Councillors not keen to meet Tamaki

Hannah Tamaki. Photo: The New Zealand Herald/file photo
Hannah Tamaki. Photo: The New Zealand Herald/file photo
The invitation to meet controversial political party leader Hannah Tamaki has been declined by all but one Dunedin City councillor.

Several councillors were contacted by Mark Terrill, an associate of Mrs Tamaki, yesterday who said the Vision NZ political party founder was in Otago this week and asked if they would meet her.

Mrs Tamaki’s husband, Destiny Church founder Brian Tamaki, was believed to be travelling to Otago as well.

Nearly all councillors spoken to yesterday who had been contacted about a proposed meeting said they had turned it down.

But Cr Lee Vandervis refused to say if he had been approached, or if he would take up the offer.

He said it was "not a topic I’m interested in discussing" and refused to comment further.

Mayor Jules Radich said he had declined as he was too busy, but would not have met Mrs Tamaki anyway.

"I’ve got enough controversy to deal with, in the city, and enough issues within the city, without getting involved with religious controversy."

Cr Steve Walker immediately sent the message to his junk folder.

"As I would with anybody who was anti-homosexuality, anti-abortion, pro-conservative family values and all the nonsensical stuff they spout."

Cr Andrew Whiley was leaving for overseas yesterday afternoon, but said he would not have met Mrs Tamaki even if he was in town.

"I would say my views and their views are definitely not aligned."

Cr Christine Garey and Deputy Mayor Sophie Barker also confirmed they had received a message, and had declined a meeting.

Crs Marie Laufiso, Carmen Houlahan, Mandy Mayhem-Bullock and David Benson-Pope said they had not been contacted.

Cr Cherry Lucas said she was out of town while the Tamakis were in the area.

The remaining councillors could not be reached for comment.

Mr Terrill confirmed he had approached councillors on behalf of Mrs Tamaki, but declined to answer any further questions.

Vision NZ held a rally in Auckland last weekend opposing what it saw as the sexualisation of children in schools.

About 500 supporters gathered at the rally criticising sex education, including gender ideology.

It was later revealed Mr Tamaki had asked to stage a joint protest with controversial anti-transgender activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, who was due to speak in Auckland on the same day, but organisers of her event had declined.