Parihaka reserves right to choose own destiny

By Kelvin McDonald
Pictured: Destiny Church's Bishop Brian Tamaki at a rally for indigenous justice in Wellington.

The Parihaka Papakainga Trust has moved to distance itself from Destiny Church after online posts by the church were criticised for allegedly encouraging the perception that its views were endorsed by the Parihaka community.  

Last Saturday members of the Destiny Church 'Man Up' nationwide tour were welcomed onto Parihaka Pā, filming the event and taking pictures which were later posted on social media.

In a statement, PPT chairperson Tina Mason says the filming and online promotion of the powhiri was "a key difference" to the thousands of manuhiri who traditionally visit the historic community to pay their respects. 

Mason says, "Destiny Church visited Parihaka as do many other groups.  This does not imply any connection or support of positions taken by the Church."

The PPT emphasised that it had no intention of being caught up in raru about the political views of visitors.

"We will not, under any circumstances, be drawn into a debate over comments made or positions taken by any of the visitors to Parihaka."

Te Ao spoke to a Destiny Church representative who said the organisation did not mean to intentionally offend anyone and were not aware the marae whānui would take offence when they posted on social media.

The offending posts are still visible on the Destiny Church and Apostle Bishop Brian Tamaki Facebook pages.