On the face of it, the actions of self-styled Apostle Brian Tamaki appear little more than attention seeking for the edification of his followers in the Destiny Church.
As with most such cases, however, the truth is probably both more complex, and banal.
The 63-year-old had already been charged three times over his attendance at Auckland Domain lockdown protests. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, including allegations he violated the conditions of his bail.
The rallies were held to protest against rules such as vaccine mandates and lockdowns, which are meant to stop or control the spread of Covid-19.
Monday morning's arrest is thought to be in relation to Tamaki's attendance at a rally in Christchurch earlier in January, held to protest vaccine mandates and lockdowns.
Tamaki has denied all charges including the claim that he has breached his bail conditions.
To consider how he got here, one only need track his actions. Tamaki has consistently talked up his resistance to Government orders while exhorting his supporters to follow suit. Given the attention on himself, he has little choice but to hold his futile and, ultimately for himself, frustrating course.
Phone cameras follow Tamaki everywhere, even up his front garden to the door of his family home, and the footage is posted to social media - more often than not by his fawning followers.
When invited to speak at rallies, Tamaki is unable to subordinate his egotism enough to decline. To step back now would be hard to explain. Better to look a fool to an entire nation than to appear to waver in front of his fanbase.
Public health regulations are laid down to preserve life and protect the well-being of the entire population. People are entitled to object and even to protest but there are ways of making this sentiment known without breaking the regulations and endangering our most vulnerable.
Coincidentally, Tamaki has repeatedly criticised the Government for not funding him to deliver his "Man Up" programme in New Zealand prisons, even though he hadn't lodged a formal application as part of the Corrections tender process.
He claims to have had success with his 15-week programme to help "dysfunctional" men caught in the cycle of release and arrest. He said the denial of access would lead to "inmate revolts in evey [sic] prison".
We will plan thru Private Visits to inmates in every Prison to bring ManUp in nd cause inmate revolts in evey prison..The Human Rights Commission is nxt visit MP Jacinda Ardern..My People Maori r denied access to an Indigenous Progm that works..Im Warning You pic.twitter.com/GwkBrFeRVh— Apostle Brian Tamaki (@ApostleTamaki) April 28, 2019
While the unrest is yet to manifest, now might be a good time for Tamaki to walk the talk of the programme.
The Apostle Brian has cast himself as the persecuted man of principle. He has set himself on a path no longer of his choosing, but one where the justice system decides. Tamaki has painted himself into a corner, a remand cell.
Apparently without guile, his family have claimed he is New Zealand's first political prisoner. No, he is not. It is not the Government, the Ministry of Health, the police, the courts, nor the judge who has done this. It is wholly on himself.
For once, it behoves his followers to learn from his example.