Brian Tamaki announces plans for standalone community in South Auckland
Destiny Church is planning to create a holy city for its followers in the heart of South Auckland.
The church's leader, Bishop Brian Tamaki has told supporters the plans are well advanced, and that donations for the project have topped $2.4 million.
He is urging church members to sell up their homes around the country and move to his promised land - a suggestion that is not being welcomed by everyone.
Tamaki unveiled his vision in front of thousands of parishioners at Destiny Church's 10th birthday conference.
He is planning to sell Destiny headquarters at Mt Wellington and create a 'Destiny City'. He has already secured a plot of land to build it on in the middle of South Auckland.
"We've signed literally for 10 acres, with a possibility of another five acres when we want it, then another five when we need it," says Tamaki. "So that gives us 20 acres right in the heart of the largest city in our nation."
Tamaki told his parishioners the city will hold a church to seat 5000, maraes, medical centres and schools, so his parishioners never have to leave.
"Every child of every member of this church will never go to a state school again," says Tamaki.
Destiny has 10 churches and over 7000 members throughout New Zealand.
Tamaki wants all of them to sell their homes and move to his holy nation where he can protect them.
"You'd shift for a payrise?" he asks his followers. "Would you shift for the purpose of God? To see something happen? Would you do that?"
3 News was contacted by a concerned man who attended the conference with his mother. He says she is now planning to sell her six properties in Nelson, donate the money to the church and move to Tamaki's Destiny City.
Mark Vrankovich from Cultwatch says Tamaki's plans are dangerous, because his followers will be isolated from society.
"There is a danger there that the people will focus on Brian as their only source of reality," he says, "and then if Brian becomes deranged or goes extremely strange we could end up with a Waco."
Waco was the site in the US state of Texas where in 1993, 76 followers of the Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh died in a fire following a 51-day siege by the FBI.
Destiny Church told 3 News it would be another few weeks before the purchase of the land was confirmed, and it was too early to reveal its exact location.