Stuff co.nz 26 September 2017
Family First Comment: Hold your horses, Charities Board!
Controversial conservative lobby group Family First is appealing against being stripped of its charitable status by the Charities Registration Board.
The board’s decision was made public in August. It was the second time it had tried to deregister the group.
“Family First will appeal this decision as far as we need to because of the threat it places on us and other charities and their freedom to speak and advocate on behalf of their supporters in a civil society,” national director Bob McCoskrie said in a statement on Tuesday.
The group has lodged an appeal in the High Court at Wellington to fight the deregistration.
McCoskrie said the group had also successfully applied for an order that the board be restrained from deregistering the group until the appeal was heard.
The board can direct charities to be removed from its register when they do not advance a charitable purpose for the public benefit and it is in the public interest to remove them.
The group promotes traditional family values, is anti-abortion and considers marriage to be only between a man and a woman.
“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 last month read.
In 2013, the board made the decision to remove the group from the Charities Register because it did not advance exclusively charitable purposes.
Family First appealed against 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.