Gifts and Hospitality Guidelines


These guidelines apply to all University members engaged on University business.


These guidelines provide further explanation and recommended best practices for implementing the following Policies:

  • Gifts and Hospitality from Third Parties
  • Gifts and Hospitality to Third Parties
  • Internal Gifts and Hospitality


  • Approvals for acceptance of gifts
  • Considerations to be used by approvers
  • Departing staff events
  • Fringe Benefit Tax
  • Gifts Register


Approvals for acceptance of gifts

The following guidelines apply to approval for the acceptance of gifts (subject to the Gifts and Hospitality from Third Parties Policy):

  • Written approval includes approval by email
  • The approver is to copy all approval emails to the Gifts and Hospitality administrator for their faculty or service division
  • Senior LeadershipTeam (SLT) members may at their discretion impose lower monetary limits for approvals for their faculty or service division
  • Where a member has any doubts about the appropriateness of accepting a gift, they must discuss it with their manager

Considerations to be used by approvers

The monetary value of the gift is not the only factor in deciding whether to accept it.  Approvers must also consider the following:

  • The reasons for the gift being given and whether there may be an explicit or implicit expectation of favour in return
  • Whether there is any likely intention to develop an obligation by the person or organisation giving the gift
  • The value or importance the member would place on the gift and whether they are likely to be influenced by receiving it
  • Whether the value of the gift is both appropriate and reasonable for the circumstances in which it is being given
  • The frequency of the gift or benefit. Even a small gift or benefit given repeatedly may be inappropriate
  • Whether the receipt of the gift is likely to receive adverse publicity or that the intention could be misconstrued

Departing staff events

As a guideline, an appropriate way to mark the farewell or retirement of a staff member with two years’ service may be a morning tea function, while a staff member with twenty years’ service may have an evening function provided.

Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT)

There are FBT implications in providing benefits to staff. The University is required to return FBT to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) in certain circumstances. FBT is applied at a rate of 49% to the eligible benefits which can significantly add to the cost of a transaction. A fringe benefit gives some private benefit to an employee.

As a general rule, if employees can only enjoy entertainment at a set time, or as part of their normal employment duties, then the cost is not subject to FBT. Examples include end of year Christmas parties, working lunches and after work drinks. Common examples subject to FBT include gifts such as vouchers, hampers, gift baskets and flowers, food and beverages, corporate boxes and similar exclusive areas at sporting and recreational events, holiday accommodation, and membership subscriptions relating to entertainment.

There are general ledger codes set up to capture transactions which are subject to FBT. All transactions subject to FBT must be coded to the appropriate general ledger account to ensure the University meets its tax obligations. All FBT costs incurred will be charged back to the cost centre that incurred the tax. Please refer to the FBT section on the staff intranet for further information.

Gifts Register

A central Gifts Register is maintained on the staff intranet for gifts valued at over $100. A nominated administrator in each faculty and service division will update the register for all approvals advised to them. To facilitate this, all approval emails are to be forwarded to the administrator within one week of the approval. The Register will contain:

  • Particulars (including the gift type and donor name) and estimated value of the gift
  • Date of receipt for the gift
  • Identity of the person or body receiving the gift

The Gifts Register will be reviewed from time to time by the Director of Finance to identify any trends, patterns or risks that may cause concern and need corrective or preventative action.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Gift means a reward, gratuity or other consideration beyond remuneration and reimbursement. It may take the form of a tangible object or a benefit, for example, free use of a corporate box at a sporting event or privileged access to goods or services

Hospitality means catering and entertainment offered to clients, guests or visitors

Members means those persons who make up the University as set out in section 3(2) of The University of Auckland Act 1961 and includes University employees, students, Council committee members, contractors, sub-contractors and invitees

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Document management and control

Owner: Director of Finance
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 26 May 2014
Review date: May 2017