June 27 2017, updated 5:38am

Destiny's Hannah Tamaki continues fight for leadership

Last updated 11:10 06/07/2011
Hannah Tamaki

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The Maori Women's Welfare League (MWWL) today suspended its branches and members linked to the Destiny Church in a deepening battle over a bid by Destiny co-leader Hannah Tamaki to take over the group's presidency.

League general manager Jacqui Te Kani also confirmed they had excluded Tamaki from the presidency ballot underway.

Earlier today a Tamaki spokeswoman, Amiria Pupuke, said Tamaki would consider going to the High Court over the issue.

She had only discovered via the media that she had been dumped from the ballot paper.

She initailly took to social media to say her appearance was counting against her, and she was considered too glamorous to lead the league.

Today she tweeted: "I have decided not to speak to media, as I'm going through with a process."

Pupuke said Tamaki was respecting an MWWL ordered ban on public comment during the presidential election but was continuing her campaign regardless.

"What has happened has just made her absolutely determined to continue," she said.

The Destiny campaign caused outrage within the 3000-strong league whose first patron was the legendary Princess Te Puea Herangi (1884-1952) and was lead into political pre-eminence by land rights campaigner Dame Whina Cooper (1895-1994).

Tamaki, who is married to Destiny Church founder Brian Tamaki has been in the league for five years and created several Destiny-based MWWL branches.

In a statement Te Kani said the MWWL national executive committee had set up "an inquiry into several branches, proposed branches, members and proposed members and into establishment of those branches".

There are at least three Destiny-linked branches in Auckland and several others around the country.

"The inquiry will look into whether the league's constitution, policies and procedures have been breached, including whether the non-sectarian nature of the league has been breached by those branches, proposed branches, members land proposed members being affiliated to the Destiny Church," Te Kani said.

She said she would lead the inquiry which would also include the league's lawyers Rainey Collins land accountants KPMG.

The inquiry would report to members by the league's conference in August.

"Pending the outcome of the inquiry the national executive committee has put on hold the branches, members, proposed branches and proposed members and has also put on hold the nomination of Hannah Tamaki for national president as the nomination was by one of the branches involved in the inquiry."

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Te Kani said the inquiry would be held in private and not open to media.

Tamaki has continued to hold meetings and despite the publicity ban, is keeping her profile up on Twitter.

"Wow had an amazing meeting," she reported following a Waikato meeting.

"I'm doing this 4 our people."

In another: "hey who said I've stepped down, no I've stepped it up."

Another: "They say I'm to glamorous to lead the league. I don't hv the right look."

Another: "re MWWL I'm still not speaking to the media."

In her campaign material, Tamaki says her husband "is a direct descendent" of Te Puea.

Te Puea had no children.

She says she is "humbled and proud" to be standing for the presidency.

"If elected I would koha the honorarium paid to his position to a charity supporting women's initiatives," she said.

She admitted her bid was causing turmoil in the league.

"However I will continue to keep my nomination in there and at the end of the day if the members want me as their national president then great," she said. 

"My nomination has certainly created a lot more interest in the league and if it means more members then that's great."

The league's stated aims and objectives included enabling members to "effectively participate in the spiritual, social, cultural and economic development of their whanau and community". Its creed stated that each member believed in God and had reverence for humanity.

"I believe there is a fit for me here," Tamaki says. 

"The league has done a lot of mahi or work for our women and children, and I know that I can also contribute what gifts I have."

She said the league and Destiny were separate organisations and she was standing because both had similar views on the wellbeing of people.

"My husband fully supports my stand for this organisation which was founded by Dame Whina Cooper and his Great Grand Aunt Princess Te Puia."

- Stuff

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