23 April, 2012
Commerce Minister, Craig Foss has released a discussion paper calling for higher levels of transparency and accountability from New Zealand's largest charities.
"Charities in New Zealand do excellent work. Most are staffed with volunteers and deserve the donations they receive," says Mr Foss.
"The changes under consideration will only affect the largest 20 per cent of charities in New Zealand and leave smaller charities unaffected," says Mr Foss.
Registered charities are currently required to include financial statements in their annual return when it is lodged with the Charities Commission. However, there is no requirement for the financial statements to be independently audited or reviewed.
The discussion paper, Auditing and Assurance for Larger Registered Charities, proposes that charities that spend over $300,000 a year should have their financial statements audited.
Charities spending between $200,000 and $300,000 would be required to complete an audit or assurance engagement.
"This paper considers how to make the industry fairer; we don't want a few organisations damaging the reputation of all New Zealand charities.
"Charities make a valuable contribution to society and it's important to get the balance right. They must be transparent and accountable but not subject to too much interference," says Mr Foss.
Submissions from interested parties are due by 20 July 2012.
Further information can be found at