Brian Tamaki appears in court as supporters shout 'let him go'

Source: 1News

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has pleaded not guilty on a new charge of breaching Covid restrictions in a fresh appearance at the Auckland District Court.

He was charged on Wednesday with failing to comply with a Covid-19 Public Health Response Act order and Alert Level 3 order, and police also say he also breached bail conditions.

Appearing by video link and represented by top defence lawyer Ron Mansfield, he has again been given bail to appear in court in January.

Judge Josephine Bouchier said that was "with a warning".

Tamaki appeared from the Henderson Police Station, where hundreds of supporters wearing masks gathered outside chanting "let Tamaki go".

"The reason why I spent a good part of the day in jail was because of one reason — that I’m standing for all the freedoms, all the freedoms and the rights of all Kiwis," Tamaki told reporters outside the station.

"I'd rather live in dangerous freedom than in peaceful slavery." 

He said it was "time to face up to the bully, which is the Government" and to "take our country back and tell them to get their hands off our freedoms".

Tamaki said some people have lost their jobs on account of refusing to get vaccinated.

"I’m not anti-vax and I’m not pro-vax — I’m pro-choice and that’s the most important thing of why I’m standing - to protect and preserve the freedom of choice for all New Zealanders."

The latest hearing comes after another weekend mass gathering in Auckland Domain , which police say had about 2000 people in attendance.

The protest drew people who are against the Government’s lockdown measures.

Supporters of Brian Tamaki shout "let him go" outside Henderson Police Station.

Tamaki was already before the courts charged over a first event.

His bail conditions set at that court appearance included that he was to not organise or attend any protest in breach of any current Covid-19 level requirements, and to observe all current level requirements.

Tamaki’s wife, Hannah Tamaki, posted a video to Facebook on Wednesday showing the pair driving to and arriving at the Auckland Central Police Station.

Mansfield confirmed to the court Tamaki had been arrested there.

"It is a second round now, so they want me to come into central police station again and they’re going to have another bite at the cherry," Tamaki said in the post.

"I never ever thought I’d be going to the central police station, a police station at all, for standing up for our rights and our freedoms and opposing this Government’s restrictions and control over their people," he said.

Hundreds gather outside Henderson Police Station in support of Brian Tamaki.

Arriving at the police station, Hannah Tamaki said in a separate video, "I better give him a hug goodbye".