Enough is enough – give Des­tiny some ku­dos

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

“Des­tiny is in line for mil­lions of dol­lars in gov­ern­ment con­tracts!”

That’s what main­stream me­dia blurted out last week when it was re­vealed Des­tiny Church is es­tab­lish­ing an ur­ban Maori au­thor­ity. Bishop Brian Ta­maki has re­quested an af­fil­i­a­tion with the Na­tional Ur­ban Maori Au­thor­ity led by John Tami­here and me.

NUMA was formed about five years ago and is a col­lec­tive of six ur­ban Maori or­gan­i­sa­tions. We are legally recog­nised by gov­ern­ment and have ac­cess to a con­testable $20 mil­lion Maori fisheries fund to sup­port our work though we have re­ceived less than 1 per­cent of it.

Self-ap­pointed Maori ex­perts like Michael Laws said that Des­tiny be­com­ing an ur­ban Maori au­thor­ity is all about money and noth­ing to do with ad­vanc­ing the lives of Maori liv­ing in the city. He couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. The re­al­ity is that our ur­ban Maori au­thor­i­ties barely break even and some­times run at a loss with gov­ern­ment con­tracts. That’s not be­cause of in­com­pe­tence, but rather we are un­der­funded for the mas­sive amount of work that needs to be done in the area of so­cial ser­vices. In many ways it’s hum­bling that Des­tiny wants to join us. One cri­te­ria they cer­tainly will ful­fil is their com­mit­ment to Maori. Des­tiny has turned around thou­sands of Maori peo­ples’ lives – gang­sters, fraud­sters, drug dealers. Un­like other churches, Des­tiny re­ceives no gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

I couldn’t give a damn about Ta­maki’s Har­ley-David­son or flash house. If he’s do­ing the busi­ness for our peo­ple, then that should be the main con­sid­er­a­tion.

It’s time that crit­ics step for­ward and give Brian Ta­maki and his church ku­dos for the work that he’s done rather than hold­ing them ran­som for dar­ing to march against the civil union leg­is­la­tion. “Enough is enough” was the call that day, and “enough is enough” is more ap­pli­ca­ble now that judge­ments are be­ing made about an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has done its bit turn­ing around neg­a­tive Maori statis­tics.

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