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Religious Treason at Waitangi

PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BISHOP BRIAN TAMAKI

28 May 2007

Religious Treason at Waitangi

Asia Pacific Interfaith Forum
Tuesday 29 May at Waitangi

On the eve of the Government’s Asia Pacific Inter-religious Forum at Waitangi, Bishop Brian Tamaki says he intends to present a counter-declaration to officially recognise New Zealand’s Christian heritage by “declaring New Zealand to be a Christian nation”. This call is now supported by an increasing public groundswell who are now saying they identify New Zealand as a Christian nation.

The declaration comes in response to a political endeavour by the Labour-led Government to declare New Zealand religiously neutral. The Forum, hosted by Prime Minister Helen Clark, concludes with its own Waitangi Declaration that says New Zealand has no official or established religion.

“I believe most New Zealanders would be appalled that our Prime Minister would introduce a statement that eradicates 170 years of Christian heritage. If there were ever an issue that this country needed to debate now, it is this one,” Bishop Tamaki says.

Bishop Tamaki describes the Government’s statement on religion as a “spurious document” that amounts to religious treason.

“In the same way our rally at Parliament opposing the anti-smacking bill forced an unprecidented compromise between Labour and National, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tuesday’s stand at Waitangi causes the Prime Minister to withdraw her religious statement from the Forum agenda, which is great, because she can use my one!” Bishop Tamaki added.

Bishop Tamaki will head a delegation of church representatives at Waitangi to present the counter-declaration. The rally will also include the Destiny haka team. Participants are being asked to gather at the Ngapuhi Grounds (just south of Waitangi Bridge) by 12pm midday.

Event details can be viewed on www.christiannation.org.nz

ENDS

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