Brian Tamaki pleads not guilty to organising anti-lockdown protest

By Te Ao - Māori News

Destiny Church’s Bishop Brian Tamaki has pleaded not guilty to organising an anti-lockdown protest in breach of Covid-19 alert level restrictions.

Tamaki and co-accused Paul Thompson appeared in the Auckland District Court via audio-visual link this morning. Thompson also pleaded not guilty

They are charged with intentionally failing to comply with the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 by organising and attending a gathering in an outdoor place in breach of alert level 3 restrictions.

If found guilty, they could face up to six months in prison and a $4000 fine.

The pair allegedly organised a protest of more than 1000 people in Auckland's Domain on October 2.

At the time the Alert level limited gatherings to weddings, funerals and tangihanga with no more than 10 people.

Judge Brooke Gibson remanded them on bail, on the condition they would not organise or attend gatherings in breach of current alert level restrictions, or use the internet with the purpose of organising or encouraging non-compliance of the rules.

The matter will be next be called in January next year.