Coalition NZ: Hannah Tamaki, KFC, abortion, Alfred Ngaro

After months of speculation, Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki on Thursday announced his wife, Hannah, would lead a new political party called Coalition New Zealand.

Fronting a press conference, the pair discussed the party's values and discontent with the current Government and its policies that they claim have put the "Kiwi way of life" in danger.

While no specific policies were announced. nor who would be standing for the party in electorate seats, there were five interesting takeaways:

The leader
 

In February, Brian said he had been considering starting a political party - but it wouldn't include him as a candidate.

"Oh no, I can't lower myself to go down to that position with my high call," he told Newshub.

Instead, his wife, Hannah, will take that position.

Regularly seen by Brian's side at protests and at the pair's church, Hannah is likely to be seen as more appealing to the wider public than her controversial husband. While she vehemently supports him, Hannah has also made it clear she has her own leadership style and thoughts on moral issues.

Billing herself as a Māori woman, a grandmother, and a Christian, she told reporters on Thursday she will draw from 40-years of working with people through Destiny Church and wanted her party to be a vehicle for the "silent majority".

Her favourite meal at KFC? Bean salad. But she also enjoys chicken wings.

Hannah Tamaki.
Hannah Tamaki. Photo credit: Newshub.

Biggest concerns
 

While the party didn't put forward any specific policies, Brian and Hannah did express their disdain for many of the Government's current policies, including its work on lowering incarceration rates.

But the party has also been spurred on by moral issues currently in the spotlight.

She is worried about marijuana, euthanasia, and late-term abortion being legalised - despite no party actively pursuing that option. Hannah would like to see abortion become illegal.

She says she has gay family members, but was vague on her wider feelings towards homosexuality. Repealing the Marriage Equality Act wouldn't be a policy, however.

The Government's efforts to reduce child poverty have let her down and she was frustrated by what she said was increasing censorship across the country.

"I am fed up with the level of censorship growing around the issues that face our nation. The persecution that comes with daring to have an opinion or view that does not fit the leftist agenda."

Whatever the policies end up being, Hannah has stressed they will reflect family values.

Party for everyone
 

This isn't the pair's first foray into politics.

In 2003, Destiny Church members started the Destiny New Zealand political party with Brian as its "spiritual adviser". It gained less than one percent of the vote in the 2005 election and was subsequently deregistered. Further attempts to set up Christian parties turned acrimonious and failed.

Hannah says Coalition NZ isn't a christian party, but a party for those that don't feel like they have a voice and are quietly angry with the direction the current Government is taking New Zealand.

"Let it be clear, Coalition Party is not a Christian party, Coalition NZ is going to be a party for all New Zealanders," she said.

"You do not need to be a Christian to be marginalised in this society or have strong family views."

She did say, however, that Christian values shouldn't be feared.

Alfred Ngaro.
Alfred Ngaro. Photo credit: Getty

Waiting on Alfred
 

National MP Alfred Ngaro hasn't been quiet about looking to start a new Christian party, and National leader Simon Bridges has even said the establishment of a new religious party is an "alluring idea".

Hannah used the press conference as a platform to reach out to Ngaro.

"I do not know you. You seem like a reasonable man looking for somewhere to call home. I imagine you and I may have different views, but overall I suspect there are a number of things we can agree with and have in common," she said.

"It is that reasons that I give you Alfred an opportunity to come and sit with me."

It's likely any Ngaro-led political party would look to support National, but Hannah won't say which major party she would prefer Coalition NZ to partner with. There would no "seat accommodation" or "backroom deals" to ensure Coalition NZ won an electorate seat.

Brian and Hannah Tamaki.
Brian and Hannah Tamaki. Photo credit: Newshub.

The team
 

Hannah said she was only as strong as the team behind her.

While no candidates were announced for electorate seats, there were three key figures standing with Hannah at her press conference.

While he isn't ruling out standing for a seat, Brian's role has yet to be determined.

Anne Williamson, Destiny Church's media relations practitioner will be the party secretary and chair its policy formation group, while Jevan Goulter, a close friend to the Tamakis and an openly gay figure, will support Hannah and the campaign.

Goulter has links to former MP Hone Harawira, who has been rumoured to be connected to the new party. But Hannah said nothing has been set in stone.

Newshub.

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