Brian Tamaki

Brian Tamaki

Brian Raymond Tamaki (born 2 February, 1958) heads Destiny Church, a charismatic and Pentecostal Christian organisation in New Zealand which advocates adherence to a fundamentalist biblical morality. Destiny Church has a reputation for its controversial position against homosexuality, its patriarchal views and for its calls for a return to traditional family values and morals.

Personal life

In his autobiography "More than meets the eye: Bishop Brian Tamaki", Tamaki describes his early life:

Born in Te Awamutu in the Waikato region as the eldest in a family of five, Tamaki spent his childhood years on the family farm, called "Te Manuka", in the rural area of Te Kopua. His devoutly religious mother] took her sons to the Te Awamutu Methodist Church on Sundays. His father, a heavy drinker, showed no interest in church or the upbringing of the children.Fact|date=January 2008 During Tamaki's childhood the family moved from the farm to Te Awamutu and then on to Tokoroa in 1970. While in Tokoroa Tamaki became interested in rugby union and a little later came to enjoy pig-hunting and participating in a rock-band playing the pub circuit.

Tamaki left secondary school in the fourth form and took up a job in the forestry industry. In his late teens he dated Hannah Lee and after she became pregnant they moved to Te Awamutu, where Tamaki worked on a dairy farm owned by his uncle and aunt. Tamaki and Lee had their first child, Jasmine, in December 1978. Four months after his twenty-first birthday Tamaki joined the Ngaruawahia Apostolic Church. He lost his farm job and he and Lee returned to Tokoroa, where he attended the Tokoroa Apostolic Church. Tamaki became heavily involved with the church after pastor Manuel Renata baptised him in December 1979. Since Tamaki and his partner had not married, Renata would not allow him to carry out all the functions of the church. Tamaki and Lee then married at the Tokoroa Presbyterian Church on 22 March, 1980. Fourteen months later they had their second child, a girl named Jamie.

In 1982 the Tamakis attended the Te Nikau Bible College in Paraparaumu, and also had their third child, Samuel. Tamaki became an ordained elder, and then (in September 1984) a pastor in the Tokoroa Apostolic Church. Tamaki went on to establish the Rosetown Community Church in Te Awamutu, the Lake City Church in Rotorua, City Church and then Destiny Church in Auckland.

Tamaki acknowledges that his early lifestyle differed greatly from that advocated in his current teachings. []

On 18 June 2005 kaumatua Manuel Renata ordained Tamaki as bishop of the Destiny Church movement (which totals 15 churches throughout New Zealand and Australia). []

Tamaki advocates prosperity theology. [ [ IJBS ] ]

In March 2006 a television news network reported that some of their pastors gifted Tamaki and his wife a $40,000 cruise on the "Queen Mary II".cite news |last= |first= | title = Flock to Bishop - Let us pay| publisher = TV3 News |date=2006-03-09|work=
accessdate= 2007-05-11 |url=

Church and politics

"See also Destiny Church, New Zealand"

In 2003 several members of the Destiny Church started the Destiny New Zealand political party, led by Richard Lewis. The party ran candidates in most electorates in the 2005 general election, gaining 0.6% of the party vote nation-wide. [] Destiny New Zealand was promoted by a nationwide tour and DVD labelled "A Nation Under Siege". Tamaki features in the DVD and accompanied the tour. The DVD shows Tamaki decrying what he sees as four problems with New Zealand society: "a Government gone evil, a radical homosexual agenda, the media: a modern day witchcraft" and "the retreat of religion in New Zealand".

In the media

At the Nelson meeting of the Destiny New Zealand "A Nation Under Siege" tour, Tamaki attacked the media, the government, the Green Party and Grey Power (a lobby group for the elderly). He referred to the Greens as "pagans", Grey Power as "self centred" and the media as "modern day witchcraft". []

In 2004 " Sunday" broadcast a fairly negative portrayal of Tamaki and of the Destiny Church. The Rev Dr Philip Culbertson of the University of Auckland said: "As far as I can tell it's a cult". The Broadcasting Standards Authority receivedFact|date=July 2008 numerous complaints regarding the unbalanced agenda of the broadcast.

In July 2005 Newstalk ZB host Mike Yardley claimed Tamaki had directed "highly offensive abuse" at him while off-air during an interview on July 20. [] In his autobiography Tamaki denies that the abuse happened.

In May 2006 a poll ranked Tamaki the least-trusted of 75 prominent New Zealanders. [] In June 2006 Tamaki expressed opposition to Sue Bradford's private members Child Discipline Bill, which removed the legal defence of "reasonable force" for prosecutions of parents who have assaulted their children. [ [ Home Page - Challenge Publishing Society Ltd ] ] [ [ Family Values in Jeopardy - Mass Gathering - 2nd May 2007 - Parliament Grounds - Wellington ] ]

In May 2007 the Reader's Digest "Most Trusted People"' poll again ranked Brian Tamaki as New Zealand's least trusted of 75 prominent persons. [ [ Reader's Digest New Zealand: Who do you trust now, New Zealand? ] ]

Views on sexuality and marriage

Tamaki's views against homosexual behaviour have encountered significant opposition throughout the liberal and LGBT communities of New Zealand.Fact|date=January 2008 His opposition to the Civil Union Act of 2004 attracted significant attention from the media.Fact|date=January 2008 has reported that Radio Pacific host John Banks aired an interview with Tamaki that attacked a New Zealand AIDS Foundation's "takatāpui" (Māori for LGBT-person) HIV-prevention project, in which Tamaki referred to traditional Māori pre-colonial intolerance for male homosexuality, painting a picture of a society which, he claimed, exterminated gay and lesbian people. However, many Māori academic authorities question the basis for this claim. []

The broadcasting of Tamaki's preaching against homosexuality on Television New Zealand has led to complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. [] Television New Zealand pulled the original opening episode of his series "Higher Ground", because it "had language and phrases that did not meet industry standards of accuracy, fairness and balance".]

In his autobiography, Tamaki does not recognise the sex-reassignment surgery of the transexual former MP Georgina Beyer: Tamaki refers to Bayer as male.

Despite the allegations that he hates homosexuals, Tamaki stated on the Destiny Church television program "...although I disagree with the sexual behaviour of gays and lesbians I have no hatred towards them. In fact I love everyone and any person is welcome at Destiny Church".Fact|date=March 2008

Views on women in politics

Tamaki regards the lack of male leadership in New Zealand, including the leadership over one's family, as "the work of the devil". He claims that he does not oppose females in leadership, but feels that Parliament reflects this alleged lack of male leadership. In his autobiography he defends his attitude towards women by pointing to the role of his wife Pastor Hannah Tamaki in the Destiny Church organisation, and also says "God is very specific about the role and function of men".

Georgina Beyer confronted Tamaki at the " Enough is Enough" protest in Wellington in August 2004, charging "Your hatred is totally intolerable". Beyer also compared Tamaki to despots like Robert Mugabe in a 3 News interview.


* "A Nation under Siege: A social disaster has hit our nation" (2005) Directed by J Cardno. Rated M. DVD format.
* Brian Tamaki's autobiography: "More than meets the eye: Bishop Brian Tamaki". Auckland: Tamaki Publications, Destiny Churches New Zealand, 2006. ISBN 0-473-11242-6


External links

* [ Destiny Church] : official website for Destiny Church in New Zealand
* [] : Tamaki's book website
* [ Tamaki's website as of 14 July 2005] , retrieved 2008-05-25

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