Man-Up programme has never been banned from prisons

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has denied Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki’s claims that the Government has stifled his attempts for the church to work in prisons.

He echoed comments made earlier by Justice Minister Andrew Little, who said Destiny had never actually made a formal application to partner with the Government to work in prisons.

“There have been no formal applications made to deliver the Man-Up or Legacy programmes in prison.”

Tamaki wanted Destiny Church’s Man-Up programme – an initiative focused on tackling family violence, depression, obesity, addiction and suicide – to be brought into prisons.

Last week Tamaki and 2000 others – including patched gang members – and presented a petition at Parliament urging the Government to allow the church to work within prisons.

“For all of my efforts to try and get into prison, they [the Government] shut us down,” Tamaki told those gathered.

The Destiny Church says the Department of Corrections is breaching the Treaty of Waitangi by refusing to let it into prisons.

But Little said he wanted to talk with Tamaki about the programme and what he and the Government could do together.

Davis said in his statement that any community group or organisation wanting to offer a programme in prison is welcome to make a formal application in writing.

He said any organisation that wanted to help safely reduce the prison population should focus on preventing people from going to prison in the first place.

He said until there are no more drugs being baked, until there is no more domestic violence, and when people with addiction services are supported, there will be a need for churches in every community to “work their magic.”

“No one needs my blessing to do that work.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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