About the Charities Register

The Charities Register is a database of charities registered under the Charities Act 2005. The Register helps the public, funders and other users to make better informed decisions about charities they may wish to support financially, volunteer for, or whose services they may wish to use.

What is the Charities Register?

The Charities Register is a "live" database of charities registered under the Charities Act 2005. It currently holds up to-date information on over 27,000 charities.

Why do we need a Charities Register?

The Register will help build and maintain public trust and confidence in the charitable sector by making information about charities publicly available. Anyone can look at the Register online to find specific information about charities – for example, their activities, charitable purpose, areas of operation and financial position.

Improved public confidence

Registered Charities enjoy improved public trust and confidence because information about their activities and the way they use their resources is openly available on the Charities Register.

It provides useful information to funders, the public, and others who may need to make important decisions based on the information it contains.

Understanding more about the charitable sector

The Charities Register provides important information about the charitable sector in New Zealand, The Register allows anyone with an interest in charities and their activities to find out more about.

The ongoing collection of data on the Register helps government to understand the sector and make policy decisions affecting the sector and the general public.

How can the public use the Charities Register?

Members of the public look at the Register to find information about Registered Charities, including their activities.

What information is on the Register?

The Register shows the following information about each charity:

  1. name, address and unique registration number of the charity
  2. names of the current officers, and all officers since the charity was first registered
  3. the application for registration (including all required accompanying information and documents)
  4. the charity’s rules document
  5. the financial information provided in the annual return, and the annual financial statements of that charity as PDFs.
  6. the charity’s activities, beneficiaries and areas of operation
  7. each update to details filed by that charity,

The Charities Act 2005 allows for public access to be restricted to certain information and documents if it is in the public interest to do so. This means that in some cases, particular information is not shown on the public Register.

Are all charities on the Register?

No. Registration is voluntary.

What if you don’t register?

Charities can still operate but they will not be entitled to charitable tax status.

Also, organisations cannot use the term ‘registered charitable entity’, ‘charitable entity’ or any other term implying registration under the Charities Act 2005.

There are penalties for organisations that say they are registered when they are not.

How can the Charities Register help the public, funders and other users?

The Charities Register helps the public, funders and other users to make better informed decisions about charities they may wish to support financially, volunteer for, or whose services they may wish to use.

The Charities Register makes it easy for people to:

  • search for information about the services of particular charities
  • search for information about the charitable purposes of Registered Charities
  • find contact details of Registered Charities
  • find out where a charity operates, the sector in which it works, and who its beneficiaries are
  • find out how a charity is governed and who its officers are, and
  • access financial and other information about charities.