Hone Harawira blogs:
That is not so.
I value the broad support that MANA has attracted from all sectors of our society, and I owe it to everyone to explain things from my own point of view.
You see … like everyone else I have gay people in my whanau, and like everyone else I also have straight people in my whanau, and like everyone else I love them all.
I would sincerely hope that my attendance at the Destiny hui is not seen as an endorsement by either myself or MANA of the views held by Bishop Brian Tamaki and the Destiny Church, in the same way that I hope my attendance at the Mormon Stake Conference on Saturday is not seen as an endorsement of their more unsavoury racial practices of the recent past, or my attendance at an Anglican church service seen as an endorsement of their practice of stealing Maori land over the centuries.
I broadly agree with Hone on this. A politician accepting a speaking engagement is not an endorsement of everything the host stands for – far from it. MPs should and do attend meetings held by groups they disagree with, and this is a good thing.
Do we think John Key endorses all the CTU policies when he addresses their national conference?
Only the most extreme groups should be considered out of bounds for an MP to speak to – basically neo-nazis and others that preach hatred.
Now I am no fan of Destiny. To my mind they come closer to the “should not address under any circumstance” group than many others. They are cult-like.
But they do actually do some good with their social services, and now that they are not also running a parallel political wing, they are not as big a threat as they once were.