Charities Services Ngā Rātonga Kaupapa Atawhai
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Re Family First

1 August 2018

Note: Family First appealed the High Court judgment to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was heard on 22 and 23 October 2019. The Judges reserved their decision.

This page introduces you to the High Court judgment on the appeal of Family First New Zealand. This judgment can be accessed through the link below. On 31 August 2018 the High Court released this decision and dismissed Family First’s appeal. Justice Simon France confirmed the decision of the independent Charities Registration Board decision that Family First is not qualified for registration as a charity.

The Board has made a statement of the decision here

The Board’s earlier decision that was upheld is available here.

This is the first substantive decision to apply the Supreme Court decision of Greenpeace of New Zealand Incorporated that held that advocacy purposes were capable of being charitable.

The High Court agreed with the Board that Family First’s purposes to advocate for its core purpose of promoting the traditional family unit could not be shown to be in the public benefit in the charitable sense. Further, the Court confirmed Family First’s other purposes to promote its views in relation to smacking, abortion, censorship and prostitution are not charitable.

The High Court also agreed that Family First could not be seen to advance education, although differed from the Board on its reasoning. Although Family First did publish a body of work from authors with academic credentials, these could not be seen as anything other than a method of presenting its advocacy to the public.


Court judgments