Tamaki rents out MP's pad

Brian Tamaki moves into former minister’s luxury holiday home after selling mansion across road.

New Zealand Herald/June 6, 2015

By Lane Nichols

Destiny Church leader Bishop Brian Tamaki has sold his Maraetai Beach mansion and moved across the road into former Justice Minister Judith Collins' luxury holiday pad.

The controversial conservative Christian - who made headlines last week for warning of the growing threat of "gay power" - is now renting 'Crusher' Collins' sprawling six-bedroom retreat.

The Herald can reveal that Bishop Tamaki and wife, Hannah, sold their five-bedroom, five-bathroom Maraetai School Rd house in January for $1.5 million to Stryker Trustees. The 450sq m pad has elevator access to three levels, a sauna, gymnasium, heated swimming pool and comes with its own security fences and gates.

A neighbour told the Herald that he understood the Tamakis had planned to move "out to the country" once they sold the house and he was surprised to learn that they had instead shifted across the street to the Collins residence.

The National MP's 415sq m house is smaller than the Tamakis' former abode and constructed from tilt slab concrete. It features four bathrooms, three lounge areas, and boasts an outdoor entertainer's kitchen, theatre room and panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf.

The neighbour said he had seen Bishop Tamaki several times at Ms Collins' house and noticed his truck when the bishop went hunting.

"Everyone I've spoken to says he's a really good guy. He does so much good work."

Another neighbour confirmed Bishop Tamaki moved into Ms Collins' house earlier this year.

"He said he was moving in there to rent it. I think he's got family there. I don't know if they're grandchildren or sons but there's definitely people there."

The woman had read reports about Bishop Tamaki's "gay power" comments but had not discussed his views in person.

"We're not that close but we've said hello in the past. He's always been very nice to me so I don't have a problem with him."

Another source close to the couple said they were likely renting till they found the ultimate home to buy. The Tamakis had "heaps of visitors" and grandchildren who regularly stayed.

A Destiny spokeswoman confirmed the Tamakis were renting the property but said they were unavailable and did not wish to respond.

Ms Collins' luxury beach home on Omana Heights Drive failed to sell at auction in October - passed in after a single $1.9 million bid.

She co-owns the property with her husband, Oravida director David Wong-Tung.

The power couple bought a new five-bedroom home in St Heliers in February last year valued at $2.25 million and also own property in Nelson and Wellington.

According to Quotable Value, they paid $1.17 million for the Maraetai house in 2006 and had been hoping to sell it for "north of $2 million".

After failing to sell, the property was relisted with another agency, but the second listing was removed from Trade Me last month.

A source told the Herald Ms Collins took the house off the market due to a lack of acceptable offers and had planned to keep using it as a beach house.

"She wasn't about to give it away."

Ms Collins did not respond to requests for comment.

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