Destiny Church co-leader Hannah Tamaki has announced her party's First People Policy ahead of the 2020 election.

The Vision NZ party leader, who is the wife of New Zealand's most controversial religious leader, Destiny Church Bishop Brian Tamaki, announced she would stand for Waiariki yesterday.

This afternoon she outlined the First People Policy at the Penny Haka Gallery in Rotorua.

She called for government funding for Destiny Church's Tu Tangata Man Up, Legacy and Youth Nation programmes run by volunteers across New Zealand.

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Vision NZ party leader Hannah Tamaki. Photo / NZME
Vision NZ party leader Hannah Tamaki. Photo / NZME

Tamaki also called for Māori to be "the masters of their own destinies".

"I believe Māori should have autonomy financially as well, we have talked about a Māori-owned bank here in Waiariki.

"The Government helped set up Kiwibank, why can't we have iwi bank?" she said.

"No more selling off of our land, our water, those should be non-negotiable from now on."

Tamaki said Tūhoe should have full ownership and management of the Te Urewera area and that Waiariki should be "the tourism hub of New Zealand".

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"If we can keep the tourist dollar in Waiariki, I am sorry about the rest of the motu sorry ...we've got so much here that we could attract people to come and stay here.

"Why don't we have a train that goes through the whole of the Bay? If we had a train that could do a tour around all of those places, we could attract a lot of people," Tamaki said.

"There are so many things, so many ideas, so much passion in our people but they feel that they are disempowered."

She told the crowd that Tamaki Tours was just one example of "all the beautiful things in Waiariki".

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"Māori are more than able, we are a beautiful flavour in Waiariki ... I am here because I can see the potential," Tamaki said.

"The son of God was birthed by a woman. Sorry about it guys. Sorry but God used a woman. Nobody's going to take wife label off me, mum label off me, nanny label off me. Ladies ... let's fight this battle."

Crowd at Hannah Tamaki's policy announcement in Rotorua. Photo / NZME
Crowd at Hannah Tamaki's policy announcement in Rotorua. Photo / NZME

"I really want us to put hope in the vote and that is why I have willingly and lovingly decided to be the candidate here in Waiariki," she added.

"I am not a politician, I've got no slick political words to tell you, but I believe my masters is in walking through the journey of life."

Tamaki said the success of Tamaki Tours in Rotorua was "proof on the ground" of the wider family's work and success in the electorate.

She will be running against the electorate's current seat holder Labour's Tāmati Coffey, as well as the Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi.

In 2017 Coffey won the seat from Māori Party stalwart Te Ururoa Flavell, with a margin of 1719.

The church leaders made headlines in March when Brian claimed that the coronavirus epidemic was a sign the world had "strayed from God" and his followers would be protected.

Brian Tamaki says grace. Photo / NZME
Brian Tamaki says grace. Photo / NZME

He said they would not be closing the churches as they were "not about to let a filthy virus scare us out of having church".

The church did end up shutting its doors over the lockdown period until May 17.

The pair had courted controversy in the past, with critics describing them as "xenophobic" and "homophobic".

In November last year, Hannah Tamaki said Vision NZ would ban "new mosques, temples and other foreign buildings of worship" if elected while criticising the New Zealand First party for not cutting migration enough.

Vision NZ party leader Hannah Tamaki. Photo / NZME
Vision NZ party leader Hannah Tamaki. Photo / NZME

More recently, Tamaki was forced to publically dump her campaign manager Jevan Goulter after he posted a tirade of online abuse aimed at The Project co-host Kanoa Lloyd telling her to "show NZ what voluntary euthanasia looks like".

The Waiariki electorate includes the population centres of Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatāne and Taupō.

It includes the tribal areas of Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Te Arawa, Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Whakatohea, Ngāi Tai, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa.