While Community Law Centres are often able to help charities/not-for-profits with legal advice, if they do not have the capacity or expertise to assist, then they can refer these organisations to Te Ara Ture: an online portal that was launched in 2021 to connect people and organisations referred by community law centres to volunteer lawyers.
Te Ara Ture can match charities/not-for-profits with lawyers offering pro bono legal advice related to the running of their organisations (e.g. charities rules, employment issues, governance, funding and property agreements, insurance, compliance and risk, disputes/conflict and law reform). Te Ara Ture is now accepting online applications directly from charities/not-for-profits, as well as referrals from community law centres. Te Ara Ture have an income test (organisations with annual income under $1 million will usually qualify) and will prioritise applications from organisations that work with people who are disadvantaged or with unmet legal needs. For further information please check out their website www.tearature.co.nz.
Although Baywide can and sometimes do assist community organisations our priority is our individual clients and we don’t often have capacity or expertise to take on the task of drafting or amending an organisation’s constitution or rules. Te Ara Ture is an excellent option for these matters (although I note there is no guarantee that a lawyer will choose to take up a particular matter).
There are also a large number of resources online to assist with rules and constitutions. For example, there is a Constitution Builder tool on the Companies Office website that provides examples of all the provisions required to comply with the new legislation:
And for Charitable Trusts there are resources on the Charities Services website e.g. Charities Services | Starting up and at community.net.nz e.g. Sample Charitable Trust Deed and Guide to its Clauses – CommunityNet Aotearoa
Charities Services hold free online clinics Charities Services | One-on-one clinics with Charities Services every Thursday
Community Net has a variety of great online resources, including on volunteers: