PulsePoint – Episode 4, April 4th 2024

Welcome to PulsePoint, Episode 4 – the latest media stories and research related to family and society that you need to know about – issues from both New Zealand and overseas that the Family First team have been monitoring and researching over the last week. It’s time to cut through the spin and uncover the real issues.

On this episode of PulsePoint:

1. The ACT party uses Easter weekend to push for the liberalisation of Easter trading laws.

2. A hospice wants to liberalise Euthanasia Laws to Include non-terminal patients.   

3. An Australian soccer team with 5 transgender players goes undefeated in a women’s tournament.

4. The US supreme court considers the harms of the abortion pill.

5. A Christian woman is fired from Starbucks over her Christian values. 

6. Family First celebrates 18 years of speaking up for families in NZ.

You can check out all these stories and more on our website FamilyFirst.nz.

We’ll keep watching the news… so that you don’t have to.


In this episode of PulsePoint, we’ll update you on these topics:

  1. The ACT party uses Easter weekend to push for the liberalisation of Easter trading laws.
  2. A Hospice Wants to Liberalise Euthanasia Laws to Include Non-Terminal Patients
  3. An Australian soccer team with 5 transgender players goes undefeated in a women’s tournament.
  4. The US supreme court considers the harms of the abortion pill.
  5. A Christian woman is fired from Starbucks over her Christian values.
  6. And finally, Family First celebrates 18 years of speaking up for families in NZ.

Intro: Welcome to PulsePoint – the LATEST media stories AND research related to family and society that YOU need to know about from both New Zealand AND overseas. Let’s cut through the spin and uncover the REAL issues.

I’m Tumby Stowers.

1.Over the Easter weekend, rather than celebrating the religious significance of the weekend as many New Zealanders were, the ACT party was using it to push for the liberalisation of Easter trading laws.


National leader Christopher Luxon also made a pledge during Easter last year to review the laws.


In response to this latest call, Family First put out a media statement rejecting any liberalisation of Easter trading laws.

Economic improvement needs to be finely balanced with family and community time. Anzac Day, Easter, and Christmas remain as the few times when the whole country stops and takes a break.

How long before attempts are made to liberalise trading laws around Anzac Day and Christmas day.

Public holidays are a social good. Poll after poll has shown that both parents and children want to spend more time doing family things like picnics and holidays together. However, this is becoming increasingly difficult as the retail industry is required to work almost every day of the year.

Significantly we are aware of some major retail chains who do not open on Easter Sunday even in areas where they are allowed to.

This is not an issue about choice, as the ACT party is trying to argue. For many workers, they don’t have the luxury of choice as to whether they work or not. Coercion to work will be a very real threat.

Tourists will be fine. Many countries have public holidays with shops closed, and tourists accepting it as part of the local culture and identity. We should keep the Easter culture, for the sake of families.

2. Also over the Easter weekend, the state broadcaster 1News did a 2-part series on calls to expand the criteria for our new euthanasia laws which came into effect in 2021 after the referendum. But 1News’ general messaging was NOT about possible abuses of the law, concerns about coercion, depression affecting the decision-making capacity of the patient, or patients feeling not a right to die but a ‘duty to die’.

The overall emphasis was on why the law should be liberalised in the upcoming review.

Disturbingly, it included calls from Totara Hospice in South Auckland – the only hospice in New Zealand to allow euthanasia – calling for the removal of organisations conscientiously objecting to performing euthanasia, allowing doctors to raise the option of euthanasia to the vulnerable patients, and to remove the 6-month eligibility which would then allow for euthanasia for non-terminal patients!


If we want to see just how dangerous euthanasia laws can become, we need only look to Canada. Recent stories indicate that Canadians are now dying by euthanasia for reasons of povertyhomelessnessdisabilitya lack of access to medical treatment and mental illness.

As we know in NZ, access to the best palliative care we can offer is not always possible. Too many New Zealanders are unable to access acceptable end-of-life care. Also some hospitals have no specialist palliative care services at all.

We’ll continue to fight the euthanasia law – because nothing in the law guarantees the protection required for vulnerable people, including the disabled, elderly, depressed or anxious, and those who feel themselves to be a burden, or who are under financial pressure.

Read more on this issue
familyfirst.nz under euthanasia fact sheets.

3. An amateur Australian women soccer team known as Flying Bats FC has stirred controversy after winning a tournament. The team included 5 transgender women – in other words, 5 biological men in a women’s tournament, including one game in which one of the men scored 6 goals as part of a 10-0 win. They basically dominated a women-only tournament and claimed the $1000 prize.

Some of the outrage of this is that the old female teams that they were playing against were not advised at all that they’d be playing against biological males and there are claims that some of the women were told not to complain about this otherwise they would be reported to an anti-discrimination commission.

The Flying Bats Football Club president Jen Peden defended the club’s tournament victory and said the team stands for inclusion and “trans women belong in a women’s competition because that is the gender with which they identify.”

The facts are that biological men have physical advantages over women is every category, ranging from more stamina, heavier bone mass, more strength, greater lung capacity, more red blood cells and so forth. Valuing ideology over biology not only disadvantages women, but also puts them in serious physical danger should this ideology be applied to more physical or combative sports.

4. Two years on from the overturn of Roe vs Wade, abortion rights return to the US Supreme Court. Pro-life organisations have bought a lawsuit against the Federal Food and Drug Authorisation – the FDA – challenging its distribution of the abortion pill known as Mifepristone and its lack of critical safety standards.

Since 2016, accessing this do-it-yourself abortion pill has become easier with the removal of critical safeguards like no longer requiring a doctor’s visit for access, allowing it to be sent by mail, expanding its distribution to more healthcare providers, and increasing the gestational age limit from 7 to 10 weeks.

The latest US abortion stats show that early medical abortions account for 63% of all abortions that took place within the health care system in 2023. In NZ, the number is just over half of all abortions – and as you can see from the graph, for the first time in NZ, early medical abortions exceeded surgical abortions last year.

Since November 2022, NZ has allowed for medical abortions arranged over the phone, and increased accessibility of in-person first-trimester abortions.

In one case in the US, a woman named Elizabath Gillette suffered complications, went into labour, and delivered the fetus in its amniotic sack surrounded by blood in a bathroom.

Here is a clip of what she has to say:

Whilst abortion pills won’t go away, this current US lawsuit is a reminder that the fight to protect life in and outside the womb, and to protect the women from the effects of abortion, continues. We will closely watch this case.

5. A women was fired from Starbucks in North Carolina for her Christian values. Speaking to Fox, Taylor Trice explained that she respectfully expressed  concerns to her management about the adult content in the coffee shop’s Pride Month displays.

Trice said that a few of her coworkers agreed that a glass wall describing different sexual orientations wasn’t family-friendly. Another aspect of the Pride Month display was a chalkboard that included fringe pronouns like ze/zim, xe/xem – and even it/its.

Another problem arose over Starbucks’ enforcement of its preferred pronoun policy. Trice explained that she was willing to call customers by their names and avoid using certain pronouns as a sign of respect. But she would NOT use pronouns that contradicted the persons biological sex, as it violated her Christian values. She was fired for her stance.

Starbucks refused to comment specifically on this case, but a spokesperson for them  said “Starbucks has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment of any kind in our stores, and we’re committed to fostering an environment where everyone is welcomed, respected and valued,”

So Starbucks seeks to foster an environment of inclusion and tolerance for everyone, so long as you are not a Bible believing Christian who wants to tell the biological truth.

6. And finally, Family First New Zealand which sponsors and hosts this programme PulsePoint has just celebrated its 18th anniversary.

Formed in 2016, it has become one of the most prominent and trusted organisations in NZ for social conservatives.

CEO and founder Bob McCoskrie summarised the first 18 years in less than 1 minute.

Have a watch..

Congratulations to Bob and FamilyFirst. I count it a really privilege to be part of this team.

And THAT’S the latest episode of PulsePoint. You can check out ALL these stories AND MORE on our website familyfirst.nz. We’ll keep watching the news… so that you don’t have to.

See you next time.

Scroll to Top