Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an APNZ reporter based in Christchurch.

Destiny Church selling old HQ to build 'City of God'

Brian Tamaki will outline plans for the new city and the sale of the old HQ at Destiny Church's City of God Conference. Photo / Richard Robinson
Brian Tamaki will outline plans for the new city and the sale of the old HQ at Destiny Church's City of God Conference. Photo / Richard Robinson

Destiny Church is selling its Mt Wellington headquarters in a move its leaders say will finance their new "City of God".

Concept plans are being unveiled to the congregation this weekend by leader Brian Tamaki at a three-day conference in Rotorua.

The headquarters has a rating value of about $5 million - $1.25 million more than Destiny paid for the former warehouse in 2004 - and leaders hope it will sell for even more.

The sale will free up millions to help build the new church, which Bishop Tamaki has called "the new Jerusalem".

The rest of the cash needed will come from congregation donations.

The Mt Wellington property - with auditorium, administration offices, early childhood centre, cafe and steps flanked by two lion statues - is owned by Te Hahi o Nga Matamua Holdings Ltd.

The company is listed as having four directors, but does not include Bishop Tamaki. However, the four directors include his wife of 31 years and fellow pastor, Hannah, her personal assistant and close friend Tania Pene, Bishop Tamaki's right-hand man Richard Lewis, who heads the church's political party, and Destiny youth pastor Caine Warren.

Destiny Church reportedly obtained resource consent to build its own "town" at Wiri, in South Auckland, this year.

Plans submitted to the Auckland Council show the complex will include schools, a university, gym, hairdressers, admin offices and a large auditorium.

The sale of the Mt Wellington building will mean the church could ditch plans to lease the property and buy it outright, in order to build its exclusive "kingdom".

Spokeswoman Janine Cardno confirmed the church was seeking more than the building's rating valuation of $4.9 million.

"It's on the open market and we want to realise the most we can, really, for our move ..."

Ms Cardno said this weekend's City of God conference at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre would unveil the church's concept plans for the new development.

Bishop Tamaki spoke at the event last night to reveal his "Vision for the City".

On Sunday morning, a service will preach about "sowing a massive seed for our city".

"We're all very excited about the move," Ms Cardno said.

"We've outgrown where we are and the move to South Auckland will be ideal. It is our ministry area and it will allow us to continue all of our good work. This weekend is all about that."

Ms Cardno claimed the church did not yet know how much the new building would cost. Bishop Tamaki has said it could cost tens of millions of dollars, with most of the money coming from donations.

"We haven't yet put a price on that," Ms Cardno said. "We've only got concepts, but the next stage is to get things valued up. But with a church organisation you've got a lot of manpower, and a lot of people who are able to contribute with skills, contacts, and things."

She said the Mt Wellington premises had attracted a lot of buyer interest.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a1 at 22 Aug 2014 16:05:23 Processing Time: 631ms