Destiny Church’s plans for its own ‘town’ in South Auckland, New Zealand, could be in line for millions of dollars of Government funding.
Self-styled ‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki declared at a New Year’s Eve ‘MegaService’ in Rotorua that the church had secured resource consent to build schools, a university and a massive auditorium in Wiri.
Speaking to ONE News in his first interview since securing permission for the complex, Tamaki said the Government should be supporting the development.
“I’d rather see a church build bigger churches, they’re far more positive than our prisons and that’s where most of our whanau are,” he said.
“People can say what they want but it’s going ahead, it’s happened and as I say, it’s a community that involves only good things. The values that we teach builds families, it doesn’t break families down.”
Tamaki’s vision has support from within Government from the Minister for Maori Affairs, Pita Sharples.
“It’s far more positive if you can keep people out of going to prison,” he said. “That’s where we’ve got a start, not try and reform them after.”
Sharples said Destiny’s plans would be eligible for millions of dollars of Government funding, particularly for its proposal to build a school, and believes the group’s track record would mean an application would be taken very seriously.
Destiny Church ‘doesn’t want public funds’
Destiny Church is refuting speculation it will use public money to fund a school it plans to open in South Auckland later this year.
At a New Year’s Eve service in Rotorua, church leader Brian Tamaki told his congregation the church had been granted permission to build schools, a university and a large auditorium on a block of land in Wiri.
The announcement triggered speculation Destiny may choose to run the Wiri campus as a charter school – a controversial scheme announced as part of the confidence and supply agreement between National and ACT following last year’s election. […]
But a Destiny Church spokeswoman says it will simply be moving the privately run school it already operates in Mt Wellington to the new location.
She says it is the church’s intention to operate the school in its current form at the new location.
A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Education confirmed it hadn’t received any enquiries from Destiny Church about a new school.