25 May 2019

Church leader Brian Tamaki to launch political party

4:30 pm on 25 May 2019

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki will tomorrow launch a political party after weighing up a move into politics for "a number of months".

Brian Tamaki speaking at the Destiny Church Man Up rally at Parliament.

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki says he will step into the political arena. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

In a statement, he invited media to his church in Manukau in Auckland to be informed as to what the party would look like.

Spokesperson Anne Williamson said the move was designed to counter an "escalating tide of poor decision-making" and the erosion of New Zealand values by politicians.

"This is not a decision which we have undertaken lightly," she said.

"Politics is not a game, nor is it a popularity contest. The fates of our children and our children's children are hugely important, and deserve all possible due consideration.

"It is a privilege and a responsibility to seek to represent the New Zealand People. It is not an entitlement.

"Some persons and parties seem to have forgotten this fundamental truth. We look forward to reminding them, from now until Election Day 2020, just what it is that the New Zealand People expect of our representatives and leaders."

The move comes after weeks of speculation that Tamaki would be stepping into the political arena before next year's election.

Mr Tamaki announced on Twitter he might launch a party next week.

He has repeatedly criticised the government for not allowing Destiny's Man Up programme into prisons and used a parliamentary report on a culture of bullying by some MPs to put to the "mess" constitutional politics had become.

Earlier this week National MP Alfred Ngaro confirmed he was considering setting up a Christian party, similarly contending that mainstream political parties in New Zealand failed to engender Christian values in policies.