Brian Tamaki claims responsibility for defacing Gisborne rainbow crossing

Published: Wed 15 May 2024 07:15 PM
Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has told a public meeting that he instructed his followers to vandalise a rainbow pedestrian crossing.
Church members have recently been charged for painting over rainbow crossings in Gisborne and Auckland, and were blamed for the cancellation of drag events at public libraries.
Speaking to the faithful in Whanganui on Tuesday night, Tamaki openly claimed responsibility for the Gisborne crossing being covered in paint.
"I said to the boys, 'Get the paint out, we'll hit this'. I didn't expect we'd get the reaction that we we did when we painted it over - I think that's the record time that police have responded to any incident," he said to laughter from the audience.
"People were aghast in the community - some have been waiting for a police visit because they got robbed, mugged, in one case a very bad beating, six weeks waiting for police to come to their home.
"But they sent 25 cops there (to the crossing)."
Six people aged 45 to 54 have been pleaded not guilty to a range of charges in relation to the Gisborne vandalism.
Tamaki said they had tried to raise their concerns directly with councils about the "millions being spent to support the gay pride movement" and the threat to children's innocence, but were told to "buzz off".
He said his granddaughter's husband, Ford O'Connor, who pleaded guilty last month to a charge of intention of damaging the Karangahape Road rainbow crossing, was acting to protect his children.
He was showing his opposition to the relationship and sexuality curriculum in schools, which included instructions for girls about "how to stimulate themselves" and told children as young as 5 they could choose their gender, Tamaki said.
Tamaki was travelling and not available for an interview with RNZ.
However, in a written response to questions, he said Destiny Church had always been "upfront and open and issued press releases stating clearly that the church organised the painting over the Gisborne rainbow crossing as a political protest".
"All Gisborne individuals charged are pleading 'not guilty' as this was not a criminal action, it was an action of peaceful political protest."
He said he was not worried about being charged himself, and denied using his considerable influence to get his followers to "do his dirty work".
"This question is just muckraking by media. I always front-foot political protests taken, and as a result, I have received multiple charges and even gone to prison myself."
Gisborne mayor Rehette Stoltz declined to say whether she thought Tamaki should face charges.
A spokesperson said the mayor believed: "Brian Tamaki has taken up too much oxygen already and she won't be commenting any further".
Auckland Council said it was a matter for Auckland Transport, which told RNZ it was a police matter.
RNZ has asked the police whether Tamaki could be charged over the crossings, but they have yet to respond.
New Zealand's public broadcaster, providing comprehensive NZ news and current affairs, specialist audio features and documentaries.
Radio New Zealand is a Crown entity established under the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. Radio New Zealand News are vital elements in our programming, providing impartial news and information to New Zealanders every day. Radio New Zealand (RNZ) provides listeners with exciting and independent radio programmes in accordance with the Radio New Zealand Charter.

Next in New Zealand politics

New Fishing Rules Reflect Fishers’ Proactive Actions
By: Seafood New Zealand
Government To Reverse Blanket Speed Limit Reductions
By: New Zealand Government
Labour Supports Inquiry Into Rural Banking
By: New Zealand Labour Party
Govt Consulting On Cutting Red Tape For Exporters
By: New Zealand Government
Shane Jones Fires Damp Squib In Response To Giant Backlash Against Luxon’s War On Nature
By: Greenpeace
Government To Add Oil And Gas To Climate Fire
By: Green Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media