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Case Comment: Re Family First New Zealand

Re Family First New Zealand¹ has been a much anticipated case because it is the first case, as far as the author is aware, to have considered, and applied the principles set out so eloquently in the 2014 Supreme Court case of Re Greenpeace of New Zealand Inc.² The Greenpeace decision was fundamental with regard to charity law in New Zealand because the majority of the Court held that political purposes and charitable purposes were not mutually exclusive and asserted that “[i]t is difficult to construct any adequate or principled theory to support blanket exclusion” in relation to political purpose or advocacy.³ As a result, the exclusion of political purpose in charity law is now unnecessary in New Zealand. The High Court case of Re Family First therefore provides the first consideration of this contemporary approach. In summary, Collins J allowed the appeal brought by Family First against the Charities Board of the Department of Internal Affairs – Charities Services (the Board), in which it was determined that Family First was no longer eligible to be registered as a charitable trust. In allowing the appeal, his Honour directed the Board to reconsider Family First’s application, in light of the Greenpeace judgment, and indeed, this judgment. In arriving at that conclusion, Collins J provided some useful consideration of charity law principles.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Chevalier-Watts, J. (2015). Case Comment: Re Family First New Zealand. Waikato Law Review, 23, 186–189.
University of Waikato
This article is published in the Waikato Law Review. Used with permission.