Finance Minister Grant Robertson ridicules Destiny Church's Brian Tamaki

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has ridiculed Brian Tamaki on social media amid reports the bishop's 'Man Up' programme has been dismissed by the Government.

Robertson responded to the Destiny Church founder's wife, Hannah Tamaki, posting an image to her Twitter account that said: "Never let people tell you who you can't be."

Taking aim at Hannah's husband, Robertson pointed to hypocrisy in the tweet, saying: "He [Brian Tamaki] literally spends his entire time telling people (gays, Muslims et al) who they can't be."

Tamaki's wife responded: "Wow if only you really knew. Can't help it your to [sic] scared to talk face to face Mr Robertson... the truth sets you free."

Tamaki has been outspoken against the Government, last week taking aim over the decision to push through gun reforms in the wake of the March 15 terror attack in Christchurch.

He also criticised Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her decision to allow the broadcast of the Islamic call to prayer during a ceremony after the attack, claiming New Zealand's "national identity is at stake".

But Tamaki also wants Government funding to deliver his Man Up programme in prisons. He marched on Parliament in December last year with about 2000 supporters where he told the crowd the Government was ignoring him.

"For all of my efforts to try and get into prison, [the Government] shut us down," he said at the time.

Brian Tamaki protesting at Parliament.
Brian Tamaki protesting at Parliament. Photo credit: Newshub

Tamaki also accused the Government of disproportionately locking up Māori and called for an alternative indigenous justice system.

Tamaki's 15-week Man Up programme claims to help "dysfunctional" men with a record of violent offending and addiction by rehabilitating them to re-enter society after prison.

While Tamaki has repeatedly criticised the Government for not funding the programme, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has confirmed to Newsroom that it won't happen.

"If [Destiny Church is] going to lie about the small stuff, how am I going to trust them with the big stuff?" Davis told Newsroom, insinuating Man Up had never followed the proper application process.

Davis also questioned the integrity of Destiny Church and where the money would go if it received funding. He told Newsroom: "I don't believe the money would go where they say it would go."

The Corrections Minister said Tamaki has requested to meet him but it did not result in a meeting. The bishop has requested meetings with other ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

According to Newsroom, Peters advocated to Davis on Tamaki's behalf, but Davis wasn't convinced that the information Tamaki provided about the Man Up programme was verified or sufficient.

The Man Up programme claims to have over 300 groups operating in every main city and town in New Zealand, as well as groups running internationally in Australia and Cambodia.

Tamaki says the programme has a success rate for non-reoffending of 72 percent.

Newshub.

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