Media Release: We need more than aroha to sustain our not-for-profits

3 May 2024 - Today, Community Governance Aotearoa launches a campaign urging New Zealand to reconsider how we attract and retain talent in the Not-for-Profit (NFP) sector.

Not-for-Profits face significant challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled professionals due to limited financial resources. Currently there is minimal ability under New Zealand legislation for charities to change the way they pay their teams to help differentiate themselves from the private and government sectors. This is hindering their capacity to attract top talent and effectively fulfil their missions.  

“We surveyed community organisation Chairs throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, they are concerned at the loss of talented staff and the affect it has on service delivery (not to mention the time and effort in recruitment). We are looking for mechanisms that work to keep our people who love and serve our Not-for-Profits, in our sector”, says Community Governance Aotearoa Chief Executive Rose Hiha-Agnew. 

Community Governance Aotearoa, backed by tax specialists Grant Thornton, are urging the Not-for-Profit/Non-Government Organisation sector to look at introducing wider salary sacrifice schemes. Under such a scheme, charities would be better positioned to compete with the talent incentives offered by the private sector. 

What is salary sacrifice? 

Salary sacrifice is an agreement between employee and employer that relates to how you get paid. It involves an employee receiving less income before tax, but in return the employer covers an additional amount by paying for certain benefits. Swapping a chunk of your pay for other perks. 

Australia are already doing it; allowing employers to offer such benefits as paying for childcare, mortgage payments, rent, school and education fees, and superannuation.

I love the idea that some of my taxes could be providing a targeted helping hand to employees of Not-for-Profits – to support them, their families and the good work they do in our community – seems like a no brainer to me” says Barry Baker, Not-for-Profit Specialist at Grant Thornton. 

The success of New Zealand’s charitable sector remains integral to building a more resilient and equitable society. 

“This isn’t about tax relief, it’s about Not-for-Profit sector employees being valued so they can deliver awesome mahi to the communities they support , says Hiha-Agnew. 

“If Australia can put this in place, so can New Zealand,” adds Hiha-Agnew. 

To learn more about the campaign and how you can support our efforts, please visit

Supporting Information: 

Contact Information:  

Rose Hiha-Agnew
Chief Executive, Community Governance Aotearoa
Mobile: 027 2333 113 

Barry Baker 
Partner, Business Advisory Services, Grant Thornton
Mobile: 021 797 221

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