Stuff.co.nz 6 Sep 2012
People who want to access Family First’s website are instead inadvertently being directed to the marriage equality campaign’s website. Wellington man Hamish Spencer purchased the domain www.familyfirst.co.nz last week. While one would expect the site to provide an insight into the charity, it instead redirects you to the marriage equality campaign’s website. Family First is staunchly behind a campaign to stop Labour MP Louisa Wall’s Marriage Equality Bill adopted by parliament. The bill passed with a majority vote in its first reading last week, but there is still a select committee process and two more readings to follow. While the organisation retains its domain name .org.nz and .net.nz, about 120 visitors an hour were trying to access www.familyfirst.co.nz, Spencer said. The domain take-over follows a concentrated campaign to shut down Family First’s ‘protect marriage’ website when it launched in July. The site was removed after it became the immediate target of a large-scale denial of service attack, but eventually ended up back in service. Although Spencer was not heavily involved in the Campaign for Marriage Equality, he had friends that were and wanted to do something to support their cause. He hoped that being diverted to the marriage equality website would give Family First supporters an insight into the other side of the debate.
Spencer purchased the domain for $42 last week after it wasn’t renewed. He thought that Family First had owned it in the past, but director Bob McCroskie said the organisation has never owned the site as the .co domain name was usually used by companies. Family First would not contest it, as “it’s not an issue,” McCroskie said. “None of our supporters or no one who knows us goes to .co.nz. It doesn’t affect anybody who knows us or supports us.”