Family First and its charitable status

Tuesday 7 May 2013

The independent Charities Registration Board has made a decision to remove Family First New Zealand from the Charities Register because it does not meet the requirements of a charity, General Manager Charities Services Brendon Ward said today.

“At a recent meeting of the board, the members determined that Family First’s purpose did not meet the charitable purpose recognised in New Zealand law and set out in the Charities Act 2005,” he said.

“The Board’s position is that Family First’s main purpose is to promote particular points of view about family life.  Under the Act promotion of a controversial point of view is a political purpose.

“In making its decision the Board determined that Family First does not advance religion or education, nor promote a benefit to all New Zealanders as determined by the Act. 

“Family First maintains that it is beneficial to the public that it promotes debate and discussion of different points of view on family life.  However, the current legal position is that promoting debate on particular points of view is not a charitable purpose.”

Brendon Ward said Family First have been advised of the decision and the reasons for making that decision. Family First now has 20 working days to appeal the decision of the Board to the High Court. 

Family First New Zealand will remain on the register until 27 May 2013, unless the decision is appealed to the High Court. During any appeal, Family First would continue to remain on the register until a decision is reached.
1. “Charities Services works closely with charities to help them understand the rules and do what is needed to meet the statutory requirements for registration under the Act,” Brendon Ward said.
2. “Maintaining the integrity of the register is important as charities receive tax concessions for the work they do and New Zealanders need to have trust and confidence in this system.”

Charities Services (previously the Charities Commission) first began monitoring Family First New Zealand in 2007.  The deregistration decision is the result of a review commenced by Charities Services in September 2012.