Here are the changes:- https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2022-06/Full%20list%20of%20changes%20proposed%20to%20the%20Charities%20Act_1.pdf
Interesting to see practical changes that may affect reporting for smaller charities as well as increased requirements for large turnover charities!
It is not new information that climate change poses as one of the biggest threats to the planet. We are seeing unprecedented changes to our environment. New Zealand became one of 33 countries to declare a climate emergency in 2020. Although we are a smaller nation, New Zealand has made consistent attempts to help combat climate change, such as banning plastic bags and enforcing and upkeeping the decision to be nuclear free. However, the real power for change lies in legislation, litigation and the unity of nations.
Climate change litigation needs to be substantial in order to make a difference. New Zealand currently holds responsibility regarding climate change under the United Nations (“UN”) Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. The UN Framework Convention allowed political pressure to be put on developed countries, as their actions have had the biggest impact on our environments state via greenhouse gasses.
Although united with other nations New Zealand is in a strong position to fight climate change, our individual efforts lay in the Climate Change Response Act 2002, our overarching legislation addressing this issue. There is a large scope of climate change litigation in New Zealand courts, which could suggest that it is a viable legal remedy. The world is currently in its worst state to date in regards to the environment and the threat to humankind. Consequently, the problems at hand are sometimes going to be too large for litigation to fully remedy.
In these instances, courts can compromise by awarding damages. With the three branches of government providing parameters over the courts power and ability to award these damages, and climate change being a very polarising topic that sees damages sometimes effecting the economic status of businesses, Judges have reserved making large calls regarding the climate and have left this down to politicians and world leaders. It was recently discussed whether or not these Judges should become more involved in traditionally government-made decisions. Although climate change litigation cannot always fully remedy matters, it is nonetheless a powerful tool that can be used in presenting ideas that challenge current standing legislation and political ways of thinking.
Climate change is a huge issue that does not hold one solution, but legal tools can be used in conjunction with one another to attempt to offer a viable legal remedy. The climate cases that come before the courts today allow for new ideas to be presented which can subsequently facilitate change and shift in perspectives.
Although legislation provides a framework and targets have allowed for hopeful results, it is the power of litigation that is our most viable weapon in the fight against climate change. It is our individual and intentional combined effort that will see the most positive change take place. With the cooperation of citizens, the incorporation of international treaties and the broad scope of litigation we witness in our courts, we have started to see more positive change and enthusiasm than ever before.
I have been in the legal industry for over a decade and have broad range of experience and skills.