Media Release 8 Dec 2014
Family First NZ has received notification that the Charities Commission intends to continue its attempts to deregister the charity despite the recent Greenpeace decision, with Family First’s traditional view of marriage being one man and one woman as one of the key reasons for the deregistration.
“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. Family First gained approval as a charity eight years ago, has also passed two ‘audits’ – one as recently as 2010 – and have made no change to the nature of our operations. It appears that only the opinion of the Commission has changed,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
On the day that Family First presented a petition containing 50,000 signatures asking for the definition of marriage to be maintained as one man one woman, one person made a 2-sentence complaint to the Charities Commission.
“The timing of the investigation and final notification was also cynical in that the Commission held off the notification until after the final reading of the same-sex marriage bill, despite the Commission promising that their decision would be made at the end of January of that year,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“This was a highly politicised decision which is grim evidence that groups that think differently to the prevailing politically correct view will be targeted in an attempt to shut them up. At the same time, the Commission re-registered the National Council of Women – a decision we supported – despite the similarity of activities with Family First.”
“The Commission also seems intent on ignoring the precedent set in the Supreme Court with the Greenpeace case and spending taxpayer 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, is funded purely by donations and gifts from New Zealand families, and relies heavily on volunteer time and advice.
Family First will fight any attempts to deregister it and has lodged an appeal to be heard in the High Court in Wellington next year.