Church of Destiny leader Bishop Brian Tamaki intensified his war of words with the government, tweeting today that it seemed that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and veteran ministers had attempted a "collective political rape" against him.
His tweet this morning, which was also endorsed by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Minister of Corrections Kelvin Davis, is his latest response to a battle over the Man Up program of the Church of Destiny, which Tamaki wants to introduce to Prisoners' parents.
Tamaki told the Herald today his reference to collective rape has nothing to do with the experience of people who have been raped but who refer to an "attack planned by the main Labor MPs on his character."
He said that comparing his use of the phrase to the collective rape act was "perverting my true meaning because it has nothing to do with it."
"The term is about three senior cabinet ministers … complaining about a prison reform program, a success – Man Up – talking about social media and one of them criticizing me. Do not you think this is a little more than one coincidence?"
"Our prison system is in a severe state and Kelvin has no answers to that."
Tamaki has warned of the uprising in prisons if the government continues to deny access to Destiny Church's Man Up anti-violence program.
Despite his allegations, the government and corrections have repeatedly said that Destiny Church has never made a request to administer the course at the Corrections premises.
Tamaki told RNZ this morning that he tweeted about an arrest warrant because he was frustrated.
"I put that tweet out because they refused to listen.
"The incitement is not serious, in fact, I can not cause this in prisons, how do I do it? We are not even allowed to enter … but I have your attention, that's right."
Yesterday, in a series of tweets, Tamaki warned of prisoner uprisings, he and his wife Hannah exchanged insults with Grant Robertson and Tamaki, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis, as a liar.
Ardern backed down yesterday, calling him "irresponsible" to incite violence in prisons.
"We have made a point of this over and over again that there is a process that we have to go through. We are obliged to ensure that when someone is trying to put a program into the patches, there is a procurement process," said Ardern. reporters at his weekly press conference.
"My best advice is that Man Up did not go through this process. They repeatedly criticized the government for not allowing them to go into prisons, but they do nothing to formally try to put something in the direction of Corrections and get into a lawsuit.
"I think it's irresponsible to try to incite violence in the prison system because you're not getting what you want."
She said that Tamaki was trying to claim her course that she was being denied access to the prisons, but she understood that he never tried.
"If that's all about trying to get your program into prisons then it should focus on doing it properly."
In December last year, Tamaki led a rally of 2,000 supporters, including leather-clad motorcyclists, to Parliament to ask the government to allow the church to work in prisons.