Destiny's Brian Tamaki insists he spent two years applying for Man Up programme to get access to prisons

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki insists the Man Up programme has tried for at least two years through various communication channels to apply to get into prisons. 

On TVNZ1's Q+A last night, Mr Tamaki said he had tried emailing, writing and meeting with Ministers for funding and access to New Zealand prisons.

It comes after Government and Corrections have repeatedly said Mr Tamaki had not applied, or gone through the right channels for the programme to gain access. 

Late last year, Destiny Church rallied on Parliament grounds for the right to introduce the Man Up programme in New Zealand prisons, despite Corrections and Justice Minister Andrew Little saying Mr Tamaki has never formally applied to do so.

Mr Tamaki said on Q+A he had made approaches to talk to Justice Minister Andrew Little and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis, and had spoken face to face with deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. 

The issue went back into the spotlight last week after a series of tweets by Mr Tamaki, one which said: "We will plan through Private Visits to inmates in every Prison to bring Man Up in and cause inmate revolts in every prison", and another that said it looked like members of the Government "tried a political 'gang rape'" on him.

Mr Tamaki insisted his tweet on inmate revolts was not serious and the discussion of Man Up in prisons "wouldn't even be happening now if I didn't make those tweets". 

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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

He said he would apologise for the tweets if it meant "they'll meet at the table". 

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis called the tweets "offensive on every level" and said "if that's his form of Christianity I don't think many people really want that". 

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Kelvin Davis has condemned a tweet by church’s leader Brian Tamaki as offensive. Source: 1 NEWS

"Hopefully people will be able to see through the sort of person he is and hope they go to some other church."

Mr Tamaki last night said the Man Up programme, closely affiliated to Destiny Church, helped Māori men in particular to break cycles of violence and recidivism.

He said said Man Up had been developed over four decades and sees groups of about five men and women working with someone who had previously been through Man Up themselves. 

"It's the Māori way... It gets right deep down inside, it's spiritual first, then we deal with the other particular issues."

"They talk, it's the confidence they have that it's going to be private, then they work with them for the 15 weeks together."

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Destiny’s Brian Tamaki is taking on the Government over the controversial Man Up programme he wants in prisons. Source: Q+A

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The leader of Destiny Church said has tried emailing, writing and meeting with Ministers. Source: Q+A

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