Source: Taxpayers Union – Press Release/Statement:
Headline: Tobacco lobby-group breaking the law in claiming charitable status
13 JUNE 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Taxpayers’ Union is concerned that despite the recent appointment of Former Prime Minister Helen Clark as patron of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) New Zealand, the organisation appears to be breaking the law in its public statements that it is a registered charity.
ASH New Zealand was deregistered as a charity in January, for breaching the Charities Act requirement to file annual returns. Despite its deregistration, it continues to hold itself out as a registered charity on its website.
Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams, says, “We don’t think ASH should have ever been allowed to have registered as a charity in the first instance. It is little more than a political lobby group. Now that it is deregistered, it cannot continue to claim to be a registered charity. That’s against the law.”
“We have written to the head of Charities Services at the Department of Internal Affairs, who is responsible for enforcing the Charities Act. Action needs to be taken to ensure the public are not misled and that the law is enforced.”
Note: Under sections 37 and 38 of the Charities Act, falsely holding out to be a registered charity carries a maximum fine of $30,000. The letter to the Chief Executive of Charities Services at the Department of Internal Affairs is available on request.
021 762 542
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is an independent and membership-driven activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power.
The Taxpayers’ Union operates a 24 hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.
High-resolution images and logos are available on request or online at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/resources