Family First has launched another subsidiary website. This one targets corporate social responsibility and inclusive businesses. Craig Young questions why Family First has launched ‘Woke Up’.

To some extent, I suspect Family First has started ‘Woke Up’ to anger people. Family First lost its charitable status several years ago and is annoyed that LGBTQ+ organisations and other progressive causes get support from businesses that regard such markers as engagement with modern market segments that have particular social values to accentuate their market share. However, labelling such corporates ‘woke’ is a risk-fraught strategy.

I decided to examine the Woke Up website and have a look at which corporates were criticised and for what reason. Air NZ, ANZ Bank, ASB Bank, Kiwi Bank, OneNZ, Spark, Starbucks and the Warehouse all get labelled as “extreme woke.”


According to Family First, their thought crimes include: Rainbow Tick certification and appealing to LGBTQ+ communities, supporting te Ao Maori and LGBTQ+ employee networks; enabling trans staff to transition in the workplace and accepting the scientific case for climate change.

Unintentionally, I suspect, Family First has handily provided LGBTQI+ consumers and our cis-straight allies with information that we can use to make product and service consumption choices that support our corporate allies. However, some of us might be curious about how Te Ao Maori and displaying scientific literacy about climate change have suddenly become “unchristian.” I suspect some mainline Christians will look aghast at those last two items too, especially those with significant Maori membership and engaged in Treaty responsibilities, and those that do recognise the scientific evidence that backs climate change.

There’s also a second tier of organisations that have LGBTQ+ employee organisations, support trans-employees transitioning, LGBTQI+ events, and LGBTQI+ affirmation awards. These are ‘woke or woke light’ and include 2 Degrees, BP, Bunnings Warehouse, Burger King, Contact Energy, Cotton On, Foodstuffs, Genesis Energy, Kathmandu, McDonalds, Mercury Energy, Meridian Energy, Vector Energy, Woolworths/Countdown and Z Energy

I don’t intend to name the “Not Woke” corporates, but it is striking that although they don’t seem to have LGBTQI+ corporate responsibility policies or community outreach initiatives, many recognise LGBTQI+ people amongst their staff and customer base in any case, as well as selling LGBTQI+ products. Apart from Coca-Cola, none of them seemed to actively endorse conservative Christian political candidates (albeit in the United States) or political positions either.

What did this exercise accomplish? Probably very little. It has spotlighted LGBTQI+ affirmative corporates and also the absence of anti-LGBTQI+ conservative Christian corporates in Aotearoa New Zealand.  I was disappointed by that. It would pay for us to know who is funding the likes of Family First or Destiny Church so we could encourage consumer boycotts of such organisations.

Aotearoa New Zealand has had LGB-inclusive anti-discrimination laws since 1993 and corporate equal employment opportunities before that. Family First has left this far too late!

Article | Craig Young.

Image | Family First logo – Source | Facebook.