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Defining a charity

When the government in its efficiency drive gets around to reorganising the Charities Commission, we hope that it will adopt a definition of charity that is more contemporary than the purpose currently in our 2005 New Zealand Charities Act, namely: “every charitable purpose, whether it relates to the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, or any other matter beneficial to the community.” This purpose was derived from the English 1601 Charitable Purposes Act, in a society where poverty was regarded as a crime, there was no public schooling, and no health or welfare system.

Why flag burning counts as freedom of speech

Lawyer Steven Price writes strongly in defence of freedom of speech in the Dominion Post (also on his blog). He was one of the laywers representing Valerie Morse in the Supreme Court when she successfully appealed her conviction for burning a New Zealand flag as a protest at an ANZAC Day dawn ceremony.

He points out that the protest at an ANZAC Day memorial was relevant:

Prisoners and the Right to Vote

Prior to 16 December 2010 prisoners who had been sentenced to preventative detention or imprisoned for a term of 3 years of more were disqualified from voting, or enrolling to vote.  After this date the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act 2010 disqualified people sentenced to any term of imprisonment after the Act's commencement from enrolling or voting.  Prisoners on remand were still entitled to vote, as were those sentenced to home detention.

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