Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

$1.8m pricetag for pastors' luxury pad

Value surprises follower, who says some in church are struggling.

Peter and Bev Mortlock's home is selling for $1.8m.
Peter and Bev Mortlock's home is selling for $1.8m.

City Impact Church founders Peter and Bev Mortlock are selling their Whangaparaoa mansion - and its pricetag has surprised one church member, who says some in the congregation are struggling to pay their bills after giving so much to the church.

The couple are selling their luxury mansion in Gulf Harbour, north of Auckland, for $1.88 million.

Best known for fronting a weekly church-funded TV programme, the Mortlocks have put their 548sq m private home on the market.

A person who has been attending City Impact's two Auckland branches in Mt Wellington and Albany for the past three years knew of a church member who was struggling to pay his bills after giving so much to the church.

City Impact Church's Peter and Bev Mortlock present a weekly church-funded TV show.
City Impact Church's Peter and Bev Mortlock present a weekly church-funded TV show.

The churchgoer said that while he was a Christian, he did not believe people on low incomes should give more than they could afford.

The expansive property has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, three living areas and a heated pool and spa and is described in promotional material as having a "feeling of grandeur and opulence".

The property, near Shakespear Regional Park, has a government valuation of $1.65 million.

The churchgoer said representatives made a big push during each service about the importance of giving to the church before baskets were passed around for the weekly offerings, given on top of tithings of 10 per cent of people's salary.

However, people were told not to put in more than they could afford.

Payments could be made by credit card, Eftpos, cash, internet banking or a new mobile app.

City Impact Church received $5.35 million in donations in 2012, making up more than half its annual income of $9.16 million. In the same year $3.94 million was spent on salaries and wages for its 62 full-time and 43 part-time staff, according to the latest annual return filed with the Charities Commission.

The congregation was also asked to make a gold-coin donation to the church-funded television show Impact For Life, which runs for 30 minutes each week on TV3, Prime and Shine.

Mr Mortlock, a former salesman and real estate agent, and his wife front the religious show.

The Mortlocks and Impact City Church declined to comment on the sale.

Hot property

* Where: 295 Pinecrest Drive
* Price: $1.88 million
* Size: 548sq metre solid block and weatherboard home
* 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3 living areas.

- NZ Herald

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