Brian Tamaki says he will 'picnic with family' at same location, day as second anti-lockdown protest

Destiny Church's Brian Tamaki will picnic at the Auckland Domain on the same day another anti-lockdown protest will be taking place there.

Tamaki, who was granted bail on Tuesday morning on the basis he doesn't attend or organise another protest that breaches COVID-19 requirements, has released a statement saying he will be attending a "picnic with my family" at the Auckland Domain on Saturday.

That's also when the Freedom and Rights Coalition is set to hold a second anti-lockdown protest. Police told Newshub last week they were aware of the planned second protest and "planning accordingly".

Tamaki is currently facing charges for organising and attending the first, which saw more than 1000 people gather. 

At his Tuesday court appearance, Tamaki pleaded not guilty to the charges via his lawyer Ron Mansfield. His defence is that the gathering was permitted under the COVID-19 health order. Paul Thompson, a 57-year-old linesman, also pleaded not guilty to the same charges. 

The pastor said on Tuesday afternoon that when picnicking this coming Saturday he will be "adhering to the current COVID-19 restrictions, wearing my mask, but also at the same time exercising my right to peacefully protest". 

"I am not organising this Families Freedom picnic, I will leave that to The Freedoms & Rights Coalition team who are quite capable."

Tamaki also quotes the Freedoms and Rights Coalition saying "the 16th October 2021 Freedom Picnic is necessary to show that YOU THE PEOPLE want your rights and privileges back. This Government must visually see the public's outrage". 

Tamaki and Thompson were granted bail on Tuesday morning on the terms that they would not organise or attend any protest in breach of any current COVID-19 level requirement, they are to observe all and any current COVID-19 alert level requirement and they are not access or use the internet for the purposes of organising, attending or encouraging non-compliance with the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 or any orders. 

Under the current alert level 3, stage one requirements, picnics are allowed outdoors with up to 10 people from two bubbles.

In his statement, Tamaki says pleading not guilty is the "first step in the much bigger battle at hand here".

"We are about to make this a landmark case for New Zealand. We the people must force the government’s hand to give the NZ Bill of Rights 1990, ‘supreme law status’ in New Zealand and properly protect our freedoms and rights from further attack from any political abuse. 

"It is time that the NZ Bill of Rights 1990 is entrenched in New Zealand law, so no further laws passed by this government can override our freedoms and rights."

Newshub has approached the police for comment on Tamaki's statement.