Te Rātā Atawhai, the Charities Registration Board's statement on Family First Court of Appeal decision

Published 27 August 2020

The appeal to the Court of Appeal  by Family First (the Society) of the High Court’s decision has been upheld.

In 2017, Te Rātā Atawhai, the Charities Registration Board decided that the Society no longer qualified to be a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005.

The Society appealed to the High Court.  In 2018, the High Court confirmed the Board’s decision that Society’s purposes are not exclusively charitable.  The Society appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal on 27 August 2020 held in a majority decision that the Society qualifies for registration.

As the decision-maker, the Board does not have an active role in appeals.

In this case, the Attorney-General was joined as a party, reflecting their role as the ‘protector of charities’. Any decision to appeal the Court of Appeal’s judgment sits with the Attorney-General.

Role of the Board

The role of the Board is to maintain the integrity of the Charities Register by ensuring that entities on the Charities Register qualify for registration. The Board makes charities registration decisions based on the facts before it, applying the relevant statutory and case law, and maintaining consistency of its approach with previous decisions.

A purpose is charitable if it advances a public benefit in a way that is analogous to cases that have previously been held to be charitable.

View the Court's decision here.(external link)

An update on this decision can be found here.(external link)