High Court rules Family First is a charity

A charities lawyer says charities can now speak out on political issues without fear after a landmark High Court judgment overturning the deregistration of the lobby group Family First.

Sue Barker of Wellington law firm Sue Barker Charities Law said “hundreds” of charities would be affected by the judgment, which follows on from an earlier Supreme Court judgment last August ordering the Charities Board to reconsider its deregistration of Greenpeace. [Read more…]

Rachel Kellie Whitwell: Teacher censured after appearing in porn magazines

In its Media Release of 5 March 2011, the highly respected registered charity Family First NZ welcomed the majority decision by the New Zealand Teacher’s Council to formally censure a female primary school teacher for her “serious misconduct”  – involving her work as a porn magazine model – and ordered her deregistration (See 35 page decision The Complaints Assessment Committee v Rachel Kellie Whitwell. NZTDT 2011/7).

The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal ruled that the defendent, aged 29, must meet the CAC’s actual and reasonable cost associated with the disciplinary proceeding and pay half the Tribunal’s costs.

“Teachers have a special status as leaders and should be respected – especially by our children,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Modeling and selling naked photos to a pornographic magazine doesn’t meet that standard. Associating the photos with her profession of teaching children is also unacceptable.

“These sexually explicit photos of the teacher have been published and are now in the public domain. The combined role of porn star and primary school teacher simply doesn’t fit for many families. Parents would be just as concerned if a teacher was coming to school topless or teaching that pornographic magazines are harmless. [Read more…]

Graphic sexual content in winning children’s book defended by chief judge

Detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language and scenes of drug-taking are at the heart of why a novel was voted the best children’s book of the year, the award’s head judge says.

Ted Dawe’s Into the River won the top honour at the annual New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

However, its racy content has led one bookstore to refuse to stock it, and award organisers are sending “explicit content” stickers to all booksellers to warn potential buyers.

The book uses expletives including the c-word and depicts drug use and sex scenes, including one where a baby mimics the sounds of intercourse.

The chief judge of the awards, author Bernard Beckett, said Into the River was in the young adult category, for ages 14 to 18, and was aimed at those aged 15 and older.

The content that had offended some needed to be taken in context, he said….

Bob McCoskrie, of lobby group Family First, claimed the author and judges were out to “pollute the moral innocence of kids”.

“I think every New Zealand parent would be saying, ‘What were the judges thinking?’ This is an adult book that even adults would find offensive.”

For full story see:

Otago Daily Times

Graphic content in winning children’s book defended


Gay marriage would see ‘mother’ and father’ disappear – Family First NZ

Terms such as mother, father, husband and wife could disappear from the law if gay marriage is legalised, MPs have been told.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie told the select committee considering Louisa Wall’s gay marriage bill that Spanish law had recently replaced the terms mother and father with Progenitor A and Progenitor B.

“The US State of Washington is to remove the terms husband and wife from divorce courts,” he said.

“In France the words mother and father will be stripped from official documents, McCoskrie tabled 24,000 extra signatures to petition against the bill on top of 48,000 already presented at parliament.

“I see marriage as similar to the Treaty of Waitangi. It is historical. It is the foundation of our culture,” he said.

“It certainly shouldn’t be altered.”

New Zealand Aids Foundation told the committee that countries with less discrimination against gay people have lower rates of HIV.

“The internalisation of homophobia leads to a devaluation of self and a reduction in the ability of gay, lesbian and transgender people to make positive decisions,” said doctor Jason Myers of the Foundation.


Gay marriage would see ‘mother’ and father’ disappear – McCoskrie


APNZ. Buy Simon Collins

Note: Family First New Zealand is a registered charity (Charity No. CC10094)  and was registered with the Charities Commission on 21 March 2007.


Call from registered charity Family First NZ to politicians to change Anti-Smacking Law

Family First NZ, a registered charity with the Charities Commission, has yet again called on politicians “to adopt the ‘Borrows’ amendment which did not ban smacking but which clearly stated what was abusive and what was not.” It has highlighted cases it claims “Reveal CYF Ignoring Intent of Ant-Smacking Law”.

Family First protest

NZPA Images
Reference: 25524
Photograph by Tim Hales

Source: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/interest-groups/3/5

Cases Reveal CYF Ignoring Intent of Ant-Smacking Law

Media Release dated 18 June 2012

Family First NZ has released further cases highlighting how the anti-smacking law is being used to criminalise and persecute good parents.

“These cases add to the extensive list of cases already listed on the website www.protectgoodparents.org.nz and our documentary “My Mummy’s A Criminal” highlighting five families and the inaccuracies of the Prime Ministerial review led by Psychologist Nigel Latta,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“These latest cases show a disturbing trend. Not only are police resources being wasted on investigating ‘smacking’ allegations, but Child Youth and Family (CYF) are ignoring the intent of the law and are removing children from good homes where the parents may use a smack, are failing to adequately investigate the background of families before uplifting children and traumatising families, and are refusing to place children with extended family who may use a smack even when CYF acknowledge the expertise and safety of the parents. They are also ignoring the fact that in many cases, the police are seeing no reason to prosecute.”

At the time of the law being passed, Prime Minister John Key said “Good parents want to have confidence that they will not be criminalised by this legislation if they give their children a light smack. It sends a strong signal that the level of violence against children in our society is unacceptable, but at the same time gives parents confidence that they will not be criminalised for carrying out their normal parenting duties.”

“The law was always sold to the public by pretending that non-abusive smacking would not result in a visit by the police or a social worker to remove the children. But the cases released today – and previously – show the exact opposite is happening,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Parenting has been put on trial in New Zealand, and they have every right to be concerned about a flawed, confusing, and badly applied law.”

“It is significant that the ‘discretion’ clause only applied to police and not CYF. At least with the police, parents get to have their day in court to defend themselves – even if it means going all the way to the Court of Appeal as one of our cases highlights. But with CYF, they are unaccountable to the families.”

Family First continues to call on politicians to adopt the ‘Borrows’ amendment which did not ban smacking but which clearly stated what was abusive and what was not. This has been successfully used in other jurisdictions such as the UK and Australia.


For case studies see: