Government to end the charity rort

Turns out a lot of complaining is coming from sports clubs that have held charitable status now that Internal Affairs is casting a critical eye over the claim they are charities.

Plans to field New Zealand entrants in all 14 rowing events at next year’s Rio Olympics are threatened by a drive by government officials to deregister potentially hundreds of sporting bodies from the register of charities.

Rowing New Zealand, which supported this week’s Halberg Awards supreme winners Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, says the move threatens its plan to raise $1 million from philanthropic donors to send more rowers to Rio than it has fielded in past Olympics.

Swimming New Zealand has been deregistered already on the same grounds that its promotion of competitive swimming is “an end in itself” and is not “charitable”.

Its chief executive Christian Renford said the change might force cuts in water safety and learn-to-swim programmes. He has called a meeting with other sporting codes on Monday to discuss a cross-sports response.

The 50 members of the 117-year-old Cambridge Bowling Club are bewildered by a letter from the Internal Affairs Department’s Charities Services saying their club will be deregistered unless they provide evidence by Monday proving their activities are charitable.

Pimp the Poor expert Simon Collins is on full flight here, trying to make it sound like sports clubs will go broke if they are no longer allowed to claim charitable status.

Here’s the thing – I take donations, and I have to pay tax on those. ? And Whaleoil is no more a charity than a local bowling club. ?

Clubs can at least operate as Incorporated Societies, allowing them to dodge a whole manner of taxes. ?But no, the wailing has started, and through compliant media shills like the NZ Herald, they are trying to run one up the Government for being meanies.

Just be glad Internal Affairs isn’t considering backdating the decision – now that?would?kill these clubs.

However Rowing New Zealand chief executive Simon Peterson said losing charitable status would have a “significant impact” on plans to raise private donations for the Rio games.

“We have never before had 14 boats at the Olympics, and we have to find a significant amount of funding to make that a reality both for Rio and for Tokyo in 2020.

“We are very grateful for the Government support we get, but we need [an extra] $500,000 a year per eight. We need a men’s eight and a women’s eight, so we are looking for upwards of $1 million.”

Well, stop stealing it from the taxpayer then, and sizzle some more sausages, have funding drives, auction off dates with the rowers – whatever it takes.

But stop pretending you are a charity.


– Simon Collins, NZ Herald