Bishop Brian Tamaki has signalled a political return ahead of a Waitangi Day sermon in which he warned change was coming and how he was the "field n*****" who was going to bring it.

Speaking at Ti Tii Marae at Waitangi, Tamaki said the Destiny Church-linked Tu Tangata Man Up programme could have a future in politics.

"I think there's a better way. Who knows what the future holds."

The Tu Tangata movement is a 15-week programme aimed at helping men understand adverse behaviour, with about 70 groups operating across the country.


"They're finding hope and a better future. It doesn't come from Parliament - it comes from the ground up.

"If anything happens in the future, Tu Tangata is a name you ought to get to know because it's doing great work among our people."

Brian Tamaki delivers his sermon at Waitangi. Photo / David Fisher
Brian Tamaki delivers his sermon at Waitangi. Photo / David Fisher

Tamaki ruled out standing in politics personally, saying his higher calling required he focus on spiritual matters.

Tamaki's sermon held a theme of renewal and change, and of how the arrival of Europeans didn't only bring the Treaty of Waitangi but bright Christianity.

Borrowing from a parable told by black Muslim leader and activist Malcolm X, Tamaki told a crowd of 1500 people there were "two types of n*****".

"Okay," said Tamaki, "there are two types of Maoris."

Picking up the Malcolm X parable, he said: "He said there is the house n***** and the field n*****."

The former lived under the roof of a white master and enjoyed the benefit of doing so, even though it required a trade-in service.


In contrast, Tamaki said the latter got beaten and starved yet retained his spirit.

"He has a dream of freedom," said Tamaki.

He said there were "house Maoris" who he called "spuds".

"Brown on the outside and white on the inside. They're the Māori that like position, that like cuddling politicians.

"Right now, I tell you I'm a field n*****. From this day forward, there is a new breed of Maori rising up."

Harking back to his theme of renewal, Tamaki talked of the present being swept aside by the future and posited Destiny and the Tu Tangata Man Up movement as the change which was coming.

Tamaki earlier revealed he had been in talks with Justice Minister Andrew Little about Tu Tangata working in prisons.

He said the talks had been positive and he was optimistic the movement would bring positive change to inmates' lives.