The Supreme Court in Wellington has just handed down their judgement in Attorney-General v Family First New Zealand, and the Government and the Charities Board have won the right to deregister Family First as a registered charity.
“This decision is a sad day for the freedom of speech and belief in New Zealand, and sets a disturbing precedent. The attempt – some would label it a ‘witch hunt’ – by the Charities Board to deregister Family First is a watershed decision, not just for Family First, but for the whole country,”
says Bob McCoskrie, Chief Executive of Family First NZ.
“Family First has fought this attempt to deregister us through four court cases (2015, 2018, 2020 & 2022). It has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for both the charity and the taxpayer because of the threat it placed on us and other charities and our collective freedom to speak on behalf of our supporters in a civil society.”
“An overly restrictive or narrow view of what is in the ‘public benefit’ is likely to be of concern to all charities, many of which have a certain emphasis or point of view. The importance of freedom of expression and open debate in a civil society are ideals every New Zealander should be defending.”
“It also appears that certain views of marriage and family are now deemed out-of-bounds by the State. Deregistration of Family First is a legal victory for those ideologues who want to take power away from the family and give it to the state.”
“If Family First is deemed to be non-charitable because of its advocacy and activity, the real question is whether the Government will pursue other charities who operate in a similar fashion and do political advocacy – and who Family First have possibly engaged with during social debates such as cannabis legalisation, but are from the left wing side of political discourse. Will they now be targeted?”
“The answer to that question will be obvious to those who understand the real agenda.”
“The good news is that Family First will not be silenced and will continue to represent and be a powerful voice and advocate for the thousands of families who support us. This decision today will only embolden us, because it reveals just how far the state is overreaching their control and power to attempt to shut down free speech and certain points of view that it doesn’t like.”
We thank you for your amazing, enduring support.