National | Brian Tamaki

Apology doesn't convince former politician

Suspicions arise as to whether Bishop Brian Tamaki's apology to the Rainbow Community is sincere following the launch of the Coalition New Zealand Party led by his wife Hannah.

Tamaki made his apology public at his annual Destiny Church gathering in Auckland this weekend.

Bishop Brian Tamaki has set the record straight - "It has never been my intent to cause harm or hurt through the messages I have delivered over the years."

It's the very first time the Destiny Church leader has issued a public apology to the LGBTQI community, after years of attacking the very same community who he claimed were the reason for the 2011 Christchurch earthquake that killed 185 souls.

Despite the apology, a former politician on human rights and gender identity, Georgina Beyer isn't letting him off the hook.

“I have my suspicions, I have a history of railing against his organisation for some of the hurt and damage that has been caused. Yes, he has apologised I guess grudgingly one could accept that but I take it tacitly. There's an awful lot more if there's going to be any bridge built,” Beyer said.

In 2004, Beyer confronted Destiny Church followers on the steps of Parliament during the Enough is Enough march and rally on the civil unions' legislation.

"He was disappointed that we couldn't meet but he would like to sometime soon. Well, I put a line in the sand regarding how close I wish to be to getting to that point yet," says Beyer.

The annual congregation of 2000-strong Destiny Church members sat and watched three members of the rainbow community forge their relationship following by an apology from Tamaki.

Member of the Rainbow Community James Laverty says, “That to me was sincere. Why would you put this all at risk in a congregation if you didn't have some faith in it.”

Following the public support by Mr Laverty who spoke at the annual event at Destiny Church, has today resigned from his position as Guardian of Rainbow Pride Auckland.

The organisation says they're open to working with all community groups, however, the board and advisors both disagree with Tamaki's previous comments. Laverty will pursue opportunities to work with churches across New Zealand.

The apology comes just one week after Tamaki's wife Hannah launched her new political party, Coalition New Zealand.

Beyer says, "There is obviously going to be a political link. There seems to be inner strict able length by Brian and Hannah or much that's got to do with Destiny Church. There's a deep amount of suspicions I believe."

Hannah Tamaki says, “We will answer the questions face to face, we're not going to have your interpretation of what we're going to be saying we're going to speak to people ourselves. We don't even need you to interfere in our relationship.”

Bishop Tamaki said he would be prepared to attend future rainbow events.