ruling, they told their lawyers to ask for the case to be dropped, or to speed up the process. “It’s dragged on for a while now. It’s been totally unneccessary, and this case has really set a good precedent,” he said.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust also intends to reapply as a charity, after it was deregistered for being too political. Trust spokesperson Ruth Money said their temporary solution was to split the organisation – one side a charity working with victims, and the other a trust lobbying for law change.

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