The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Review of the Charities Act 2005

Key facts

The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector announced a review of the Charities Act 2005 on 24 May 2018. The Minister will be the key decision-maker on the review, with some decisions also requiring Cabinet approval. The Department of Internal Affairs will be the lead agency.

See the full press release on the Beehive website.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that the Charities Act is effective and fit for purpose. The comprehensive legislative review will focus on substantive issues arising under the Act, while recognising and building on the Act’s strengths.

Public consultation will occur later this year.

Review documents

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview of the charitable sector and the Charities Act


The charitable sector contributes significantly to New Zealand society. These charities contribute in diverse areas including sports, recreation, arts, culture and heritage, emergency and social services, health, education, religion, conservation and the environment. There are more than 27,000 registered charities in New Zealand. The sector has an annual total income of more than $17 billion and it is supported by more than 350,000 volunteers and 200,000 paid part-time or full-time staff.

Charities Act 2005

In 2005, the Charities Act was enacted. The Act aims to promote public trust and confidence in the charitable sector. It provides for the registration of societies, institutions, and trustees of trusts as charitable entities. It also places certain obligations on charitable entities, such as annual reporting. Being listed on the charities register entitles an organisation to tax exemptions on most income under the Income Tax Act 2007. Registration on the charities register is voluntary.

Link to Charities Act 2005 (Legislation NZ website)

Earlier announcements

February Charities Services newsletter

In the February 2018 edition of the Charities Services newsletter, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Hon Peeni Henare, outlined that preparatory work to begin a review of the Charities Act was well underway.

Read the newsletter or to subscribe to future editions of the newsletter. (Charities website)

Contact the team

If you can’t find the information you need on this page or if you have any further questions please email