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Brian Tamaki says he may call Hone Harawira about taking Kelvin Davis' seat

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki says he might have to re-enter politics and call Hone Harawira about taking Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis' Te Tai Tokerau seat if nothing's done to stop Māori families suffering and fix the prison system.

On TVNZ1's Q+A, Bishop Tamaki said he doesn't regret his tweets last week in which he attacked the Government for not allowing his Man Up programme in prisons. He said he wouldn't be on Q+A talking about the whole issue if he didn't put out the tweets

In the posts, he said Government members including Kelvin Davis had "tried a political gang rape on me". He also said last week he would use visits to inmates to cause revolts if the Government continued to deny access for his Man Up programme in prisons.

Mr Tamaki told Q+A the justice system is broken and it's not him on trial but the Corrections Minister.

He said he would apoligise for his tweets if it meant they meet at the table, but he stopped short of doing so.

Asked will he consider re-entering politics, Mr Tamaki said: Well, you know what, if we don't get any action I think there needs to be some political teeth now.

"Someone needs to have the political courage to stand up in Parliament or in this Government and say, 'You know what, we're not going to continue to see our Māori families suffer. So if that does not happen then maybe I'll have to ring my mate Hone Harawira up in the north and say, 'Brother we might have to take this electorate'."

Asked have he and Mr Harawira considered that, he said, "I just said I would ring him and say, 'We need to take this electorate'." 

When asked would he do this next year, he said: "Let's see what they do. I mean we need a change, we can't leave it like this. So they'd better do something. Someone needs to have the political courage. So if that does not happen then maybe I have to ring mate Hone and say, 'We need to take this electorate next year'."

Brian Tamaki has been involved in an ugly spat with Kelvin Davis who's refusing to allow him to run his programme in prisons.

The Man Up programme, closely affiliated to Destiny Church, claims to help troubled men - and Māori men in particular - to break cycles of violence and recidivism. 

Despite Government claims he has not applied through the right channels, Mr Tamaki insisted he did apply to Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Justice Minister Andrew Little and the Corrections Minister, saying he wants both funding and access to prisons, 

He had tried emails and formal letters, and talked with the ministers he said.

"Tenders weren't available when we went to make our application, so we talked face to face with the ministers, and as I said with Winston. And he went and seen Kelvin. And both Andrew Little, the Justice Minister, made approaches to him.

"And both times - and I think this is really important here - they were mystified at why Kelvin wouldn't receive the formal approaches or at least the face to face approaches. And they actually advised him he should look at man up because it's a very successful programme."

Mr Tamaki also said he didn’t know some members of his Man Up group had protested outside the Christchurch Mosque where the March 15 terrorist attack took place.

“They decided to do that on their own steam… first of all I didn’t know that they did it and I wasn’t there. I probably wouldn’t have done it at that time so that’s my take on it. But they did it and we’ve talked to them about it and it’s over," he said.

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The Destiny Church leader says the system is broke and ministers recommended the Corrections Minister look at the Man Up programme for prisons. Source: Q+A


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