2021 Charities Services Annual Meeting
On 29 October, Charities Services held our first fully digital Annual Meeting with representatives of charities from all over Aotearoa. The Annual Meeting is a chance for registered charities to hear from Charities Services, ask questions and to celebrate the diversity of the charitable sector.
The Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, the Honourable Priyanca Radhakrishnan, gave an update on the work to modernise the Charities Act 2005. She also emphasized the importance of the partnership between Government and the charitable sector in being responsive to the needs and aspirations of individual communities.
Gwen Keel, Chair of Te Rātā Atawhai, the independent Charities Registration Board, spoke of the Board’s role and how it makes decisions. She also discussed the importance of evolving the charitable law framework to reflect a modern Aotearoa.
Maria Robertson, Deputy Chief Executive of Te Tari Taiwhenua, the Department of Internal Affairs, discussed our priorities to deliver statutory, regulatory and service excellence every day. This includes providing equity of access to public services and ensuring our services are responsive to whānau, hapū, iwi, Māori charities and communities.
Mike Stone, General Manager of Charities Services, reflected on our vision and focus on being risk-based and responsive. He also spoke of our continued desire to make it as easy as possible for charities to report annually, and our priority to further our engagement reach with charities that support Pacific and ethnic communities.
Attendees had the opportunity to have their say and to ask questions via an online chat box and break out rooms. These conversations help us understand issues that are top of mind for charities and the support that they need. Some of the main concerns we heard were about the difficulty some smaller charities have meeting the reporting standards, and challenges that charities are facing in a COVID world.