Dear Destiny Church – it is your democratic duty NOT to pay the $24,000 invoice from the Christchurch City Council

Christchurch City Council has sent Destiny Church pastor Derek Tait an invoice for $24,000 to pay for traffic management costs on several recent marches in the city.

This is outrageous.

I strongly disagree with most of the views of the Freedom and Rights Coalition but to try to charge them for costs associated with a public protest in a democratic country is fundamentally wrong at every level. I’ve been involved in helping organise many protest marches over more than 40 years and no organisation I’ve ever been involved with has ever paid a single cent to any city council to exercise the right to public protest.

If the Christchurch City Council has its way then the only groups able to organise public protest marches will be those who can afford tens of thousands in traffic management fees. This is “user-pays” on steroids and a full frontal attack on our democracy.

Derek Tait is right to refuse to pay – in fact it is his democratic duty not to pay as this would set a dangerous precedent.

Don’t just read this piece – write to Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and tell her this is a direct attack on democracy and she must withdraw the invoice and apologise now. Email

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