27 Aug 2020

Family First New Zealand qualifies to register as charity, court rules

4:24 pm on 27 August 2020

Lobby group Family First New Zealand has won a battle over its charity status.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie

Family First's Bob McCoskrie. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

In a decision released this morning, the Court of Appeal has set aside a Charities Registration Board decision in 2017 to deregister Family First as a charity.

The court said the question whether Family First qualified for charitable status had been subject to intense scrutiny for years.

It said there had been several decisions since then about the issue.

In 2018, the High Court upheld the board's decision to remove Family First because it said promoting traditional family values was not charitable work.

Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said appealing that High Court decision was important.

"Family First appealed this decision 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," he said.

"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."