The New Zealand Charities Commission has ruled that Greenpeace no longer has charitable status in that country.
The decision follows two previous cases in Canada where Greenpeace has also lost its charitable status.
The Commission determined that Greenpeace’s activities had objectives that were overtly political, which could not afford it a tax-exempt status. The Commission also found that Greenpeace’s sanctioning of ‘non-violent protest’ also effectively sanctioned illegal activity – which could not be deemed charitable either.
Already the decision has prompted more caution from the group worldwide.
In May of this year maritime charges against Australian Greenpeace activists were dropped. Greenpeace Australia’s CEO Linda Selvey told the media she was relieved upon hearing the decision, as “There would have been potential implications for both our charitable status and our ability to use ships for our important campaigning work.”
Large corporations in Australia can possibly breathe a sigh of relief. Companies operating in developing countries – such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea – can simply expect more of the same.