Destiny puts hand up for charter school

Last updated 11:02 28/07/2012
Brian Tamaki
Fairfax NZ
DESTINY LEADER: Bishop Brian Tamaki.

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Destiny Church has put a questioning hand up over the possibility of receiving Government money to set up a new charter school despite initially refuting the suggestion.

Associate Education Minister John Banks has listed 18 organisations in answer to a parliamentary question from the Green Party about which organisations had expressed an interest in the Charter School program.

At a New Year's Eve service in Rotorua, church leader Brian Tamaki told his congregation the church had been granted permission to build schools, a university and a large auditorium on a block of land in Wiri in Auckland.

The announcement triggered speculation Destiny may chose to run the Wiri campus as a charter school - a controversial scheme announced as part of the confidence and supply agreement between National and ACT following last year's election.

Under a charter school arrangement Destiny Church would be able to operate a school as it might privately, but with funding from the public purse.

At the time a Destiny Spokesperson denied it wanted to be part of the scheme.

It joins other interested groups including - Maharishi Foundation of NZ which practises transcendental meditation and Think Global Schools which is a US based organisation which operates in three different cities around the world each year.

Destiny Church will reportedly be allowed to lease the 10-acre block of land at Wiri from December.

According to plans submitted to Auckland Council, the complex will be built in an existing warehouse on the property and will include a gym, hairdressers and administration offices in addition to educational and religious facilities.

The school, which will take Years 1 to 13, will take up to 350 pupils.

The church reportedly has the option of buying the Druces Rd property, valued at $7.65 million, once it has sold its Mt Wellington headquarters.

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