Church leader uses ploys from Trump’s bag of tricks
Bishop Brian Tamaki seems to have taken a couple of popularist planks from President Trump’s platform.
At Waitangi, last Thursday he railed against immigrants and also suggested: “We should drain the Wellington bureaucratic swamp”.
The Destiny Church leader was described in the Waitangi Day service schedule booklet as an ‘Apostle Bishop’.
Tamaki had arrived with about 200 supporters, including his wife, Hannah.
Initially, his supporters were not allowed into the Waitangi Grounds.
Police were concerned about them causing trouble, but they were eventually allowed to enter.
Tamaki spoke for about half an hour to the crowd of about 1500 people at an interdenominational service at Whare Rūnanga on the Upper Treaty Grounds.
Te Tai Tokerau Anglican Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu had invited Tamaki to speak.
It was the first time he had been invited to participate in the service and was given the honour of delivering a sermon while others did shorter readings.
One of the most inflammatory comments was Tamaki’s likening of immigrants to “termites and parasites” that “totally consume the host”.
He suggested immigrants coming to New Zealand were pushing Pakeha and Maori out of their homes.
His comments were greeted by cheers from his supporters who were wearing t-shirts promoting the church’s Man Up parenting kaupapa and Vision NZ, the new political party fronted by Hannah Tamaki.
The bishop blasted the Government for “selling off the country” to foreign powers – making multiple references to China – and said it’s time to take New Zealand back.
His remarks have met with almost universal condemnation.
Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon – who attended the Waitangi Day dawn service – described Tamaki’s comments as shocking and utterly false
Labour MP Willie Jackson saying he needed a “slap across the ears”.
Senior National MP Judith Collins also condemned the comments.