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Greenpeace again refused charity status as board accuses it of 'illegal activities'

The Charities Registration Board has again declined Greenpeace New Zealand's application to be registered as a charity, saying the organisation does not advance exclusively charitable purposes. 

The board said in a decision today it considers that Greenpeace has an independent purpose to promote its own particular views about the environment and other issues. 

"While Greenpeace of course has the freedom to communicate these particular views, to be registered as a charity and receive the benefits that flow from that registration, they must advance a public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable by the courts.

"It is the board's view that they do not," it said. 

"The board also considers that Greenpeace and its members are involved in illegal activities from which an illegal purpose can be inferred. Greenpeace's illegal purpose disqualifies it from being registered as a charity," the board said.

The former Charities Commission decided in April 2010 to decline Greenpeace's application for registration because it did not advance exclusively charitable purposes. 

The decision was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court by Greenpeace. 

In August 2014, the Supreme Court directed the board to reconsider Greenpeace's application in light of changes to the organisation's stated purposes and its own judgment.

Today's decision follows the board's reconsideration.

Greenpeace has 20 working days to appeal the board's decision to the High Court. 

Protestors on the Mermaid Searcher. Source: Greenpeace


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