Cops 'looking into' Brian Tamaki attending anti-mandate event

Source: 1News

Police are "continuing to look into" whether or not Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki breached his bail conditions by appearing at an anti-vaccination mandate and anti-lockdown protest in Christchurch at the weekend.

Tamaki visited Christchurch to give a Sunday sermon to the local Destiny Church congregation and spoke at an event held in a park on Saturday, a church spokesperson told RNZ. The spokesperson described the event as a picnic.

Brian Tamaki.

"Police are continuing to look into whether any breaches have occurred and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time," a police spokesperson told 1News.

It comes after Tamaki, and his wife Hannah, were arrested following an anti-mandate protest in Auckland in November.

Police at the time said a 63-year-old man and 60-year-old woman had been arrested, with the man being charged with failing to comply with a Covid-19 order and breaching bail conditions.

The bail conditions were in place after his appearances at earlier rallies led to organisers, including himself, facing charges. His bail conditions included not attending protests.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Monday, Tamaki took aim at the media.

He said mainstream media was "trying to incite even more hatred towards me as they propose that I have broken my bail conditions".

"They’re pushing the police to try and prosecute me again. They’re trying to apply public pressure against me. It’s time they all got over me! I’m not going away, I’m here to stay!"

Tamaki also said media was "ignorant and ill-informed" about the Covid-19 Protection Framework, known as the traffic light system.

"What they are ignorant and ill-informed about is the ability for gatherings to take place with multiple defined spaces of 50 people at the same venue. You can have multiple groups of 50 people at a venue."

He shared photos of orange tape sectioning the area where the event was held, however added "if members of the public individually choose to not follow the rules, that’s their personal right, but the organisers should not be held responsible when their ‘intent’ was for the rules to be followed".

"I’m sick and tired of being told by police and judges that I have a right to protest, and the right to peace, yet I’m continually singled out, vilified, pursued and prosecuted like I am a criminal.

"I will not take this harassment lying down. I am fighting for our civil rights and I will continue to fight back with all my might and courage."