Family First New Zealand
Family First New Zealand is a conservative christian lobby group in New Zealand. It was founded in March 2006 with former Radio Rhema talkback host and South Auckland social worker Bob McCoskrie as the national director. Its stated objectives are to "seek to influence public policy affecting the rights and protection of families and promote a culture that values the family."
It supported a petition for a citizens-initiated referendum to overturn the 2007 amendment act which replaced Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961, which had allowed for a defence of reasonable force in child abuse cases based on corporal punishment. The petition gained 324,316 signatures although only 285,027 were required for a referendum. When checked for invalid signatures there was a shortfall of 15,000 signatures. Sufficient signatures were then obtained to hold the New Zealand citizens-initiated referendum, 2009, asking voters "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?". In May 2009, Family First criticised the Government for spending $8 million on the referendum which they felt should have been held at the same time as the November 2008 general election. Although the referendum returned with 87.4% of those who voted voting "No", the referendum question was largely criticised for being a loaded question, specifically presupposing that smacking was part of good parental correction.
Family First produces "Value Your Vote", a brochure and accompanying website which are a voting guide primarily concerned with each party's or candidate's record and opinions on issues which are seen as of detriment to the family by conservative Christians, such as civil unions, prostitution and abortion. This guide has been published for the 2008 general election, the 2010 Auckland mayoral election, and the 2011 general election.
In July 2012, Family First established "Protect Marriage", a website set up to oppose the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in New Zealand after Louisa Wall's private member's bill was drawn from the ballot. The website reproduced the single "Marry Me" from the band Train without authorisation and the band is demanding its withdrawal.
- "Introducing the Family First Lobby" (pdf). Family First New Zealand. 2006-03-31. Retrieved 2008-02-05.[dead link]
- Laugesen, Ruth (2008-01-27). "Petition organisers close to target". Sunday Star Times.
- Johnstone, Martin (2008-04-30). "Petition for anti-smacking law referendum 15,000 short". New Zealand Herald.
- "Govt Can Save $8m By Fixing Smacking Law Now". Voxy. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- "Value Your Vote". valueyourvote.org.nz. 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "Press release: 'Value Your Vote' Website Launched for Families". scoop.co.nz. 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "Press release: Super City Mayoral Candidates Questioned on Issues". scoop.co.nz. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Band demanding removal of song from site. Gaynz.Com 30.07.2012: