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Destiny Church town plan draws cult accusations

Published: 8:26AM Friday January 06, 2012 Source: ONE News

Destiny Church's plans to build a ten-acre 'town' in South Auckland has many describing the movement as a cult.

Speaking at Destiny Church's New Year's Eve 'MegaService' in Rotorua, self-styled 'Bishop' Brian Tamaki declared that the church has secured resource consent to build schools, a university and a massive auditorium in South Auckland.

Footage screened on TV ONE showed the crowd rising and cheering when Tamaki told followers that ten acres of land had been acquired and that "we signed a contract" and that "we can do anything we want - we can build it".

"We had to get resource consent meaning that the council would let us build our schools, our auditorium - basically building a town," Tamaki said.

The move has drawn spirited comment on ONE News' Facebook page.

While some defended the church's right, many were quick to label the church a cult.

"How about pumping that money back into the church into those families that really, honestly can not afford to pay his fees that he so calls "Tithing" [&] Too much money in one mans pocket to be "right" in my books," Harley Lass said on ONE News' Facebook page.

Craig Sherson said there was "nothing Christian about bleeding people dry to feather your own nest."

The Auckland Council was also a target for criticism for its decision to grant consent to the church.

"What insane Council actually granted resource for this?" said Julian Tyerman.

"I trust in the future when the inevitable happens, it will be the Council that is taken to task."

But others were supportive of the church's right to build a town. Cameron Setefano put forward the view that Destiny's detractors should support the town.

"As long as their practices don't impose on others' lives, and I can't think of a time they did apart from the anti-gay march a few years ago, then who cares?" he said.

"Too many people here are undermining others' free will and freedom of choice. Once they build their little community and live there, they'll probably be out of our hair," said Setefano.

And others pointed out that Destiny's actions weren't unlike some other religious congregations.

"Isn't it funny, Exclusive Brethren have been operating as a cult for centuries, having there own communities, own schools yet when Destiny Church decides to do it. BIG NEWS!" said Charlotte Kamprad.

"Believe it or not, there is a lot of good in this Church minus the negative pomp the media coats it with."

Call for money

The block of land Destiny intends to build on is on Druces Rd, Wiri is just off the Southern Motorway.

The deal allows Destiny to lease the property with an option to buy after it has sold its current headquarters in Mt Wellington.

The church will take possession of the land in December.

Tamaki is now calling for money from members of his congregation.

"Much of your seed is going to go toward the foundations of an offering toward our promised land, and that beginning is not going to come without a fruitful start financially," he said.

ONE News was told by Destiny Church that Tamaki is camping in the Bay of Plenty.

What do you think of the plans? Have your say on the messageboard below.

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  • Jamie DeGreat said on 2012-01-09 @ 13:57 NZDT: Report abusive post

    James 2:18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. Moving the school and social programmes to South Auckland is not for having a secluded and cut off section, but to be where people need help. Unlike this guy (in the link), Destiny Church is getting ready to dive in (South Auckland here we come!)

  • sarag said on 2012-01-09 @ 10:34 NZDT: Report abusive post

    its pathetic! seriously WHY has the council allowed the church to purchase the land so that they can create their own little township "to keep their people safe from the outside world"???? If this is the case Im assuming he's got a welfare system for his flock? He has jobs lined up within his little "kingdom" for them? their own qualified doctors and nurses im guessing cos he wouldnt want to come outside his gates...SHAME ON THE AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL! MAYOR LEN BROWN & THE NZ GOVT

  • Two Edge Sword said on 2012-01-08 @ 15:44 NZDT: Report abusive post

    What did Jesus of Nazareth do ? How many towns did he build ?

  • mrspania said on 2012-01-06 @ 14:23 NZDT: Report abusive post

    everyone has there points i beleve thay are a cult and thaey may rehabilitate drugs addicts or taggers but what they have done is brainwashed them into giving there money to make tamaki richer and they will never again think for themselfs i am ashamed of our council for alowing this building a village contract to go ahead it is turing into america one day we will all see thr truth that tamaki is a cult leader and i'll be damd to live anywhere near there ever in my existance again shame on nz

  • mantermite said on 2012-01-06 @ 13:45 NZDT: Report abusive post

    At the end of the day religion is a money making venture for the person at the top. If Brian wants to be the KIng of the Hill then I will assume that he will build it regardless of taking more "donations" from his flock. Faith is free and shared by all, religion is exclusive and only given to those who follow. How ever much good is made, it is still a person declaring a path, right or wrong, as they see it.