Enough is enough – give Destiny some kudos
“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.