James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Destiny plans hui for Maori leaders

Bishop Brian Tamaki has invited some of Maoridom's most colourful figures to a hui. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Bishop Brian Tamaki has invited some of Maoridom's most colourful figures to a hui. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki will host a hui of some of Maoridom's most colourful figures, including maverick MP Hone Harawira and the Maori King, next month.

The list includes King Te Arikinui Tuheitia Paki and delegates of the Kingitanga movement. They will attend a church service in Auckland on June 5.

Bishop Tamaki has invited Maori political leaders, including the Labour Party's Shane Jones, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, National MP Georgina Te Heuheu and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, to address the church at a separate event before this year's general election.

Several iwi leaders are also understood to be attending the event.

The announcement came as Mr Harawira resigned yesterday, forcing a byelection in his Te Tai Tokerau seat.

Mr Harawira did not respond to Herald requests for an interview.

Bishop Tamaki said the Destiny Church had no stakehold in any political party, nor did it have a political wing and it would not be standing a candidate at this year's election.

"This is a unique occasion in bringing the spiritual, political and royal realms of Maoridom together, particularly at a time when the political aspirations of our people are at a crossroads," the bishop said.

"I believe Maori aspirations are better realised with us all together than apart, and look forward to hosting these influential leaders at our event."

Shane Jones said the gathering was "likely to be a bit of a bunfight".

He was unsure what was up for discussion, and was not bothered by the church's sometimes tainted past.

Destiny Church spokeswoman Janine Cardno said all four politicians had confirmed their attendance.

- NZ Herald

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