Destiny accused of stalling over charity status

Hannah and Brian Tamaki.
Hannah and Brian Tamaki. Photo credit: Facebook/Brian Tamaki

Destiny Church is making a last-gasp effort to save two of its organisations from being stripped of their charitable status.

The controversial church had until Friday to deregister two charities for failing to file two years of annual financial reports.

But Destiny has lodged an objection, insisting the reports are now available and ready for audit.

Charities lawyer Susan Barker says it could be a stalling tactic, the objection delaying any tax payments until a final decision is made.

"A deregistered charity has to divest itself of all its assets within 12 months or pay tax... They're saying that the requirements are substantial and they haven't had a chance to do them yet.

"The question will be whether that's reasonable, given the time they've already had."

Deregistered charities sometimes need to pay one-off tax on their accumulated assets.

Destiny Church pastor Hannah Tamaki, wife of founder of self-styled Bishop Brian Tamaki, posted to Twitter late on Friday night she had uploaded some documents, believed to be financial returns for the year ended March 2016. She said earlier on Friday documents for the year ended March 2017 would be ready by the end of December.

"It's great having an independent audit done," she wrote. "They are thorough & professional. Great moving forward. having to wait is teaching us patience [sic]."

She'd earlier claimed news reports about Destiny were "incorrect".

The matter will now be referred to the independent charities registration board.

When the Department of Internal Affairs announced the review, Ms Tamaki said they would trust in Jesus for a good result.

"Our reactions need to be Christ," she said. "I choose to trust HIM no matter what... never give up.

"We are working on the audit... it can't be rushed... process is the process [sic]," she said.

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