1 complaint. 2 sentences.
A full-scale Investigation, and Deregistration
Hi <<First Name(s)>>
QUICK UPDATE - Appeal to the High Court regarding our Deregistration.
We received documentation yesterday from the Charities Commission that we asked for under the Official Information Act - and what we found shocked us!
On the day that we presented a petition containing 50,000 signatures asking for the definition of marriage to be maintained as one man one woman, one person made a 2-sentence complaint to the Charities Commission. They referred to the Commission's website as "sh*t", and then said the basis of their complaint was:
“That they are a religious based pressure group whose wole (sic) purpose seems to be the prevention of human rights to non hetrosexual (sic) people. I don’t see how the state should be supporting such an organisation by providing tax free status. EG, like Greenpeace.” READ the complaint.
Yes - that's it! This one complaint resulted in the Commission undertaking a massive investigation which ultimately resulted in Family First being deregistered – a decision which is now being challenged in the High Court.
Family First appeals against deregistration
NZ Herald 27 May 2013
Family First has lodged a High Court appeal against the removal of its charitable status - a decision the group has blamed on a single complaint which coincided with the same-sex marriage debate....
One Complainant results in deregistration of charity
Family First Media Release 27 May 2013
The Commission has also admitted that only one charity who has been on the opposing side of the debates that Family First has been part of has been investigated – the Child Poverty Action Group which was investigated in 2010 and continues to qualify for registration, despite their obvious political advocacy. In fact, they were in the Court of Appeal just yesterday taking on the government!! And conservation group Forest and Bird - also a registered charity - were in the Environment Court yesterday! But our political advocacy and our traditional view of marriage being one man and one woman warrants our deregistration, according to the Commission.
Other groups that Family First enquired about included Action For Children And Youth Aotearoa, Amnesty International New Zealand Inc, EPOCH, Human Rights Foundation Of Aotearoa New Zealand, Humanist Society of NZ, Agender Christchurch Inc, QSA Network Aotearoa, and Rainbow Youth Incorporated. None of these groups have been investigated. Note also that investigations can be initiated by the Commission itself - they do not have to wait for a complaint. The Charities Registration Board appears to be using isolated complaints by disgruntled people to muzzle groups who challenge the prevailing politically correct view.
Family First is challenging the selective approach taken by the Charities Registration Board which we believe is an abuse of governmental power.
Would you consider helping us 'fight with all our might' - both now and in the future - as we appeal this decision and as attempts are made by politicians to liberalise other family-based legislation - abortion, adoption, assisted suicide, and marijuana.
Thanks for being part of our support crew! Please note: Until we are formally deregistered (subject to Appeals, which could take up to 12 months or more), donations to Family First continue to qualify for the Donation Rebate!