Responsibility for policy: Director of Finance
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: November 2021
Next review date: November 2026

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  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato.


  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out the principles and processes that apply to the gifting and receipt of koha and donations by the University.


  1. The Fundraising and Philanthropy Acceptance Policy applies to fundraising undertaken on behalf of the University and philanthropic donations accepted on behalf of the University.

Related Documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:


  1. In this policy

donation means an unconditional gift defined by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) as follows: "An unconditional gift is defined as a donation made to a non-profit body, where the giver (or any relative) does not receive any goods or services in return for the donation. This carries with it no obligations to account for tax."

koha is a form of, and means the same as, donation and is made in the context of tikanga Māori.


  1. The University recognises that a koha or donation to or from a third party may be appropriate in circumstances where:
    1. there is a clearly identified relationship between the University and the recipient or donor of the koha or donation, and
    2. it can be clearly demonstrated that the koha or donation complies with this policy and
      1. is justified in cultural terms, or
      2. is justified in terms of its alignment with the University's Vision and strategic goals, or
      3. is a nominal amount, typically $100 or less.
  2. Personal relationships and obligations of University staff members as private individuals do not of themselves constitute relationships or obligations on behalf of the University in the terms stipulated in section 6a of this policy.


  1. Any queries about koha or donations should be directed to the relevant Business Partner in Finance and Analytics.

Payments which are not koha or donations

  1. The following types of payment cannot be treated as koha or donations because they have taxation obligations:
    1. a commercial payment for lecturing - this creates an employer/employee relationship and as a result PAYE must be deducted
    2. an invoiced or requested payment for the use of marae premises involving accommodation, food, drink and/or other services - this is typically a business arrangement
    3. any other payment that does not meet the IRD definition of an unconditional gift set out under clause 5 of this policy
    4. any GST inclusive invoice - by definition this is a supply of goods and/or services and not compatible with koha.
  2. Payments of the types described under clause 9 of this policy must not be described as koha or donations and must be charged to the appropriate expenditure transaction code (advice on coding should be sought from the relevant Business Partner in Finance and Analytics).

Provision of koha or donations

  1. Koha and donations may be provided by:
    1. direct payment to a bank account
    2. the gift of goods
    3. the gift of vouchers purchased via PCard in accordance with the Voucher Guidelines
    4. the gift of cash drawn via PCard by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori or delegated authority.
  2. Any provision of a koha or donation of a value more than $400 is subject to the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. Koha to be given by different organisational units within the University to the same recipient must be treated as one transaction and must follow the process set out under clause 12 of this policy if the total value exceeds $400.
  4. A receipt must be obtained from the recipient of the koha or donation wherever possible; it is appropriate to request a receipt for, or acknowledgement of koha to a marae.

Requests for koha or donation payments to be made to a bank account

  1. A request for direct payment to a bank account of a koha or donation must be made in advance of the koha or donation being given; claims for reimbursement after a koha or donation has been made may not be approved if qualifying criteria are not met.
  2. Requests for koha or donation payments must be submitted to the Financial Accounting and Operations section of Finance and Analytics via Kuhukuhu (Financial Services: One Time Supplier Payment) which requires:
    1. the rationale for the koha or donation (under 'description'),
    2. the account to be charged (transaction type 4304), and
    3. authorisation by the relevant budget holder.

Receipt of koha or donations

  1. The preferred method of receipt of koha or donations is by direct payment to a University bank account.
  2. All koha or donations received must be acknowledged, receipted, recorded and banked as soon as practicable.
  3. Venue and catering charges at Te Kohinga Mārama marae are set costs and are to be kept separate from any koha placed on the marae during pōwhiri.
  4. Koha placed on the marae during pōwhiri is at the discretion of the manuhiri as a part of the kawa pōwhiri and does not cover payment for the use of the marae.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Team Leader Financial Operations is responsible for conducting regular reviews and reporting to the Director of Finance with respect to koha and donation transactions to assess the appropriateness of the systems and criteria set out in this policy; factors to be considered in such reviews include:
    • the amount of transactions
    • the frequency of transactions
    • the recipients
    • the extent of coordination within the University (e.g., where more than one koha or donation is given in respect of the same event or activity).
  2. The Director of Finance is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
  3. Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.

Waivers and variations

  1. Only the Director of Finance or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori may waive or vary the provisions of this policy in individual cases where the value of the koha or donation is $400 or less.
  2. Only the Vice-Chancellor may vary or waive the provisions of this policy in individual cases where the value of the koha or donation exceeds $400.