OneNews 22 June 2015
Family First NZ is at the Wellington High Court today to appeal against attempts by the Charities Registration Board to deregister it as a charity.
The non-profit organisation receives no government funding and is funded by donations and gifts from New Zealand families.
Family First has led a number of public campaigns against legislation including the anti-smacking law and the same-sex marriage law.
The organisation says its traditional view of marriage is one of the key reasons for the deregistration and it will fight any attempts to deregister it.
When announcing in 2013 its intention to deregister Family First, Charities Services said Family First does not advance religion or education, nor promote a benefit to all New Zealanders.
Promoting debates on particular points of view was not a charitable purpose, it said.
Family First has maintained its tax-free charitable status while the appeal is ongoing.
Family First fights deregistration
3News 22 June 2015
Family First says it should not be stripped off its status as a charity because it provides controversial viewpoints.
The Charities Registration Board wants to de-register the lobby group but Family First has lodged an appeal to retain its tax-free charitable status at the High Court in Wellington.
The organisation’s lawyer, Peter Mckenzie QC says more than 33 members give more than $5000 a year but if it’s no longer a charity, there’s a risk the trust may lose donor support.
Recently, the lobby group’s profile has been raised because of its controversial views of same-sex marriage and the anti-smacking law.
Family First fight to defend title of charity
NewsTalk ZB 22 June 2015
Family First is in court today to defend what it says is its right to speak out on issues that may be controversial – and still be classed as a charity.
The Charities Registration Board wants to de-register its charity status.
Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie says its highly public campaigns against controversial legislation including the anti-smacking law and the same-sex marriage law don’t sit well with the board.
“Those say that our view is controversial in contemporary New Zealand society and therefore we don’t serve a public benefit,” McCoskrie told Newstalk ZB.
“A lot of groups are doing that. Our concern is consistency that if we’re an organisation that are deemed ‘can’t be charitable then other organisations that are speaking up on various issues like us – they might also not be deemed charitable as well.”
Family First appeals deregistration
NZ Herald 22 June 2015
A lobby group fighting to keep its status as a registered charity says it operates the way it always has, so it shouldn’t lose its status.
Family First is appealing a decision the Charities Registration Board made to de-register it in 2013.
The group said its opposition to gay marriage was the reason Charities Services wanted to deregister it.
The Charities Registration Board said Family First’s main purpose was to promote “particular points of view about family life” and the lobby group did not advance religion or education, nor promote a benefit to all New Zealanders, as the law required charities to do.
Family First said today nothing had changed since it was allowed to keep its status as a charity five years ago.
Its lawyer Peter McKenzie QC told the High Court in Wellington a review in 2010 granted continued charity status.
He said Family First operated in the same way now as it did when that decision was made.
The group was first registered as a charity in 2007.
Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said campaigns against controversial legislation including the anti-smacking law and the same-sex marriage law did not sit well with the board.
“Those say that our view is controversial in contemporary New Zealand society and therefore we don’t serve a public benefit,” Mr McCoskrie told Newstalk ZB.
According to the Charities Register, Family First claimed to work in the “community development, social services, promotion of volunteering” and “family/whanau” sectors.
The registration details said the group’s beneficiaries included children and young people and the “general public.”
Family First has also published views on social policy debates and politically-charged issues such as abortion, medical marijuana, sex education and prostitution this year.