COVID-19: Brian Tamaki speaks out after pleading not guilty to breaching bail and breaking lockdown rules

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki is speaking out after pleading not guilty to breaching bail and breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Tamaki, who was again granted bail in court on Wednesday, has released a statement saying he was "told I would be charged with an offence for my appearance and speech at the Freedom Family Picnic on Saturday".

Tamaki on Saturday visited the Auckland Domain at the same time as another protest, which about 2000 people attended, was happening.

Police confirmed "a number of individual organisers" would face prosecutions as a result.

Tamaki was already facing charges for organising and attending the first anti-lockdown protest earlier this month, which more than 1000 people attended.

He said on Wednesday afternoon that after he was charged earlier in the day, he "was taken to Waitakere police station where I remained until this afternoon so I could appear in court and be released". 

Brian Tamaki.
Brian Tamaki. Photo credit: Newshub.

"It's been a long day; one that has frankly involved an unnecessary waste of police resources."

Tamaki also said he "stood against a greater risk of infection than I would in my ordinary life or at the event on Saturday" by complying with the police.

About 200 people have gathered outside the Waitakere police station in Henderson on Wednesday morning, some wearing "Freedom NZ" masks. 

In his statement, Tamaki said his arrest happened "simply as a result of political and media pressure for such action".

"While I have been lawful and complied with the police requests, I believe that my arrest cannot be justified. 

"This can be seen by the many ill-informed public statements by people who were not even there… Left without such interference, I doubt any action would have been taken, as it wasn't on the day. That’s because I did nothing unlawful."

Police earlier confirmed a 63-year-old man had been taken into custody for breaching his bail conditions in relation to the mass gathering at the Auckland Domain.