Tamaki apologises for years of offensive remarks about gay people

Perhaps it’s a double epiphany, perhaps it’s political pragmatism, but Brian Tamaki has apologised for past remarks about gay people, and he and his wife (and leader of the new NZ Coalition Party) “are encouraging respectful treatment and understanding of gay people.”

“After years of anti-gay rhetoric, Brian and Hannah Tamaki are encouraging respectful treatment and understanding of gay people.”

Stuff: Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki apologises to gay community

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has apologised for years of offensive remarks about gay people.

In an extraordinary admission of regret, Tamaki said: “I said ‘I want to include something with the gay community’. We don’t want our children or our children’s children to carry those unresolved issues.”

“I think everybody remembers 2004,” he said, referring to the Enough is Enough marches against the civil union bill.

The self-proclaimed bishop voiced some regret at how he and Destiny had behaved in the early 2000s.

He said if he had another chance: “we’d do some things differently. It has never been my intent to cause hurt or harm.”

He blamed news media for what he called misconceptions about the church.

After the event, Tamaki said some people told him he shouldn’t have apologised.

“But I’m bigger than that.”

He said he was sincere about treating members of the Rainbow community with kindness.

He was asked if he believed gay people went to hell.

“I don’t go around talking like that. I don’t say that. I’ve never said that.”

In 2016, Tamaki blamed earthquakes on “gays, sinners and murderers“.

On Saturday night he said he did not believe homosexual activity in any way caused earthquakes.

A big step forward for the Tamakis, perhaps.

Tamaki threatens to cause prison revolts

A war of words is escalating between Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis and head of Destiny Church Brian Tamaki, with Tamaki threatening to cause “inmates in every prison” if his ManUp programme isn’t allowed in prisons.

This morning at Newsroom: Davis knocks down Destiny’s ‘Man Up’ programme

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has stamped out any hope Brian Tamaki may have held of winning government funding to deliver his Man Up programme in prisons.

The Destiny Church founder has been vocal about what he says is the success of the 15-week programme to help “dysfunctional” men with a record of violent offending and addiction.

Tamaki has repeatedly criticised the Government for not funding him to deliver his programme in New Zealand prisons, despite never making a formal application as part of the Corrections tender process.

In December last year, Tamaki marched on Parliament with about 2000 supporters, talking about the high rates of Māori recidivism and touting his programme as a way to reduce Māori reoffending and incarceration rates.

“For all of my efforts to try and get into prison, they shut us down,” he said, referring to the Government.

Davis said there was no verified, independent research showing the programme has achieved success, and lashed out at Tamaki, calling his claims duplicitous.

He said that, despite what Tamaki claims, Man Up has never been shut out of prisons, and has never followed the proper application process.

Tamaki seems to be fighting an ongoing battle to get Man Up into prisons, and has had varying degrees of success with delivering ad hoc volunteer information services over the years.

But while Davis is the corrections minister, it seems unlikely Man Up will receive any formal government contract to administer its programme.

“Why would Corrections allow a group talking about waging war on society, into a prison,” Davis said, in reference to comments made by Tamaki in the wake of the Christchurch attack.

Davis also said Tamaki had been duplicitous in painting himself as the victim, during the “circus” on Parliament’s forecourt late last year.

“If they’re going to lie about the small stuff, how am I going to trust them with the big stuff?”

Later in the morning:

Davis (@NgatiBird) responded:

Waitangi – inclusion, protest and handouts

It is to be expected that there there will be some sort of protests and attention seeking leading up to or on Waitangi Day. That is sort of a tradition. If there are protests the media will be on to them – they can sometimes dominate coverage, even though they are only a small part of proceedings.

Inclusiveness has been promoted in the form of earpieces for politicians so they can hear translations of speeches (presumably the ones spoken in Māori).

NZ Herald: Changes for official powhiri at Waitangi

For the first time, politicians and dignitaries will be given earpieces to hear the translated words of their hosts during the official welcome to Waitangi next week.

The powhiri was until recently held at Ti Tii Marae. It was moved over concerns the event had become a “circus” and moved to Te Whare Runanga on the upper marae at the Treaty Grounds.

The idea was that of Māori Crown Relations Minister Kelvin Davis, who has also introduced changes to the way the powhiri on February 5 is conducted.

“We’re trying to build on the good atmosphere that was generated last year, and the idea is to return dignity and decorum to proceedings,” Davis told the Weekend Herald.

“In previous years, whoever was the government would go on and be bolstered by officials and CEs and there’d be a big jostle for position, and the Opposition was just left to fend for themselves at a later powhiri.”

All parties had agreed to go on as one group this year for one parliamentary powhiri.

“We’ve organised the simultaneous translation earpieces for everybody. It’s about being inclusive and I think it’s the way New Zealand needs to head, where everybody understands what everyone’s saying so we don’t talk past each other,” said Davis.

“It’s a small thing but I think it means a lot to those people who in the past felt excluded. We want to celebrate New Zealand’s day, and it all started here in Waitangi.”

John Key stopped going to Waitangi events after 2015, and Bill English chose not to go while national leader, but Simon Bridges has decided to attend.

“I think every leader has to make their own decision. For me, it’s my first opportunity as leader to do it. I’m really keen to and I’m looking forward to it. It’s our country’s day. The Treaty of Waitangi is so clearly part of the fabric of New Zealand and it recognises the special place of Māori in our bicultural foundations.”

Jacinda Ardern will be leading a large Labour delegation, with most of their MPs attending. Last year she was the first female prime minister to speak during the powhiri, where she said:

“When we return in one year, in three years, I ask you to ask us what we have done for you”.

This year she and Shane Jones have announced $100 million investment to support Māori landowners and drive regional growth

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest up to $100 million to help unlock the economic potential of whenua Māori and build prosperity in our regions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced today.

“An integral part of any inclusive and successful regional economic development strategy lies with supporting Māori landowners to create new opportunities that will lift incomes and the wellbeing of our regions,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Access to capital remains a challenge for Māori landowners as the special status of their land means commercial banks are less willing to lend to them. I’m pleased that through the PGF, we’re in a unique position to be able to support these landowners.

“Funding will enable Māori to access the capital required to progress projects which are investment-ready and will ultimately support moves towards higher-value land use.”

“I’m proud we’re able to make this announcement today, which is a vital step in creating greater prosperity around New Zealand,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and other ministers joined the Prime Minister at Otamatea Marae in the Kaipara district to make the announcement.

“Supporting Māori economic development is a key focus of the Provincial Growth Fund.  That’s because lifting the productivity of Māori land will have enormous benefits for regional economies and it is an opportunity we cannot afford to ignore,” Shane Jones said

And Labour cannot afford not to promote Government handouts.

Also Investing to kick-start key infrastructure in Kaipara

The Government will help pave the way for future economic growth in Kaipara with a $20.39m investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to strengthen the district’s transport infrastructure and food and horticulture sector.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement at Otamatea Marae in Kaipara today.

”There has been a long history of underinvestment in Northland, particularly in infrastructure. The Government is absolutely committed to investing in the public services and infrastructure that make our country and communities strong,” Jacinda Ardern said.

On the inclusive front, Don Brash gets to have a say at Waitangi again: Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash to speak at Waitangi

Former politician Don Brash has been invited to speak at the lower marae at Waitangi, where he was once pelted with mud by protesters angry at his infamous Orewa speech.

Brash, who was at the time the National Party leader, was hit in the face as he spoke to reporters at Waitangi in 2004, just a few days after the speech to Orewa Rotarians in which he railed against special treatment of Māori.

He is now spokesman for Hobson’s Pledge, a group which campaigns against racial separatism or favouritism under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Also: Destiny Church leader Bishop Brian Tamaki to speak at Waitangi event

A battle of the Bishops is shaping up at Waitangi this week between Destiny Church’s Bishop Brian Tamaki and Te Tai Tokerau Anglican Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu who will be holding services at the same time at different locations.

The official Waitangi Day Anglican service is held at 10am at Te Whare Rūnanga on the Treaty Grounds.

At the same time, Tamaki will be speaking at Te Tii Marae. He is bringing with him around 2000 supporters, many of them the Tu Tangata Riders.

Reuben Taipari, who has organised the forum tent at Te Tii, where speakers including Don Brash will appear this year, said he had invited Tamaki to speak there but the invitation had been declined.

“Now that the forum’s full, of course, I think he regrets that he’s not participating. So his idea is to call up his own facility and attract all the attention over there. And I’m sure that he’ll get some. So good luck to him.

So there should be plenty for the media to report on.

Waitangi Day is on Wednesday. It is a big day for Māori in the far north, and also for politicians. There will be other less prominent events around the country.

 

Destiny Church demands access to prisons, Ministers respond

Brian Tamaki and his Destiny Church had a rally at Parliament demanding access to prisons with two programmes they have developed, but Tamaki has been told to go through the normal channels and make a formal application, and Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis has made pointed response.

RNZ: Destiny Church rallies at Parliament for access to prisons

An estimated 2000 Destiny Church supporters rallied at Parliament this afternoon demanding access to prisons for their rehabilitation programmes, and millions of dollars in funding.

The leader of the church, Brian Tamaki, says his Man Up and Legacy programmes have helped hundreds of people turn their lives around, many of whom have spent years in the criminal justice system.

Man Up’s website describes the 15-week programme as a link to a ‘brotherhood’, which helps men identify and understand issues in their lives, and work through them for a more stable future.

The Corrections Department said it had never received a formal application from Destiny Church to deliver Man Up or Legacy in prisons.

The Justice Minister Andrew Little said the church had also never applied for funding.

“I’m not trying to point the finger of blame here, let’s just understand what it is that the issues are for [Mr Tamaki] and his Man Up programme and let’s see if we can pull something together which helps the government achieve its objectives which is reducing family violence and reducing the number of folks going to prison.”

The Employment Minister Willie Jackson said if the Destiny Church went through the proper channels then they could be able to get into prisons and get the funding they needed.

“I think that’s the problem here is that they actually haven’t gone through a formal process in terms of applications, so let’s see what they come up with.”

Brian Tamaki however appeared unwilling to play ball.

“Go through the channels? Well how come the Prime Minister can assign $30 million without even consulting to the Papua New Guinean Government and they misused it, and they have billions of dollars for pine trees and I’m talking about just a little bit of money for people.”

“I’ve been waiting for 20 years and I’m doing the business without taxpayers’ money.”

I guess tithing is different to taxing.

Kelvin Davis responded:

Tamaki says that not allowing his programmes to be used in prisons is a breach of human rights and a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi. He insists he has applied to have them be used.

 

Folau fulminating and media mire

Perhaps I didn’t say things very well yesterday in The Israel Folau furore continues – there have been some positive outcomes as various people have spoken up against Folau’s archaic and insulting (but still very common) religious beliefs.

But very few if any people would have been hurt or offended if his small comment on Instagram had been like millions of other online comments every day and had been ignored.

The social media and furore gave the comments publicity they didn’t deserve, and that exposed people to offence and hurt that otherwise wouldn’t have been suffered.

Protesting and publicising the comments exposed millions to possible hurt and offence.

While it is a feature of modern media and social media, why did Folau’s comment get so much attention and opprobrium?

Folau is a rugby player. Until now his public utterances were not seen as important.

In comparison Destiny Church Brian Tamaki says ‘cry baby gays’ will go to hell

Outspoken Destiny Church self-proclaimed pastor Brian Tamaki has come out in support of Israel Folau, hitting out at “cry baby gays” and agreeing the LGBTQ community could go to hell.

“The Bible says hell is a possibility for anyone who doesn’t repent. Jesus didn’t apologise for offending people when speaking God’s word. If the gay community want to be accepted as a part of society then ‘take it on the nose’ like the rest of us.”

He then used a hashtag he made up, “#crybabygays”, to sign off the message.

Tamaki speaks to and tries to influence many people, but apart from a few passing mentions gets nothing like the criticism that Folau got.

However Tamaki is largely ignored as an attention seeking nutter, while the normally private Folau is plastered and blasted.

David Cohen at RNZ – Folau comments: Keeping an eye on the wider picture

It is easy enough to say Israel Folau was wrong to get all religiously high and mighty on social media about homosexual behaviour.

The question also naturally arises of how the mainstream media ought to be dealing with fundamentalist beliefs of any stripe in the first place – not to mention the perils of holding up people who happen to be good at kicking a ball, as also being liberal champions.

It has been said before – by this writer, in fact – that not only sports stars but poets, critics, movie-makers, playwrights and rock performers tend to make for notably unreliable authorities on pretty much all matters outside of their chosen field (if on that).

With only a few notable exceptions, they offer bad ideas on social policy, banal observations about economics and, yes, whoppingly ill-considered religious views, too.

Some mainstream commentators have used the controversy to anguish over the limits of free speech. In the news business, these are sometimes known as whyohwhyofwhyohwhy pieces – commentaries that rather skirt a fundamental issue, in this instance the question of fundamentalism itself.

Folau was, after all, simply giving his own, particularly rigid, Christian stance on homosexual behaviour. He also was expressing a view shared by many who take a severe interpretation of any of the three great monotheistic religions.

Threatening hell for all sorts of behaviours has been common for yonks, as anyone who went to a religion orientated school (or church) in the past can probably attest.

Christianity’s record in this regard is well known, notwithstanding the fact that plenty of thoughtful, devout believers, would argue the toss, or at any rate, question the focus on what consenting adults choose to do among themselves.

But the ultra-Orthodox stream of Judaism isn’t exactly known for sanctioning homosexuality (although Israel – the country, not the player – generally takes justifiable pride in being the most LGBTQ-friendly country in the Middle East).

And the ferociously anti-gay record in parts of the Muslim world, where homosexual acts are sometimes punishable by death, ought to make a western liberal blanch.

As the British diver Tom Daley recently pointed out after winning the synchronised 10m Platform competition at the Gold Coast tournament, no fewer than 37 Commonwealth nations currently have anti-LGBTQ statutes: a rainbow mosaic of bigotry.

But all hell breaks loose when someone known for sporting rather than speaking prowess has a comment dug out of the depths of the Internet and plastered all over the world.

The media can even lead the way. A more constructive approach (other than sporting associations to insist their stars learn a few social manners) might be to pause a while longer before dining out on any such comments made by celebrities in the first place, and try to keep an eye on the wider picture.

Sometimes fixating on just the one chance Instagram comment isn’t just unhelpful. It can even be a bit (sorry) sinful.

Expecting the media to lead the way on sensibly dealing with things like this is probably as futile as hoping to go to heaven when you die.

Whale Oil and Destiny Church fundraising

After recently raising something like $70,000 to pay for legal bills Cameron Slater at Whale Oil is testing the legal fundraising waters again in What would you do if the Leader of the Opposition called you a sociopath on television?

Perhaps Andrew Little should shut his gob….after all there was quite a considerable effort on my part to help several of his MPs across the line…and it was ok then for them to have an “unhealthy relationship” with me.

But what should I do readers?   

Should I sue his arse off him like Michael Laws suggests? Should TVNZ be a party to the action?

Slater has been highly critical of others (Colin Craig) for taking defamation action.

Thoughts?

Any lawyers want in? It would seem an easy case, and after he caved to Judith Collins I should think he might not want the distraction keeping him busy defending himself and cost him lots of money and on the way through give me a lot more publicity.

Is this something readers want to invest in via crowd funding the case with a share of any winnings is something?

Seeking partners and raising funds for political attack legal action is ‘innovative’ but a very risky investment. I’d have thought Slater would have had enough legal hassles by now without actively seeking them.

Perhaps he is looking at Brian Tamaki’s fundraising enviously. There’s a similarity between Destiny Church and Whale Oil, both are manipulating a devoted audience to raise money for their own benefit.

Last night Campbell Live showed Tamaki in action in Hannah Tamaki fronts on church’s stage donation.

Last Sunday, the congregation of Destiny Church showered thousands of dollars at the feet of ‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki in the hope of “qualifying for an unprecedented favour”.

DestinySeaOfMoney

They showed video of Tamaki asking for the money. This is what he said:

You will qualify for unprecedented favour, ’cause in due season shall reap.

Come, along here, and place it, and put it all up on, not the stairs up on here, on the flat.

Come come, place it, try and spread it out and put put the money there.

Come come come come come. Take it out of the envelopes and spread it, spread it out.

God’s told me how this should happen.

It’s going to be placed in the open, so it can, so it can swirl the aroma and the fragrance can spread through the place, and the atmosphere, and it can sit here, and it can begin to allow that to arise to God.

This is a clear message to every demon of poverty, every demon of poorness, economic inequality.

My God shall supply all your need according to his riches and glory, according to Christ Jesus.

My God, God that has blessed us, the God that has called Hallelujah.

The Holy Spirit told me to do this, last night.

He said “Spread it out! Put it on the floor. Let everybody see it.”

Still coming. Come come.

Campbell Live said the fundraising was for new carpet. In a six month old (already carpeted) building. Hannah Tamaki had tweeted:

Hype over this, yes we r excited we were able 2 raise the $$ 2 pay 4 our new carpet. & a offering 4 White Ribbon

Maybe there’s misinterpretation. Brian Tamaki asked for a carpet of money, so the aroma could swirl up to God.

Religion has long been used to raise money for bishops living in opulence and for extravagant temples.

Brian Tamaki seems as similar to Jesus as hell is to heaven.

Whale Oil is nowhere near this. Yet. They are not a charity like Destiny. They are up front about what they want the money for and why. Slater does not seem to be living in luxury like the Tamakis.

But they are ego-driven leaders of their respective flocks.Tamaki calls himself ‘bishop’, Slater is bitter about his father not getting a knighthood but labels himself ‘Sir’:

SirWhaleOilAnd to different extents have taken to fleecing.

Slater has had a taste of evangelical style fundraising, and has been tempted to ask for more money to be thrown at his  feet.

Time will tell how far he takes it.