Greenpeace, the begging and vandalism arm of the Green Party, have just won back the right to apply for registration as a charity in New Zealand, with all the tax benefits that that implies.
A ruling from the Court of Appeal overturns an earlier High Court decision, and kindly lowers the bar for them.
“The environmental lobby group had applied to be a charity in 2008, but the Charities Commission rejected its application on the grounds that two of its objectives were political, and not charitable.
The commission had also said that Greenpeace might be involved in illegal activities, like trespassing, which could not be charitable.
After an appeal to the High Court, Justice Paul Heath agreed that Greenpeace should not be registered but made no ruling on any illegal actions. Greenpeace then took the case to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal today ruled that the object of promoting peace through nuclear disarmament and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction was a charitable purpose.
The court concluded that the public benefit of nuclear disarmament and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction is now sufficiently well-accepted in New Zealand society that the promotion of peace through these means should be recognised in its own right as a charitable purpose.
Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid said the group was delighted the Court of Appeal recognised that promoting peace and nuclear disarmament was for the public benefit.”
And they are recruiting more of those smarmy types who bail you up and demand money outside supermarkets, or pester you over the phone. Don’t think these are eager activists either, they are paid staff, on a commission based on how much money they can squeeze out of you.
Here’s the current recruitment advertisement, note what is stated as the most important duty:
“Our Outreach Campaigners are out and about talking to average Kiwis all over NZ. We go where the people are, either in shopping areas or door to door, to tell the stories of our campaign work, to show people how they can make a difference and most importantly to sign-up new long term supporters via a monthly direct debit.
Our street team work from 9am till 5pm and our door team work from 1.30pm till 8.30pm.
We need people in:
Auckland, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga, Christchurch, Napier/Hastings, Dunedin.”
Be warned. And don’t be fooled into thinking that the hard-earned money that the paid touts get from you will go to NZ environmental causes like eradicating possums or protecting kiwis:
“Greenpeace New Zealand, the local arm of the environmental lobby group, posted a 69 per cent drop in full-year profit after it made a bigger payout to its global parentand reaped less from donations.
Profit fell to $549,009 in calendar 2011, from $1.78 million a year earlier, according to Greenpeace’s financial statements. Sales slipped about 8 per cent to $8.3 million.
The Auckland-based lobby group increased its contribution to Greenpeace International by about $450,000 to $1.9 million in 2011. “
Of course if you prove yourself adept at strong-arming shoppers, you could be promoted to a better job, such as breaking into wharves and interfering with shipping.
“It’s very common for people to move on to more senior roles in our teams or other roles within Greenpeace.”