Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Where your money goes

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  • Richard Aston,

    I give money to a guy thats often outside the New world supermarket in Newtown. He plays a saxophone he's made out of bits of bamboo.

    Steven - Was it the saxophone that got you or the fact it was made from bamboo ?
    Hell I'd give money to anyone with the balls to play a bamboo saxophone outside a supermarket .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 423 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    A popular kind of bamboo sax rejoices in the moniker "Xaphoon".

    I am glad to hear that mendicant xaphoonists are remunerated.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    mendicant xaphoonists

    You stumped Google again, you sly fox!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3583 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Reed between the lines...

    mendicant xaphoonists

    I just wanna throw my alms around you...

    yrs
    A. Blowhard
    Club Beggary

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4221 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Hot information from the Charities Commission as a response to all this.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    wow - that page from the Charities Commission website pretty neatly summaries the utter looseness of the rules governing charities in this country.

    No rules about how they choose to spend the money, no restrictions on how much a fundraising agency can charge, no audits of their financial statements required, no particular accounting standards or formats required, no restrictions on business arrangements that charities make with other companies, no rules about what is "reasonable" for a charity to spend on fundraising, no rules about how much you can pay staff, no "ratio" requirement because there are no consistent rules on how they have to present their financial information.

    Good grief. It's a scam just waiting to happen. I'm actually surprised there aren't more bogus "charities" intent on ripping off donors - or perhaps there are, and we haven't realised the extent of it yet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Hilary - I've bookmarked that site, many thanks.
    webweaver - your ultimate comment is, erm, right on the money-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The Charities Commission was set up a couple of years ago to shine some light on the charity sector in NZ as there was very little data. No one had any idea how many there were out there and what they did. All the CC require is some basic information about each organisation in return for a registration number (and they are also very helpful). However, even this timid start was heavily criticised in that whole nanny state stuff, so to ask more info or to try more regulation was unlikely in that environment.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Steven - Was it the saxophone that got you or the fact it was made from bamboo ?

    There were several factors. The being made from bamboo, and it sounded really good, but mostly because this guy was going to enjoy the pocket money almost as muck as I did giving it to him. I hope he wasn't involved in the fatality that occurred at the halfway house.

    And I went and put money in a street collection bucket today, just to buck the system. I was confident that the collectors, were volunteers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2286 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    A popular kind of bamboo sax rejoices in the moniker "Xaphoon".

    The one outside the supermarket looked like a telescope. He said that he had mad the hole with a cigaret lighter. The mouthpiece was from an old sax or clarinet and was held on with sticky tape.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2286 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Mostly it is asking you a question that if you say no to you feel bad:
    "Do you care about global warming?"

    If you say no to that one you are a fantasist. Global warming isn't a
    charity.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    While I deplore his use of an archaic title, I really appreciate the PM's scientific advisor taking a firm & scientific stance on global warming-
    but if anyone accosts me and asks whether I care or not (it's happened 3 times) I simply say "None of your business-"

    on a slightly different subset of this thread: the best collectors I know of - and yes, I generally donate to them - are the variety of people who sit at a small table in the outside entrance of the Oamaru South Hill New World. They never hassle: they smile if you meet their eyes, and smile even more if you buy-their-raffle/sign-their-petition/donate to their-almostalwayswellknown-cause, and murmur, Thanks! or (twice!) Kai te pai! or (once) Gracias! They just sit there, clearly identified, often with a neat wee display indicating just what specific thing they are collecting for...and they're all vetted by that New World management.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    That must happen at New Worlds all over NZ as that is what it is like at Thorndon New World. Regular collectors there and once a year I stand there too (we don't use a table). You get a really sore back and sore arms but it is a good opportunity to observe humans, and try and predict who will be the next donor. More likely to be the young, the old, the non-suited and the lower socio-economic.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Heh, I fit the last 3!
    All I can say is - well done New World - and the collectors!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    but if anyone accosts me and asks whether I care or not (it's happened 3 times) I simply say "None of your business-"

    It's everyones business..its global warming. It's a movement towards "commonsense". It's not a charity its an awakening. How can you get upset about peolpe trying to alert you to our horrific pollution problems that we are literally asking our kids to deal with us.

    Charities are an absurd antiquated stopgap for the large holes in our tribal umbrella but don't get that confused with the environmental movement.

    Unchecked CO2 levels will inevitably put an end to all charities and this blog.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    While I deplore his use of an archaic title, I really appreciate the PM's scientific advisor taking a firm & scientific stance on global warming-

    Absolutely agree , in fact it's a huge story given that his own appointed advisor is telling him to wake up fast.I thought he came in on a campaign of change.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    All I can say is - well done New World - and the collectors!

    I know New World in Freemans Bay is a franchise and suspect they all are, but a code of ethics may be established for all of them. Outside Foodtown where we live, a sign is displayed announcing No hawkers or musicians, and because of this, t'other half donated to the fine old guitarist playing cheerfully beside the sign yesterday.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5724 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    in fact it's a huge story given that his own appointed advisor is telling him to wake up fast.

    The man himself.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5724 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Does the Harold read Public address?
    I think so.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5724 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    With all due respect to Mr Brown from the Editor to boot

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5724 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The Howlett Foundation angle is still the most troubling part to me. I can't imagine a good explanation for the way it has been run.

    In the HoS story, Howlett himself has pled ignorance of its financial affairs, explaining that he's been in the northern hemisphere -- which makes the fact that Helson and Sunderland charged the trust $9000 in "rent" look strange, especially on top if the $39,000 in salaries the pair of them drew.

    I'd also be interested in a reconciliation of the $60,000 shown as being paid to the Howlett trust by Invitiation Only Events vs the $28,000 shown in income by the Howlett trust's own statement.

    Was there some other cost in the transfer from the events company to the trust that isn't immediately visible?

    And yes, it was nice of the HoS to acknowledge the source of the story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17967 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Our board (of voluntary board members) had a full-day board meeting yesterday and discussed the implications of this spotlight on KidsCan and the general current scrutiny of charities on our own organisation. Although we are mainly a volunteer organisation we do have some paid staff, and staffing and the associated infrastructure require significant and time consuming fundraising. However, providing effective and sustainable services does have a cost and we talked about how to make this information more accessible and transparent for members, donors and the public. And how records could acknowledge more of the voluntary labour and donated goods which are not usually recorded.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    One of the things that has appalled me, Hilary, recently is that businesses charge charities for their services. For example, the companies that are the middlemen for the phone companies , and who took what seems like a considerable cut for donations that were texted through for the Telethon. Why do more businesses not give their services for free, I wonder? Is it a sign of the times? Are we unrealistic to expect that when we give to charity, the money will get to those whom it's meant for? I find it all very distressing. I work for a charitable trust - ostensibly - and I know how much funding goes to covering our Head Office. On the other hand, all the money that our parents give to us goes directly to us, to buy educational resources. Through our employer, we have access to discounted rates for several services, but that's more about that there's 110 kindergartens using the same providers. We are charged as businesses for our phone and power and such. What a scam if charities, who provide for the "needy" are in the same position.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    we talked about how to make this information more accessible and transparent for members, donors and the public. And how records could acknowledge more of the voluntary labour and donated goods which are not usually recorded.

    Surely your records could show a comparison ( in monetary terms )of voluntary time and work achieved or used that isn't paid.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5724 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    One of the things that has appalled me, Hilary, recently is that businesses charge charities for their services.

    The thing that appalls me is the fact that this practice is considered ethical in the current businesses model. There are plenty of other monetary avenues business can follow without slotting themselves into the finance stream of reputable charities. However, when the public is so tuned to commercial consumerism, how else can charities get themselves noticed?.
    I'm sure there are plenty of businesses out there who do donate a hell of a lot of stuff for free to all kinds of beneficiaries, it's deductible. Way to get rid of surplus stock and let the hard working taxpayer take the hit whilst they bask in the glory of self richeousness.

    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4453 posts Report Reply

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