[This post was updated on 02 Aug 2011]
It is with pleasure that we welcome ICC New Zealand (ICC NZ) as the latest chapter within the ICC family. ICC NZ is now registered with the New Zealand Charities Commission.
Four trustees have graciously accepted appointments to the new chapter. They are Paul Devine, who has been appointed director; Margaret Saunders who has been appointed Secretary-Treasurer; Pastor Neil Thompson, who is responsible for marketing and Mr. Brent Ennor. ICC NZ has opened a bank account, and Pastor Thompson is working on the marketing material which will soon be ready for distribution. Once this material is prepared, the trustees plan to share the news about ICC NZ around the two Adventist conferences in New Zealand. They tell us that service to others is their motivation.
Here is more background information about the trustees of ICC NZ.
Margaret and her husband, Owen, run a successful farming business in the South Island. Owen is also chairman of the local Adventist Church School Board and chairman of the Bainfield Adventist Charitable Trust in Invercargill, that provides residential care for 50 people. The Trust also provides financial assistance for child and youth-orientated needs in New Zealand. Margaret has been on two ICC Cambodia mission trips, while Owen has been on three, all coordinated by ICC Australia.
Pastor Neil Thompson is the New Zealand Union Conference Youth Leader based in Christchurch. Neil knew Merilyn Beveridge, former ICC Australia Director, from his work as a youth leader in Victoria, Australia. Neil is strongly committed to ICC and its mission and has also been on two mission trips to Cambodia, both of which were coordinated by ICC Australia.
Brent Ennor is a successful businessman based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Brent has a heart to help others less fortunate than himself. He has set up a trust called Mainland Christian Foundation. This is designed to assist South Island students to attend the church’s tertiary institution, Avondale College, in Australia and to assist local churches also.
In addition Brent’s eldest son and daughter in-law are actively involved in areas of the third world. Jessica works for ADRA based in Sydney, Australia, after completing an undergraduate degree in International Development. Reuben was one of the photographers for the recent Asian Aid documentary and has just returned from Africa and Asia as part of consultancy on media for ADRA Australia. Reuben is a very talented, creative photographer. This exposure through his family has provided Brent an insight into third world countries and their needs.
Paul Devine became involved with ICC a few years ago when Pastor Neil heard that Merilyn and Don Beveridge where traveling to South New Zealand and were looking for someone willing to accept the responsibility of starting an ICC chapter in that country. Neil was Paul’s church pastor at the time, and he suggested to him that this might be a challenge he would enjoy. Pastor Neil arranged a meeting between Merilyn and Paul. Since that meeting, plans have been underway to start a New Zealand chapter for ICC.
Paul and his wife Shirley worked for 6 years in the Western Pacific Union Mission based on Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands. As part of Paul’s work as the WPUM Education Director, he traveled through the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati visiting schools and staying in the villages with the local population. As part of his role he also traveled through Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. Later as a principal of a boarding school in New Zealand, Paul also traveled through parts of Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan.
All four of the trustees have bought into the way ICC operates its orphanages, which they see as a model that offers children the example of how a family was designed to operate. They also strongly believe in the micro-finance programs initiated in various Asia/Pacific countries where ICC has children’s villages.
New Zealand is a very small country, with a population of around 4.5 million. There is a Seventh-day Adventist Church membership of approximately 11,000. Operating a charity within guidelines of the New Zealand government can be a challenge. According to Paul Devine, “For a donor to receive tax deductibility, 50% or more must be spent in New Zealand. As we intend that all our money is to go overseas, minus administration costs, you can see we have a problem. As a result we plan to work with ADRA NZ on some joint development projects.
Paul says that after ICC NZ has developed a track record over several years, “the system” allows them to approach a member of parliament and ask them to sponsor ICC NZ when new entities are being considered for tax deductibility purposes. If approved then all donations would be tax deductible. This is their medium-term target.
It is a blessing to have ICC New Zealand join the ICC family! We look forward to watching and supporting the development of this chapter.
Thanks for reading!
International Development Director ICC