Māori women’s group Te Wharepora Hou condemns the attendance by the four Māori male politicians at the Destiny Church conference last weekend. The Māori women declare that those Māori politicians have implicitly endorsed the church’s homophobic and misogynist stance, by supporting their conference.

Te Wharepora Hou recalls the hatred that Destiny Church unleashed during the passage of the Civil Unions Bill. Spokesperson for Te Wharepora Hou Marama Davidson says “Not one politician spoke against the discriminatory principals of Destiny Church over the weekend. We are outraged that a show of support for takatāpui people and their whānau was sacrificed for political expediency.”

Te Wharepora Hou says that the conservative, intolerant messages that are anti-gay, anti-transgender and anti-women are quite opposed to the general direction that Aotearoa is heading in. Te Wharepora Hou insists that any ‘community initiatives’ run by Destiny Church do not justify any messages that do not recognise human rights for all people.

Marama Davidson adds “we believe that these Māori politicians have significantly misread the Māori electorate. We believe the overwhelming majority of Māori will shy away from politicians who are in any way associated with Destiny Church. We want all our children to grow up in a community where they are loved and encouraged and not discriminated or repressed for who they are.”

Te Wharepora Hou acknowledges the excellent work of groups such as Rainbow Youth, AIDS Foundation and many others, which create safe spaces for some of the most marginalised and vulnerable members in our society. Te Wharepora Hou hopes those groups can continue with their positive messages despite the challenging stigma that groups such as Destiny Church express towards them.