Corrections staff asked to be vigilant after Tamaki’s tweet

tamaki's tweet

Department of Corrections staff were advised to be vigilant about escalated tension after a tweet by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki in which he warned of revolts in prisons.

Tamaki later said the tweet was not serious.

The department wouldn’t go further into detail “relating to a threat, or our response,” but said it took “all threats to the safety and security of our sites seriously”.

In April, a war of words broke out between Tamaki and government ministers, including Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

Tamaki said he wanted Government funding to introduce his Man Up programme into prisons, but Davis stated Tamaki had failed to follow proper application procedures.

Among several tweets he posted about the funding not going ahead, Tamaki wrote that “we will plan thru private visits to inmates in every Prison to bring Man Up in and cause inmate revolts in evey prison (sic)”.

He subsequently said his tweet came out of frustration from the obstacles the programme had faced.

“I put that tweet out because they refused to listen, so what do you do when you’ve got something that our indigenous people want.

“Inmates are writing letters every day, I can give you letters.”

Tamaki said the tweet which talked of revolts was designed to get attention.

“The incitement is not serious, really, I can’t cause that in prisons, how do I do that? We’re not even allowed in … but I got your attention, that’s what it was.”

Tamaki says the programme has a success rate for non-reoffending of 72 per cent.

The Man Up programme claims to have more than 300 groups operating in every main city and town in New Zealand, as well as groups running internationally in Australia and Cambodia.


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