“We actually liaised with the group during the initial stages of their de-registration, so we’re stoked with their success. But the reasons for the decision by the Charities Registration Board confirm that the definition of charity is highly politicised, and groups that think differently to the prevailing politically correct view will be targeted in an attempt to shut them up,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
The decision by the Board says that the reason the NZWNZ is charitable is because of its ‘promotion of the status of women’, including its reporting to the UN on discrimination against women (CEDAW). “As with Family First, it acknowledges that their research promotes their message. But in our case, the Board labeled the research ‘propaganda or indoctrination’.”
Interestingly, in arguing that the NCWNZ is beneficial to the community, the Board refers to Greenpeace, and the Court of Appeal’s decision that because the government supports the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has enacted the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Disarmament and Arms Control Act, the public good was evident.
“That is a very dangerous basis to argue the definition of ‘charity’ because that means that if you are educating or researching on issues contrary to the view of the government, it will be argued that what you are doing is not for the ‘public good’,” warns Mr McCoskrie. “That is why our view on marriage has been a key factor in our de-registration.”
In the most bizarre argument, the Board argues that any lobbying or submissions done by the NCWNZ is not ‘political’ but rather ‘a means by which the NCWNZ advances it charitable purposes’ – the complete opposite measure than that which they applied to Family First NZ.
“We reiterate – we welcome the decision by the Charities Registration Board to reinstate the NCWNZ to the Register. We actually agree with the reasoning of the Board. But if they qualify, so should groups such as Family First and the Sensible Sentencing Trust. If we don’t qualify, then groups such as Amnesty International, Child Poverty Action Group, EPOCH, QSA Network Aotearoa, Rainbow Youth and many others shouldn’t either,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“We’re simply asking for consistency.”