Family First stripped of charity status

NZ Herald 21 August 2017
Family First has been stripped of its charity status.

The Charities Registration Board said in a decision today the reason was “because it does not advance exclusively charitable purposes”.

“The board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable,” said chairman Roger Holmes Miller.

“Family First has the freedom to continue to communicate its views and influence policy and legislation but the board has found that Family First’s pursuit of those activities do not qualify as being for the public benefit in a charitable sense.”In April 2013, the board removed Family First from the Charities Register for the same reason but that decision was appealed in the High Court.

In June 2015 the High Court directed the board to reconsider its decision in light of a 2014 Supreme Court Greenpeace judgment and its own judgment.

This decision represents the board’s reconsideration of Family First’s eligibility for registration.

Holmes Miller said the board’s role was to maintain the integrity of the Charities Register by ensuring that entities on the Charities Register qualify for registration.

“The board can direct charities to be removed from the Charities Register when they do not advance a charitable purpose for the public benefit and it is in the public interest to remove them.”

National director of Family First, Bob McCoskrie, said it was filing an appeal to the decision in the High Court at Wellington.

“This is a less-than-satisfactory procedure of trudging back to the same court,” he said.

“It seems that the Charities Board are simply hoping for a different judge and a more favourable decision. It is a highly politicised and inconsistent decision by the Board and will have a chilling effect for many not-for-profit charitable groups – both registered, deregistered and wanting to be registered – who advocate for causes, beliefs, and on behalf of their supporters, and often have to engage in advocacy at a political level, not always through choice but through necessity.”

McCoskrie, said the decision threatened other charities and their freedom to speak and advocate on behalf of their “supporters in a civil society”.

“It appears that certain views of marriage and family are now deemed out-of-bounds by the State. We’ll fight that political correctness and muzzling of free speech.”
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11908182

Charities Registration Board strips Family First of charitable status
Stuff co.nz 22 August 2017
Controversial group Family First has been stripped of its charitable status “because it does not advance exclusively charitable purposes”.

But the group is not going down without a fight, saying it will argue the decision in the High Court.

The decision by the Charities Registration Board was made public on Monday. It is the second time the board has tried to deregister the group.

“The board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable,” a statement from the board read.

“Family First has the freedom to continue to communicate its views and influence policy and legislation but the Board has found that Family First’s pursuit of those activities do not qualify as being for the public benefit in a charitable sense.”

Headed by Bob McCoskrie, Family First promotes traditional family values, and constitutes marriage to be only between a man and a woman.

In 2013, the board made the decision to remove Family First from the Charities Register because it did not advance exclusively charitable purposes.

Family First appealed that decision to the High Court.

In June 2015, the High Court directed the board to reconsider its decision in light of the 2014 Supreme Court Greenpeace judgment and its own judgment.

The latest decision represented the board’s reconsideration of Family First’s eligibility for registration.

In a statement, McCoskrie said the group was going back to court to challenge the decision.

“This is a less-than-satisfactory procedure of trudging back to the same court. It seems that the Charities Board [is] simply hoping for a different judge and a more favourable decision,” he said.

“It is a highly politicised and inconsistent decision by the board and will have a chilling effect for many not-for-profit charitable group.”

McCoskrie said they will fight the “political correctness and muzzling of free speech”.

The board can direct charities to be removed from the Charities Register when they do not advance a charitable purpose for the public benefit and it is in the public interest to remove them.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/96002410/charities-commission-strips-family-first-of-charitable-status

Family First loses charity status, vows to appeal to High Court
TVNZ One News 21 August 2017
Family First New Zealand says it will appeal to the High Court against a Charities Board decision to de-register the organisation as a charity.

The Charities Registration Board says Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable.

The decision confirms a 2013 decision to remove Family First from the Charities Register because it did not advance exclusively charitable purposes.

That decision was appealed to the High Court by Family First, and in 2015 the High Court directed the board to reconsider its decision.

National Director of Family First, Bob McCoskrie, says it’s going back to the same court.

“It appears that certain views of marriage and family are now deemed out-of-bounds by the state. We’ll fight that political correctness and muzzling of free speech,” he said.

“Family First will appeal this decision as far as we need to, not because we have to have charitable status to exist, but because of the threat it places on other charities and their freedom to speak and advocate on behalf of their supporters in a civil society,” Mr McCoskrie said.

He said it is “a highly politicised and inconsistent decision” by the board and will have a chilling effect for many not-for-profit charitable groups who advocate for causes and beliefs.
https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/family-first-loses-charity-status-vows-appeal-high-court

Family First stripped of charity status
NewsTalk ZB 21 August 2017
Family First has been stripped of its charity status.

The Charities Registration Board said in a decision today the reason was “because it does not advance exclusively charitable purposes”.

“The board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable,” said chairman Chairman Roger Holmes Miller.

“Family First has the freedom to continue to communicate its views and influence policy and legislation but the board has found that Family First’s pursuit of those activities do not qualify as being for the public benefit in a charitable sense.”

In April 2013, the board removed Family First from the Charities Register for the same reason but that decision was appealed in the High Court.

In June 2015 the High Court directed the board to reconsider its decision in light of a 2014 Supreme Court Greenpeace judgment and its own judgment.

This decision represents the board’s reconsideration of Family First’s eligibility for registration.

Holmes Miller said the board’s role was to maintain the integrity of the Charities Register by ensuring that entities on the Charities Register qualify for registration.

“The board can direct charities to be removed from the Charities Register when they do not advance a charitable purpose for the public benefit and it is in the public interest to remove them.”

Family First Director Bob McCroskie said he will be going back to court to challenge the belief that the group’s views on marriage aren’t of public benefit.

He said the decision has been highly politicised and will have a chilling effect for many not-for-profit groups.

A notice of appeal will be filed in the High Court at Wellington immediately.
http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/family-first-stripped-of-charity-status/

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