PGC sets up charitable trust for Christchurch staff and families after earthquake, George Kerr donates NZ$100,000

PGC sets up charitable trust for Christchurch staff and families after earthquake, George Kerr donates NZ$100,000

Read PGC's statement below:

Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC) today advised that it has established a charitable trust (to be known as the “PGC Earthquake Fund”) as a way to further help and support the long term needs of those affected by the collapse of the Cambridge Terrace building resulting from the earthquake on 22 February.

The Trust will also accept donations into the “PGC Earthquake Fund”, account number 
020 800 0849782 000 at any BNZ branch around the country, or online.

Details are on PGC group (PGC, Perpetual Group, Building Society Holdings Limited, Combined Building Society, MARAC, CBS Canterbury and Southern Cross) websites; and in Combined Building Society branches (CBS Canterbury and Southern Cross). More information will be available on PGC group websites shortly.

Major PGC shareholder and Christchurch born director George Kerr has made an initial contribution of $100,000. PGC Board and management have pledged donations and many PGC staff have expressed a strong desire to further help their Christchurch colleagues.

It is expected that shareholders, staff and investors who are part of the PGC family will identify strongly with the plight of the children and families who have suffered injury or lost loved ones as a result of this tragic event.

The company’s Chief Executive, Jeff Greenslade, said: “We have staff unaccounted for and some seriously injured; their family and friends are also in need of support. Whilst we have been amazed at the resilience of our people, they require assistance - we hope that this Trust will go some way to providing them with the help they need.

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This is a great initiative and one I will donate to having spent a number of years in the trust industry however I will be seeking confirmation that it is inded a charitable trust as I doubt they will receive charitable status based on case law.

The Oppenheimer Case set this precedent some years ago - see extract below.

The refusal to grant charitable status to a trust for the assistance of sick employees and former employees of a company is therefore based on the common law rationale that such a trust is not for the benefit of the public or a section of the public. This is because the beneficiaries of this trust are defined by reference to their employment with the company which is considered a personal connection and one not available to general members of the public. This is despite the fact that the beneficiaries may well number hundreds or thousands of people. In Oppenheim v Tobacco Securities Trust Co. Ltd[57] a trust was established for the benefit of children of employees or former employees of a British company. The potential employees and former employees numbered over 110,000. The court held that the common quality of the potential beneficiaries of the trust was employment by a particular employer and that as a connection through common employment does not make the group a section of the community, the trust was not charitable.[58]