Family First appeals to High Court over charitable status

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 has tried to deregister the group.

Board chairman Roger Holmes Miller said the Board considered 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.”

In a media release on 26 September, Family First announced it has lodged an appeal in Wellington’s High Court to fight this deregistration.

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 2015, Justice David Collins directed the Board to reconsider its decision in light of the 2014 Supreme Court Greenpeace judgment

In 2010, Greenpeace took the Charities Commission to the High Court to challenge the dismissal of its application for charity status. The court found its activities were more political than educational, and therefore not charitable.

But that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal in November 2012, allowing Greenpeace to apply for re-registration.

Collins told the Charities Registration Board – “…Members of the Board may personally disagree with the views of Family First, but at the same time recognise there is a legitimate analogy between its role and those organisations that have been recognised as charities.”

Read Family First media release

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News category: New Zealand.

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