Peter Dunne has echoed calls from the public to strip Destiny Church of its tax-exempt status after its controversial leader Bishop Brian Tamaki blamed the Kaikoura earthquake on gays, sinners and murders.
On Thursday Dunne tweeted "I do not favour taxing genuine churches & real charities, but as Destiny is obviously neither it should pay taxes like any other business".
I do not favour taxing genuine churches & real charities, but as Destiny is obviously neither it should pay taxes like every other business— Peter Dunne (@PeterDunneMP) November 17, 2016
As Internal Affairs Minister, the United Future leader oversees the registration of charities.
But a spokesman for Dunne's office said removing the church's tax-exemption status wasn't within his power.
To qualify for tax-exemption an organisation must meet "rigorous" criteria, such as proving it had a "social community objective, not to enhance the benefit of an individual", the spokesman said.
He told the Herald deregistering a charity was a lengthy process and if the petition went before Parliament a select committee would make a recommendation before referring the issue to Charities Services.
The Charities Services would then conduct a review determine whether the organisation fulfilled the criteria, the spokesman said.