Destiny Church has alleged discrimination after it failed to find community partners in its bid to take on work under the Government's Whanau Ora programme.
The church, led by Bishop Brian Tamaki, has previously conducted youth training schemes under the Government's Community Max scheme with $860,000 of taxpayer money.
But a spokesman for the church's social services programme yesterday said a funding request made under the Whanau Ora scheme had been turned down after it could not find willing community partners.
He said the church's hard line on homosexuality was probably a factor.
The church grabbed headlines this week when it hosted Maori politicians including National MP Tau Henare, Labour MP Shane Jones, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira at its annual conference in Auckland on Saturday.
The MPs' attendance coincided with calls from the church for funding for its social services, including for a Whanau Ora programme.
Yesterday, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett confirmed that Destiny's social services arm had received $850,000 for Community Max employment programmes and $10,000 for a Breakaway school holiday programme.
The programmes had been reviewed and were "as successful as any other Community Max, if not more so".
Ms Bennett released the information in response to "claims made by church members that Government departments aren't funding their projects".
The minister said she was satisfied funding decisions had been based on merit.
But the head of Destiny's social services, George Ngatai, told the Herald yesterday that the church had members working in Government departments responsible for funding decisions who had endured derogatory comments about the church from co-workers.
"I believe we're being discriminated against."
He said Destiny's Community Max scheme, in which young people developed good work habits and assisted older and younger members of the community, was about to finish.
While the $850,000 his organisation received for its Community Max programmes was a lot of money, he said, all but about $10,000 went on wages, ACC and KiwiSaver payments for those on the schemes.
His organisation had spent about $6000 more in running costs.
"We made $4000."
The church had also applied several times for Community Response funding for programmes to tackle drug and alcohol abuse and family violence, but had missed out.
Last year it applied for Whanau Ora funding. Te Puni Kokiri and Ministry of Social Development officials told the church it needed to partner with other community service providers such as health and social services organisations and iwi and other Maori organisations to secure the funding.
"When we ... asked different providers whether they would be interested in collaborating with us, the majority of them said no."
Mr Ngatai believed Destiny's opposition to homosexuality was the reason, even though the social services operation was at arm's length from the church.
Whanau Ora minister Tariana Turia said she would not discriminate against Destiny and it "did a great job" for Community Max.By Adam Bennett Email Adam