Kia ora All,
How are you? We are cruising towards the middle of the year and in this email wanted to give lots of free content, some updates on Impact Sector events, training, seeds and more – this email goes to 764 of you and should give a little insight into what I am up to! Feel free to forward it on to add value to others, and if you received this after being sent the email, just let me know if you would like to be added to the list.
Last week attended the largest governance conference in New Zealand put on by the Institute of Directors over two days for 600 – a summary of every session is here so you can learn from the 55 speakers as well! For those of you into LinkedIn, the post is here to tag others in – lots of comments on that post too!
The Select Committee has just reported back on the Charities Act Amendments last week over here. It may surprise some of you that I’m fine with the report and proposed changes as it seems to have been contentious for others. I do not share the same view that this is a bad thing. I know many have been calling for a first principles review instead, but my view is this – be careful what you wish for. There are many positions which are favourable for charities which could be up for consideration such as spiritual groups qualifying as charities and the tax exemptions for companies owned by charities. A true first principles review would reconsider those matters too. That is why I am not opposed to the position taken and am glad the Select Committee agreed with some of my – and many others – submissions regarding a tightening of the definition of who is an officer and not requiring a yearly report on reviewing rules. Let’s move on, and work with the tools we have been given.
Am trying to model the reporting on impact that I ask clients to consider providing – in the last 12 months we have assisted around 40 charities to set up, and also helped 8 start-ups raising between 1-2million each. Diverse areas to be across but our umbrella is purpose and impact which means that we support charities + business across our team of lawyers while also having other specialists among the 80 in our firm such as property, employment, disputes etc.
Spinoff recently published my article on Greenwashing and developments on reporting here.
This Friday have another “Ask Me Anything” session on Zoom – I need some more questions or sign up here and ask them in person.. You can watch the last one I did over here. This is an experiment, could be the last one?!
Also on Friday another session – our 15th or so – for Incorporated Societies – these are free monthly sessions that go for an hour outlining the top 10 things that will change and you can sign up for this one here. Lots more info is at our information hub over here including more than 100 FAQs, videos and articles.
Director Duties – Select Committee just reported back – last night – on proposed changes to Section 131 here. In summary, section 131 of the Companies Act sets out a primary duty of Directors, to act in the best interests of the Company. Dr Duncan Webb MP proposed some clarifications that Directors should consider other factors than shareholder returns, such as the Environment, Employees and the Treaty. The Select Committee decided to propose change but not go that far, instead advocating for the words to be “To avoid doubt, in considering the best interests of a company or holding company for the purposes of this section, a director may consider matters other than the maximisation of profit.” Our view is this is a helpful addition – but it is a controversial one as some argue no change is required! Either way, it shows how increasingly Directors will need to bear in mind more than shareholders, and consider stakeholders as well. I did a post on this on LinkedIn here.
For Seeds am rebranding logo so don’t be surprised if you see this showing up in future! Exciting times and thanks to Jamie Small at Wordshop and Malin Wahlgren who designed it.
VolunteeringNZ just published a guide to demystifying Legal Language here, co-written with Julie Aitken.
On 17th May in the evening in Rolleston will be presenting two sessions – one on good governance, and one on the role of the Board Chair. Sign ups are here
Appreciated ChristchurchNZ giving a shout out to Seeds Podcast over here!
Last week presented two hours for Creative HQ in Wellington and their Impact Accelerator on legal structures for impact, IP protection and governance – if you would like the slides let me know as happy to share them.
This Tuesday in Christchurch, Thursday in Wellington and next week in Auckland am speaking at the Brightstar event for accountants on these topics:
Avoiding risks, staying safe and supporting your clients: legal advice for accountants
- Capital raising dos and do nots– key questions you should ask about your money raising options
• Contracts and the key provisions that you should be aware of
• Legal structure options – which are best? Companies, Trusts, Incorporated Societies and what this means for your organisation
• Director Duties: What do you need to know as an accountant in business – and are they changing
Flashback to Board Matters, a podcast series with 13 episodes that go for 10-15 minutes on governance and leadership – did you check it out yet? Boards you know may appreciate it.
These Good Governance Code workshops are coming up across the main centres – these are put on by Community Governance Aotearoa.
Have you seen this guide to fundraising by Kate Frykberg?
Recent article on “Funds” and how they work for organisations that do not qualify for tax donee status is over here. We’ve helped several groups set these up.
Seeds podcast now has 346 interviews – one of the latest is with Esha Chhabra, the author of “Working to Restore: Harnessing the Power of Regenerative Business to Heal the World” – it was a great conversation.
I just stepped down as chair of the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers Asia Pacific Board – check out their work in a recent set of articles here.
I am not yet talking about it but as a reward since you read this far, am spending a lot of time on planning of the Impact Conference for October.
A colleague – Peter – just retired after 48 years working here, so wrote this tribute to him and his influence on many.
His approach was shown last night by the fact that of the literally thousands of clients he has helped over 50 years, he chose to highlight one – a man who had led a difficult life and whose funeral was attended by Peter and only three others (including the funeral director). But Peter shared how he provided legal support to that person at the end of their life to have a will in place. A small story but poignant that of the multimillion dollar corporate deals, property matters, court work that went to the Privy Council etc he chose that, because it emphasised that our role as lawyers is to support people in their times of need and provide access to justice. Sometimes lawyers forget that, and reminders are always welcome.
A few of you received a meeting update a few weeks ago from 2021 from someone else who attended it – apologies for that, I understand from the person who sent it out it was their IT system moving to a new server.
That’s it for now, feel free to forward this on to others who it might help!