Charities Services, Ngā Rātonga Kaupapa Atawhai is part of the Department of Internal Affairs, and administers the Charities Act 2005.
In a just published case report, its main concern was that the ICE Foundation operated for the benefit of a group of previously charitable companies known as the Icehouse Companies that were deregistered in 2010.
“After a review confirmed the group was providing direct advice and assistance to individual businesses, the Charities Commission sought to remove the entities from the Charities Register.” Charities Services says.
However, the ICE Foundation and the Icehouse Companies changed their rules, and introduced documentation to ensure that the Icehouse Foundation’s charitable purposes remained paramount in its operation.
“We met with the ICE Foundation and the Icehouse Companies to understand how the Icehouse Companies were structured, to ensure that they were supporting the ICE Foundation and not the other way round.” Charities Services says.
The Charities Services report says it also took measures to ensure the Icehouse Companies operated to support and benefit the ICE Foundation through financial and non-financial means.
As a result, Charities Services decided that the ICE Foundation should remain registered.
And the independent Charities Registration Board reviewed and agreed with their decision.
Charities Services says there are lessons to be learned by other charities that seek to raise funds through business activities from their charitable purposes.
“They must show that the business is capable of making a profit to go to charitable purposes and show that the charity does not provide any resources to the trading body at less than market rates.” It says.