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Brian Tamaki released on bail for second breach

Tamaki defiant in the face of political and media pressure for the charges

Destiny Church Leader Brian Tamaki has pleaded not guilty to breaching his bail conditions.

The charges follow the Second Freedoms Rally held at the Auckland Domain last Saturday. It comes a week after Tamaki pleaded not guilty to similar charges, for the First Freedoms Rally.

He was remanded on bail and warned by Judge Josephine Bouchier that he would be remanded in custody if he breached his bail again.

A large group of Tamaki’s supporters gathered outside the Henderson Police Station, demanding his release.

He was ordered to comply with any Covid-19 level requirements, which include not attending or organising any protest.

His bail conditions also include not to access the internet for the purpose of organising or inciting non-compliance.

Upon his release, Tamaki released a statement setting out his side of the story. It is reproduced in full below:

On Monday I was asked by the New Zealand Police to attend at the Auckland Central Police Station on Tuesday morning at 8.30 am. I was told that I would be charged with an offence for my appearance and speech at the Freedom Family Picnic on Saturday, 16 October 2021 at the Auckland Domain. It was also suggested that I had breached my bail in doing so.

As requested, I attended at 8.30 am with Hannah at the Auckland Central Police Station. I was then greeted and told to go home without charge.

Later that day, I was again contacted and asked to come back the next day, this time at 9.00 am. Today, again, I attended with Hannah.

I was then arrested and charged. But, I could not be taken into the station or the Mt Eden Custodial Unit because there was a COVID-19 “scare” and it would be unsafe. I was taken to Waitakere Police Station where I remained until this afternoon so I could appear in Court and be released.

It’s been a long day; one that has frankly involved an unnecessary waste of Police resources. Further, and in complying with the Police requests, I stood against a greater risk of infection than I would in my ordinary life or at the event on Saturday.

While I have been lawful and complied with the Police requests, I believe that my arrest cannot be justified. It happened simply as a result of political and media pressure for such action. This can be seen by the many ill-informed public statements by people who were not even there.

Simeon Brown’s question of the Minister of Police on 18 October 2021 for example. Left without such interference, I doubt any action would have been taken, as it wasn’t on the day.

That’s because I did nothing unlawful. If I had, I have no doubt I would have been arrested on the spot.

I had no intention of breaching a Court order. I have been careful not to. I had no intention of inciting others to do so. I don’t believe that I did. I have no intention of wasting Police resources. Hence why I have always complied with their requests, as I did today.

However, I am prepared to insist that I, and any other person that wants to be heard, is able to speak publicly against perceived wrongs or injustice. I did so, as I encourage, in a peaceful and lawful way. It goes without saying surely that this is an important right and one that we must all be free to enjoy.

Today’s actions are a reminder of how quickly and easily that right can be eroded or lost.

I was entitled to attend any lawful “gathering” as is any member of the public. I was entitled to express my views about current policies. Whether everyone agrees with my views or not, is not the point. But as we can see many do. However, I should not be arrested for doing so and I will fight against any suggestion that I should be. The people need their own voice and the lawful right to express it. That is what freedom is and I will not let that be lost.

I did not mingle with others outside my “picnic bubble”. I remained socially distanced from any others present who were outside that bubble. I knew others were eager to silence me, so I worked with security to ensure I remained socially distanced. I also wore a mask throughout, other than when speaking, as did anyone else with who I engaged with. This included those helping me be compliant.

Further, I am not anti-vaccination. I am simply protective of peoples right to choose for themselves and without inappropriate enticement or threats. I do not agree with good hardworking people being forced out of work because they choose differently from what the Government wants them to. They should not be scared or prevented from feeding their families or from other benefits that our community are entitled to enjoy.

As we have seen in days past, and today, many are quick to judge without even a hearing or the opportunity to be informed. Many simply want to condemn me because they don’t otherwise believe in my values or beliefs. However, I can only trust that those same people are equally vocal and firm when it comes to protecting all our freedoms.

Today my faith in that and that alone was shaken. But it was not lost.

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  1. Never was a supporter of his before but I’ll be happy now to pay his legal fees if I had the money. At least he’s trying to stand up to the government


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