Revenue Minister Peter Dunne today said he was delighted with the very positive reception for the new payroll giving scheme.
Mr Dunne's party, UnitedFuture, has long advocated payroll giving, and the party's 2005 confidence and supply agreement with Labour included the review of tax incentives to promote charitable giving.
"The fact that we have been able to lock it in under the present Government was great, and means the concept is here to stay," he said.
The scheme took effect on 7 January, with employers now able to deduct donations from workers' pay, and reduce their PAYE tax by the appropriate tax credit, and send the donations to the employee's chosen charity.
He said the scheme was purely voluntary and was "about social conscience at the levels of both employees and employers".
It has been publicly welcomed by a number of organisations, and is also being promoted within the Public Service.
"It's early days yet, but it's most gratifying to see a very positive response from many quarters.
"It really is a win-win situation - as other commentators have called it," Mr Dunne said.
"I think this scheme has the potential to make a real difference. Kiwis are a giving people. They're generous and they respond to the needs of others. This really is a vehicle that makes that generosity and kindness practical and simple to apply.
"I'm very proud of this as a really useful legislative change that will make a better New Zealand," he said.
"Again, I'd really encourage employers - be they in the public sector or private - to offer this initiative as it provides a simple and easy way for their staff to give to a chosen charity or cause," Mr Dunne said.
He said the new scheme was convenient for workers who will get the tax credit when they make the donation rather than at the end of the tax year, and it was low cost and effective for charities.
The scheme is available to all employers who file their employer monthly schedules electronically.
More information on payroll giving can be found at www.ird.govt.nz