'We're on the same team' - Destiny Church to White Ribbon

White Ribbon takes issue with church leader Brian Tamaki's stance on homosexuality.
White Ribbon takes issue with church leader Brian Tamaki's stance on homosexuality. Photo credit: File

Destiny Church says White Ribbon lashing out at their anti-domestic violence community event caught them off-guard, insisting they're "on the same team".

White Ribbon says the We Stand Because We Care community event appears to have been "taken over" by Destiny Church group Man Up New Zealand - and Mr Tamaki's "homophobic remarks" don't fit in with White Ribbon's kaupapa.

"We thought it was organised by the community," White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann told Newshub. "They're using the White Ribbon name for purposes we don't approve of."

Both motorcycles and pedestrians are taking part in the march down Auckland's Queen St, with the event's Facebook page expressing hopes to bring the community together "regardless of our background or belief system".

Caine Warren, who runs Destiny's anti-violence programme, told Newshub he doesn't see any reason for conflict.

"I don't see any reason why White Ribbon should pull out.

"All I can say to that is we're on the same team when it comes to a stand against violence towards our women and our families.

"We've got statistics, we've got stories that prove Man Up Tu Tangata is actually an effective programme to turn violent men into good, healthy, loving caring men.

"That's only a positive."

White Ribbon's concerns stem from the church's stance on homosexuality. Church leader Brian Tamaki made headlines last year for saying gays and lesbians were a source of "contamination", and to blame for the Kaikoura earthquake.

But Mr Caine says the focus needs to stay on Saturday's event's anti-violence message.

"The programme is faith-based and obviously has some Christian values that we have inside the programme. The origin of the programme was birthed out of Destiny Church.

"But it's gone beyond Destiny Church and the four walls, it's out in the community now. Other community groups are involved so it's really expanded and reaching a lot of people.

"We're proactive around the message of anti-violence towards women. We carry that kaupapa, we deliver that kaupapa on a weekly basis to hundreds of men and a lot of families throughout New Zealand."