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Charitable Status


1 July 1989: After more than a year of biblical, mathematic & legal research Liberty Trust commenced operations as a New Zealand charitable trust, registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 for the purpose of advancing religion through teaching and demonstrating the Bible's principles of finance.

29 July 1989: Liberty Trust was approved as a charity & donee organisation by Inland Revenue.


8 Oct 2007: Liberty Trust was approved as a charity by the (newly formed) Charities Commission.


July 2009: One individual (not a member of Liberty Trust) threatened to cause us trouble if we didn't give in to her demands and she approached several government agencies telling lies about us.  

2 Sept 2009: The Charities Commission advised they are reviewing our status following an anonymous complaint from the public.  They would not let us view the complaint.

20 Jan 2010: Trustees met with Charities Commission in Wellington (following letters).


15 April 2010: Charities Commission advised of shock decision to remove Liberty Trust from Charities Register! 

11 May 2010: Liberty Trust lodged appeal of CC decision to High Court.


26 May 2010: Inland Revenue advised they are reviewing our charitable status.  See June newsletter.


28 June 2010: Trustees met with Inland Revenue in Manukau, Auckland. 

8 Nov 2010: The High Court Hearing is to be 1.5 days commencing 28 March 2011.


17 August 2010: Inland Revenue advised they will postpone their decision until after the High Court hearing.


8 Sept 2010: Affidavits from Dr Laurie Guy, Dr Frank Scrimgeour, Dr Viv GriggKelvin Deal (chairman) & Ps Bruce McDonald (founder) are lodged with the High Court pending Charities Commission's approval.  See September newsletter.

23 Sept 2010:The Commission advises they intend to oppose our application for affidavits to be presented to the High Court.


10 March 2011: Our lawyer, Ian Millard QC presented his 48 page submission to the High Court in preparation for the 28-29 March hearing.  You are welcome to read it here.

22 March 2011: The Charities Commission presented their 34 page submission to the High Court in preparation for the 28-29 March hearing.  The central thrust of the Commission’s submissions is that Liberty Trust is not a religious organisation. Neither do they accept that our activities provide public benefit and they continue to oppose the admission of evidence to the contrary. 

28 March 2011: The High Court meets today to hear our submissions. We ask for your prayers that the court will consider all the evidence available and we would be provided a full and fair hearing as they meet today and tomorrow. We pray that the Court will see our foundations, true heart, our words, and the effect of our deeds and that God would be glorified.

29 March 2011: Our High Court hearing has now concluded and the Honourable Justice Mallon has retired to consider her judgement. 

2 June 2011: The Honourable Justice Mallon produced her judgement at 4.45pm today.  Here is the conclusion: 


[124] I consider that the Charities Commission erred in finding that Liberty Trust does not have, as its main purpose, a charitable purpose. Liberty Trust was set up to advance religion. It seeks to do that through teaching financial principles that Liberty Trust proclaims are the Bible's financial principles. It seeks to teach those principles through providing a scheme which allows its followers (and anyone else who wishes to join up) to pool financial resources for the benefit of themselves and others. It reinforces the religious beliefs on which the scheme is based through its literature promoting the scheme and its other publications and teaching activities. It is not merely inspired by or conducive to religion. Its purpose, through this scheme, is to spread what is viewed as being the Bible's message. In my view the purpose of Liberty Trust falls within the term "advancement of religion" as it has been interpreted in the cases.

[125] I also consider that the Charities Commission erred in finding that Liberty Trust's activities do not exist for the public benefit. As a trust which has as its purpose the advancement of religion, the starting assumption is that it has a public benefit. The activities are not contended to be subversive to morality or a sham. It is not for the Court to impose its own views as to the religious beliefs that are advanced through the scheme. The benefits of the scheme are not focused too narrowly on its adherents. It is open to anyone and the money donated is "recycled" for the benefit of others. Overall it is a scheme about "giving" in order to lead a Christian life free of the burdens of debt.

[126] I therefore allow Liberty Trust’s appeal. The Commission’s decision is set aside. Liberty Trust is to be reinstated to the Charities Register.

The Battle is the Lords!  You can read the full judgement here

3 June 2011: Liberty Trust is re-instated to the Charities Register.