Family First appeals against deregistration

NZ Herald 27 May 2013
Family First has lodged a High Court appeal against the removal of its charitable status – a decision the group has blamed on a single complaint which coincided with the same-sex marriage debate.

The Charities Registration Board earlier this month ruled Family First’s main purpose was political, rather than charitable, and that it would lose its charitable status unless it appealed by today.

An appeal was lodged in the High Court at Wellington this afternoon, which means the group can remain on the charities register until the outcome of the appeal.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said the group had been de-registered because of its views on gay marriage, which was legalised by Parliament last month.

He said the “highly politicised” decision to remove its charitable status followed an investigation sparked by a single complaint on August 28 last year – the day before same-sex marriage legislation was given its first reading in Parliament.

The two-sentence complaint, released to Family First under the Official Information Act, said the group was “a religious based pressure group” with the sole purpose of preventing human rights for non-heterosexual people.

Mr McCoskrie said the board’s decision was an abuse of power which showed government groups were being used to enforce an ideology.

He said the board had investigated only one charity which opposed Family First’s views, and that group was still registered.

“The Charities Registration Board should be consistent – but it’s quite evident that it’s not, and is using isolated complaints by disgruntled people to muzzle groups who challenge the prevailing politically correct view.”

Family First fights for charity status
3 News 27 May 2013

Family First to appeal deregistration
ONE News 27 May 2013
Family First New Zealand says it will appeal a decision that will soon see it deregistered as a charity.