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Title: The Wheels on the Bus Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 5th September 2016 - 5:15pm1473052500 Article: 18747 Rights
 
Family First is trying something 'different' this year. According to its website, its latest Forum on the Family will be going on the road from September to November. It's an interesting departure from form, which may be attributable to the fact that 2017 is a New Zealand election year and they probably want to reinforce or shore up their social networks after their stunned mullet impersonation over Easter trading law liberalisation. Well, what did they expect on the latter issue? They neglected it. It featured minimally on their webpage, there was no 'research report' or political coalition established to oppose it with others who objected to the infringement on workers rights that Easter trading liberalisation represented. Typical Family First garnishing, trying to deceive the unwary with the impression that it actually does care about issues other than parental corporal punishment, euthanasia, abortion, LGBT concerns and sex work. Oh, and pot these days. It may not dedicate as much time or column space to them, but they do 'care.' Anyway, Family First's Forum page provides a handy itinerary of where they'll inflict themselves for the next three months. For an organisation that supposedly represents the New Zealand general public and "isn't" a sectarian conservative Christian pressure group, many of their meetings appear to be organised at local fundamentalist churches, as one can see from the link to their Forum on the Family webpage. Amongst the subjects cited are "sex education" and "gender identity in schools," so they're still engaged in anti-LGBT mischief making. But why take my word for it? As one might guess, their subjects include 'sex education and gender identity in schools' and 'parental notification (anti-abortion) laws'. Curiously, given that the Christian Heritage Party has been dead for the last decade or so, many of the stops are in the tiny Reformed Church of New Zealand sect, as well as the shrinking New Zealand Baptist denomination, as well as sundry Pentecostal churches. The stops also include many smaller towns- Taihape, Te Awamutu, Wainuiomata, Waiuku, Katikati, Hawera, Stratford, Taumaranui, Dargaville, Kataia, Waimate, Waihi, Twizel, Invercargill, Gore, Greymouth and Westport. Which, one suspects, is where their main strength lies- in small, homogenous country towns. I'm not sure where the sense is in that- it certainly doesn't make much demographic sense, given that three quarters of New Zealand's population live in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin. Still, at least curious liberals won't be able to check up on the pressure group's antics. The Forums run from August 9- November 27. Check their website if you want to spy on them. Not Recommended: Forum on the Family:http://www.familyfirst.org.nz/ forum Craig Young - 5th September 2016    
 
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