“People may hold widely different views on Family First. Not all leaders in the Network would agree with everything they say” said NZCN national director Glyn Carpenter.
“But there are deeper, more important issues at stake here” he said.
“If, as has been reported, the charities commission position is that “traditional family values are ‘controversial‘ and of ‘no public benefit’” and that “it is in the public interest to remove the Trust...”, then we would ask the Charities Commission to publish a clear statement about how they measure what is ‘controversial’ and what constitutes ‘public benefit’.
“We will be writing this week to the Commission requesting this information and we will publish the response when we get it.
“Family First is by every common sense measure a charitable organisation, working to strengthen marriages and families in New Zealand. And there is strong evidence that supports the traditional family structure they advocate for.
“Some of the things they say may be controversial to some people. But that is probably true for every organisation in New Zealand. This position taken by the Charities Commission must be bound by sound, transparent principles which apply equally to all. We need to be very careful before we allow state power to be used to limit free speech”.