Our givealittle campaign is due to expire on July 1 2018, but we are applying to have it extended, because of the huge extra legal steps our case has taken:
(a) In January 2016 Tanya Jacob and me (David Hines) applied to join a High Court case being filed by Jeff McClintock, another leader in the Secular Education Network,
(b) His bid failed, went to appeal, won, but on such bad terms he could not continue.
(c) In October 2016 Tanya and I lodged an independent claim in the Human Rights Review Tribunal. We chose not to apply direct to the High Court because it has an uncertain record in hearing human rights cases, not helped by Jeff's case.
(d) In 2018 we are still waiting for the Tribunal to hear our case - along with 130 other cases, because the Tribunal is grossly understaffed.
(e) So Tanya and I have asked the Tribunal to exercise its right to pass the case on to the High Court ... a strange legal right, but one which enables the High Court to accept evidence which we have already filed with the Tribunal!!
(f) In an exciting move, the Human Rights Commission said two weeks ago that it would support us in making this step. They are one of the parties to our case. So now we are waiting for the Tribunal to rule on whether to use its fast-track powers, to get us out of the the log-jam caused by their own shortage of staff.
So we are on the move again!
We could be in the High Court late this year or early 2019. We're optimistic, but not certain that this will be our home straight.
Thanks to the generous donors who have given $55,000 towards our court and legal costs. The $23,666 raised on this page (at June 25 2018) has been augmented by several thousand paid direct to our bank account and a 50-50 subsidy from our parent group, the NZ Association of Rationalists and Humanists.
We've already spent over $40,000 on legal costs and fees to date.
So we're appealing to new supporters, and asking former supporters if they can give us another boost.
I estimate we'll need another $40,000 by the time we go to court, but don't let that scare you. As for our first $40,000, over half of it will come from other sources.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 027-325-1382 if you'd like to know more.
The picture shows me with my dog Yum Yum in her secular education t-shirt, preparing to distribute Secular Education pamphlets around Auckland. My hair a bit whiter than when we launched this campaign.
Meanwhile Tanya and her dog have been running similar campaigns in Christchurch and elsewhere.