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:

A few people from a fringe religion declare their superiority

The best of religion is when people with varying beliefs accept differences and work together for the common good.

The worst of religion is when people claim their superiority and make ridiculous claims about a whole country – like this:

Destiny Church members meet outside Al Noor Mosque to declare ‘NZ is a Christian country’

Dozens of people associated with Destiny Church have gathered outside Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque to declare “Jesus Christ is the true God”.

The group of 70 to 100 included people from two groups, Man Up and Legacy, both of whom are affiliated with Destiny Church.

The group met across the road from the mosque, in Hagley Park around 3.30pm yesterday. Destiny Church Christchurch senior pastor Derek Tait said the gathering had been organised several weeks before.

The pastor referred to the Friday call to prayer in Hagley Park in central Christchurch a week after the terror attack on March 15, as motivation for the group’s declaration that New Zealand is a Christian country.

“Our Prime Minister declared we could say a Muslim prayer out in public and over the airwaves,” he said.

“I was in that actual prayer meeting … I respectfully stood, but did not say the prayer.

“I thought it would be quite appropriate with me being a pastor and a believer of Jesus Christ to go back to the same spot and declare that Jesus Christ is the true god.”

During the call to prayer on March 22, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealanders were encouraged to join in wherever they were.

Encouraged to join in at ‘a call to prayer’ is not requiring saying a Muslim  or any prayer. I went to a Dunedin event that included a call to prayer, and their were speeches and prayers from a number of people from different religions. I listened respectfully, but didn’t join in.

I don’t think anyone is under any compulsion to pray in any way or in any situation. I have sat silently through many prayers, I have always had that choice. And choice was made clear by Ardern.

“I know many New Zealanders wish to mark the week that has passed since the terrorist attack and to support the Muslim community as they return to mosques. How we choose to reflect during the silence will be different for each of us.

An Islamic call to prayer was broadcast over television, radio, and inside mosques, many of which were inviting all New Zealanders through their doors.

I never heard a Muslim (or Christian or Buddhist) ask to pray their way.

Tait described the group’s actions, which involved loudspeakers to broadcast their declaration across to the mosque yesterday afternoon, as “very respectful”.

“If I stand in public and I say I disagree with something or someone, that does not mean it’s hate,” he said.

Tait said the group’s actions were not intended to offend the Muslim community – nor did he believe it had caused offence.

So what was his intent? It seems an obnoxious attempt at religious superiority to me. However the numbers indicated a very small minority.

The group of 70 to 100 included people from two groups affiliated with Destiny Church - Man Up and Legacy. Photo / Paul Barlow

New Zealand isn’t a Christian country, it is a secular country, where everyone should be free to practice whatever religion or faith or beliefs they wish.

Usually one of the strengths of New Zealand is people practice religion without trying to impose their views or their superiority on others.

Derek Tait is a petty minded exception, who is lucky he can put this on public display at risk of nothing but ridicule.


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.


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.


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”.


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.