i'm no fan of brian tamaki, not by a long shot. there are plenty of views he has put forward that really don't sit well with me. i don't like the way he runs his church or the way he lives his life. i don't think he should be getting government funds to set up his planned village (or whatever it is).
regardless of all of that, i don't believe these comments are appropriate:
... Pita Sharples made the comment about Government funding. Could I suggest tha the Rev Brian Tamaki make an application to all the Maori tribes receiving mega dollars from the Treaty settlements to enable him to fund this promised land that he would like to create and accept with open arms all the fallen sinners into his fold - mostly teenagers - to teach the way of the Destiny Church and put them on the right path to righteousness. Or does the reverend only accept paying parishioners who can afford to pay to belong to this church?
Also, Mrs Tamaki could start up her own woman's Institute [sic] within the confines of the new establishment and bring in all the young underage girls who are pregnant and teach them skills and parenting...
these words were penned by one ann ridley of thames, and published in the waikato times. note the attacks on treaty settlements, which pay out very little of the value of assets (mis)appropriated by settlers and lost to maori. there's no acknowledgement of any of the social services that are already being provided with the assistance of these funds. and on top of that, we have the lovely stereotyping of young people, as if plenty of the older generations aren't as disfunctional and destructive as the young.
that letter is immediately followed by this one by s gallop from cambridge:
On January 11, I took a quick look at the Maori news. Brian Tamaki wants the Government to pay for his new church settlement. Excuse me? Why does he have to go to the Government? He has a cheek.
... If he cannot raise the money for his church activities and buildings, he can hold his services in large tents or on a pa.
don't you just love that implication that mr tamaki is a "cheeky darky"? it seems to me that these people don't object to Government money going towards a church group, but they object to the fact that the church group is predominantly made up of brown people. after all, plenty of other religious groups get government funding, or get exemptions from taxation and rates. why so much fuss about this particular one?
it reminds of the fuss made by the waikato times last year when they had the full front page devoted to the fact that tainui holdings is not required to pay tax on its business income. it created all kinds of anger, but the same paper has consistently failed to do a similar front page spread on sanitarium which has been in the same position for many, many years.
there are plenty of grounds to criticise mr tamaki's quest for government funding, but the very thinly veiled racism and the clear double standards are completely inappropriate.