|Family First Commentary 9 Oct 2020
The Labour government has already indicated that it will be working hard to introduce hate speech laws. While well intended because of the dangerous ideology behind the horrendous mosque attacks in Christchurch, the law will go well beyond that.How do we know? As you know, Family First has been fighting the Charities Board for the past seven years in three separate court cases to try and maintain its charitable status. This decision is now being appealed again (!) to the Supreme Court. But here’s the key point:
It is not the Charities Board that is appealing our win in the Court of Appeal. It is the Government!
And the reason that the Government is so desperate to shut us up?
Because we promote a viewpoint that they disagree with.
This decision by the Government to appeal our case is a threat for the freedom of speech and belief in New Zealand. The attempt by the Charities Board to deregister Family First is significant, not just for Family First, but for the whole country. In our view, it also reveals an approach that doesn’t appear to apply consistently to other charities who do similar style work – for example, the Drug Foundation and the Helen Clark Foundation who are both charities and are actively promoting to legalise marijuana.
Family First has fought and will continue to fight this decision because of the threat it places on us and other charities (and churches!) and our collective freedom to speak on behalf of our supporters in a civil society. The importance of freedom of expression and open debate in a civil society are ideals every New Zealander should be defending.