Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki claims he's a 'political prisoner' after arrest

Brian Tamaki was arrested at his home this morning for breaching bail. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
Brian Tamaki was arrested at his home this morning for breaching bail. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
Controversial Destiny church leader Brian Tamaki claims he is a "political prisoner" after his arrest this morning for breaching bail conditions.

Police officers arrived at his Auckland home as he and wife Hannah Tamaki were hosting a live Facebook video.

He is now being taken to a police station, with his supporters livestreaming the vehicle's journey.

Hannah Tamaki announced today that her husband Brian would be arrested by police at 8am.

"I'm not a criminal," Brian said, also on Facebook.

"We don't regret what we are doing," the couple said.

"It's all about speaking truth and actually that truth is about how our freedoms and rights have been eroded."

Brian Tamaki, 63, has been charged three times over his attendance at Auckland Domain lockdown protests. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, including allegations he violated the conditions of his bail.

Tamaki was first called to the district court on October 12, accused of helping to organise and promote an October 2 lockdown protest. He was granted bail by Judge Brooke Gibson, but under the conditions he not "organise or attend any protests in breach of any Covid-19 level requirement" and not "use the internet for the purpose of organising, attending or encouraging non-compliance with the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020".

The couple, speaking from their home in rural East Auckland today, have revealed the latest episode in their ongoing defiance against Covid restrictions.

Brian Tamaki said he was speaking up on behalf of businesses and other individuals who had been hurt or impacted by vaccination mandates.

"People think I keep breaching my bail conditions, I've always said I'm not guilty," he said.

"For all of those who say 'book him, send him off to jail' you don't understand about why this has happened and I should never have been charged in the first place thank you."

Brian Tamaki claimed many New Zealanders were feeling uncertain about whether the country would go into lockdown again, or borders around Auckland be reinstated.

He said he may become the country's first political prisoner should he be jailed later today.

"I love my husband and I'm proud of him," Hannah Tamaki said.

"I'm alright, I'm good about it, it's a part of what I've got to do so thank you for your prayers," Brian said.

Hannah Tamaki sent her condolences to two whānau who were having tangi which the Tamakis would not be attending.

The couple turned to their grandson, who when asked about the idea of his grandfather going to court, he said "it's not right."

"It's definitely not what we want as a family to see our grandad go into jail, especially when he's only standing up for what we believe in," the grandson said.

The couple's granddaughter, Eden O'Connor, said she thought "it's pretty crap".

The granddaughter said she would place her faith in God to keep her grandfather safe.

Speaking on Facebook while following the car Brian Tamaki is in, O 'Connor hit out over the arrest and called on people to stand up, protest and fight for "freedom".

"This ain't right !! Following in a car behind our riders following our apostle my granDAD who has been arrested for what is meant to be freedom of speech and peaceful protesting !!!

"This government needs to reevaluate where they are spending all police/court/judge time!! Should they arrest a family man whose only so-called 'wrongdoing' is standing up to this government for taking away our freedom of choice with this stupid no jab no job!! Or should they direct their resources to something more beneficial!!

"I say stand !! We ain't backing down we will carry on protesting and fighting for our freedom

"Lock one up, lock us all up!!!"

Police inquiry after Chch gathering

Police have been investigating a Christchurch rally protesting against the Government's Covid-19 vaccination mandates and lockdowns, which was attended by Brian Tamaki earlier this month.

A rally was held in Hagley Park and was followed by a march down Riccarton Rd.

Tamaki reportedly spoke at the event, in a possible breach of his bail conditions, though a Destiny spokesman told NZME the event was a "family picnic", not a protest.

Brian Tamaki speaks at The Freedom & Rights Coalition New Zealand lockdown protest. Photo: NZ Herald
Brian Tamaki speaks at The Freedom & Rights Coalition New Zealand lockdown protest. Photo: NZ Herald

Under orange restrictions, any event held without vaccine pass requirements is limited to 50 people. However, photos and videos posted to social media show more than 100 people attended the outdoor event.

"Police are looking into whether there are any breaches with regard to Saturday's protest action in Christchurch, following which enforcement action may be taken," Canterbury district commander Superintendent John Price has said.

"We encourage individuals attending protests to conduct themselves in a safe manner and adhere to current Covid-19 orange restrictions, which are there to ensure the safety of all."

Tamaki had said he did not organise the Christchurch event and was invited to speak because he was in the city to preach at the Destiny Church service in Cranmer Square.

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