Media Release 3 Sep 2018
The High Court has delivered a judgment which upholds the Charities Board’s decision to de-register Family First as a charity.
The High Court has stated at paragraph  of its judgment that Family First’s “…core purpose of promoting the traditional family unit cannot be shown to be in the public benefit in the charitable sense under the Act.”
And at paragraph  that: “In relation to marriage, Family First’s model, to the extent it involves law change favouring the traditional family unit, would on its face run counter to human rights law which prohibits discrimination on such bases. Unless able to be shown to be a reasonable limit, the position advocated for would be unlawful, an obstacle to charitable status.”
And at paragraph  that: “The advocacy cases where charitable status has been acknowledged are scarce, and seem increasingly limited to purposes of almost universal acceptance.”
Family First does not accept the High Court’s analysis or its conclusions.
- Family First’s core purposes are different and wider than that described by the High Court.
- Family First considers that its objects are in the public interest in the charitable sense.
- Marriage between one man and one woman remains a perfectly legitimate and reasonable point of view, as indeed it has been for millennia.
- Freedom of expression and belief, breadth of views and reasoned debate can themselves be educational and in the public benefit in the charitable sense.
An overly restrictive or narrow view of what is in the public benefit is likely to be of concern to all charities, many of which have a certain emphasis or point of view.
Family First intends to appeal. The importance of freedom of expression and open debate in a civil society are ideals every New Zealander should be defending.