Brian Tamaki should apologise - Davis

updated By Te Ao - Māori News

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has expressed disgust at the language used by Bishop Brian Tamaki, who criticised the government's response to his organisation's Man Up programme.

Yesterday, Tamaki posted a tweet which read, "The church will cause inmate revolts in every prison" if the programme was rejected.   

He followed it up today with this tweet accusing the government of political "gang rape".

Davis described the comments as disgraceful. 

"It isn't right that the programme be rolled out in prisons after those statements from the leader of Destiny Church," says Davis, "He should apologise to the whole country for saying such terrible things."

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern added, "We've said to him consistently, he needs to go through the same process everyone else does if he wants to offer up programmes for prisons and engage with us- not send offensive tweets."

From the Gold Coast, Tāmaki said in a statement today that the Labour Party, through Finance Minister Grant Robertson, are trying to demonise the Man Up movement.  Tamaki wasn't able to respond to questions about whether or not the correct process was followed in applying to run his programme in prisons or whether it was appropriate for him to be using such offensive terminology.

Others in the caucus, however, appeared a little more sympathetic towards the programme.  Justice Minister Andrew Little said that, "In the end, Kelvin has made his decision and that's where it is."

Little received Tamaki and his supporters when they converged onto parliament in December seeking government support for Man Up. 

The programme was reportedly discussed between Deputy PM Winston Peters and Davis but wasn't taken any further, with Davis citing a lack of supporting evidence proving the programme's effectiveness.

It appears likely that this is as far as the matter will go while Davis is minister.