Thu 03 April | 4:00PM - 6:15PM | Crowne Plaza MAP

There are currently 27,045 registered charities in New Zealand. Lawyers intersect with not-for-profit organisations in both their professional and private lives. This seminar addresses key aspects of the law relating to charities from several perspectives, those of: the regulator, the litigator, the tax specialist, the auditor.  This will be a dynamic session with a panel discussion at the end.

Learning Outcomes

You will learn about the following current issues:

  • charitable purposes and public benefit;
  • the types of entities that can have a charitable purpose, focussing on the grey areas, such as golf clubs, social enterprises and professional organisations;
  • strategies for appealing decisions of the charities regulator;
  • the impending reforms of the financial reporting standards, the legal implications of those reforms and how they will promote transparency and comparability;
  • some financial myths; and
  • taxation issues –  the tension between the charities regime regulated outside the taxation legislation and charities acting as businesses.

 Who should attend?

Lawyers involved with charitable organisations in their professional and private capacities, those wanting to undertake pro bono work for charities, not-for-profit specialists and taxation lawyers.


Sue Barker
Director, Sue Barker Charities Law

Sue is the director of Sue Barker Charities Law, a boutique law firm based in Wellington specialising in charities law and public tax law. Sue has been involved in advising on charitable sector issues since 1999, and in private legal practice since 2002. Sue also has an additional 5 years’ experience as a chartered accountant specialising in tax. Sue has published a number of articles relating to charitable sector issues in New Zealand, and is co-author of the text, The Law and Practice of Charities in New Zealand, published by LexisNexis in May 2013. In November 2013, Sue Barker Charities Law was voted New Zealand’s boutique law firm of the year, and first runner-up for the Tax Law Firm of the Year Award, at the New Zealand Law Awards.

Dr Donald Poirier

Senior Registration Analyst, Department of Internal Affairs

Donald has worked for the Charities Commission, Charities Services and the Department of Internal Affairs as a senior registration analyst since 2007. Prior to moving to New Zealand Donald was a law professor for 30 years.  He is the author of Charity Law in NZ a 400-page e-book, which is available on the Charities Commission’s website.

Craig Fisher
Chairman and Audit Director of Hayes Knight Audit NZ Ltd

Craig is an accountant and audit specialist with a special interest in the not-for-profit and charitable sector.  He is also an experienced, passionate and pragmatic presenter of local and national presentations on such topics as auditing, accounting updates, fraud prevention, and governance matters. 

Craig has considerable audit experience across a wide variety of clients spanning commercial clients, not for profit organisations and schools.  He acts as auditor for a large number of charities and not-for-profit organisations.  He is a member of the New Zealand Audit and Assurance Standards Board; one of the two standard setting sub-boards of the Government’s External Reporting Board. In addition he is a trustee of the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ and serves on the committee of the NZICA Auckland NFP Special Interest Group.

Geoff Clews
Barrister, Old South British Chambers

Geoff is a barrister sole in Auckland specialising in tax, taxpayer defence and trust law. He is an experienced litigator and represents clients in all types of contentious tax and trust matters. His practice also includes advice on the establishment of charities and he has acted for applicants for charitable status. He has a significant involvement in promoting private and corporate philanthropy as a board member of the Auckland Communities Foundation.



Matt Casey QC