Richard Lewis and Gordon Copeland have announced
they will be co-leaders of a new Christian-based political party following
a disorganised set of press conferences today.
Copeland caught on the hop by co-leader announcement
On the House blog: New political party is Destiny's child
Lewis, formerly the leader of Destiny Church's political wing Destiny New Zealand, said today that his party was being disbanded in favour of a new pan-Christian political entity of which he would be co-leader.
Neither Mr Lewis nor the church's head Bishop Brian Tamaki would say who the other co-leader was, saying more details of the new party would be announced in four to six weeks.
But within an hour, Independent MP Mr Copeland, who defected from United Future earlier this year and said he was forming a Christian party, told media at Parliament that he had the job.
"I am the other co-leader. I can confirm that," Mr Copeland said.
However, he said he had no idea Mr Tamaki and Mr Lewis were announcing Mr Lewis' co-leadership today.
"I think personally that Brian Tamaki is some distance ahead of the game that I'm involved in and thought I was involved in so that comes as quite a shock to me."
Mr Tamaki and Mr Lewis said the new party would be launched in about four to six weeks and would be based on family values.
People from within the Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Evangelical and Pentecostal churches were among those involved in forming the new party, Mr Tamaki told a press conference in Auckland.
He said Independent MPs Taito Phillip Field had been involved in discussions along with Mr Copeland.
What do the stars have in store for you today?
Test your mind with our puzzles
The Little Things, Dilbert, Tom Scott and others
Dig into New Zealand's archives
Decide what news you want to receive when it suits you
Keep up with the latest news by making us your homepage