It looks as if the Maori Women’s Welfare League (MWWL) may be inviting a legal battle. From the NZ Herald:
Destiny Church's Hannah Tamaki has effectively been disqualified from the presidency race for the Maori Women's Welfare League after her name was left off voting material.
Mrs Tamaki's derailed candidacy comes after an alleged direct challenge from a MWWL member - Prue Kapua - who argued to the national executive that because Mrs Tamaki's branches were aligned to the church they were unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, I cannot track down a copy of the charter. However, I will tentatively suggest that the MWWL may have overstepped the mark. I say, with a fair degree of certainty, that former presidents have had or retain some connection to faith based organisations. I fail to see how faith would be a disqualifying factor. The MWWL is strictly non-sectarian in outlook and approach, but that does not mean members or leaders must disown their religious beliefs. Although I do not support Hannah Tamaki’s bid for the presidency, in fact I actively oppose her bid, striking her name off of voting papers is unfair. Having said this, I cannot say with any certainty whether this move from the MWWL is legit without viewing the charter, however, prima facie, it appears that the MWWL have got ahead of themselves.
In a double blow, church members who are also in the MWWL might not be able to vote regardless of Mrs Tamaki's candidacy status.
Yesterday, Mrs Tamaki, the wife of Destiny's Bishop Brian Tamaki, was considering legal options. A letter was sent to the MWWL executive team in Wellington asking for an explanation about the situation by 3pm.
What the Bishop wants, the Bishop gets. Or at least that is how he sees it. I have no doubt that Hannah Tamaki and her husband will invoke the law as a means to their end. Mrs Tamaki’s bid for the presidency is, in my opinion, an attempt by Destiny Church to seize control of a respectable social organisation and, subsequently, access social service funding. The Church has identified government contracts as a new money spinner and they are hell bent (terrible pun I know) on securing them. Providing social services is a way to make money under the guise of doing God's work.
Hannah Tamaki is running an expensive campaign for the presidency. She is distributing promotional material, attending MWWL functions and, according to reports, instructing Destiny Church members to form their own MWWL branches and join existing branches. However, the MWWL is firmly opposed to such moves and they are beginning to play the game. Three Destiny Church affiliated branches of the MWWL have not received voting papers due to their connections with the Church. The MWWL is also investigating other methods to block Destiny branches and Destiny affiliated members.
I hope this whole saga turns out well for the MWWL. The League is one of the most respectable Maori organisations in the country. A Destiny Church take over will only serve to smear the organisation. Hopefully the MWWL can keep it clean and minimise the damage Destiny has already inflicted.