Family First fights to remain tax-free charity

3News 8 December 2014
Family First NZ says it’s continuing to fight to remain a tax-free charity.

The group was advised in 2013 the Charities Commission intended to deregister the charity, citing Family First’s traditional view of marriage being one man and one woman as one of the reasons.

Family First is appealing the decision and it will be heard in the High Court at Wellington early next year.

The group had hoped the issue would be resolved after a Supreme Court ruling in favour of Greenpeace in August.

The court ruled that Charities Act didn’t limit advocacy from a charity unless it was no more than ancillary to its charitable purpose, and also found that a political purpose could also be a charitable one.

The commission is arguing the issue is about public benefit, Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First NZ, says.

“When a group who promotes the natural family as a fundamental social unit is deemed of ‘no public benefit’, you know a country is in deep trouble,” Mr McCoskrie says.

The group is disappointed it’s received a final notification of the intention to deregister.

The commission is ignoring the precedent set in the Supreme Court with the Greenpeace case and is spending taxpayers’ money on continued legal action, says Mr McCoskrie.

“It is now evident that any charity that speaks up on issues which are deemed incorrect by the political elite are in danger of being penalised.

“An easy way for opponents of a point of view is for them to use the Charities Commission to muzzle that opinion. That should concern everyone.”

Family First is a non-profit organisation which receives no Government funding. It has been registered as a charity for eight years.

Family First could be knocked off Charities Register
Newstalk ZB 8 December 2014
A controversial lobby group is hitting back at plans to remove its status as a charity.

Charities Services has notified Family First it intends to de-register it, due to its political views not being in the public interest.

National director Bob McCoskrie believes it’s due to their opinions on marriage – which he defines as one man and one woman.

He says when a group is deemed to be of no public benefit because they hold that view, then the country is in deep trouble.

Bob McCoskrie says while many people don’t agree with Family First, they should have a right to exist as a charity.

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