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Indians arrive next week to scout the Maori path

For immediate release October 28

Indians arrive next week to scout the path blazed by Maori

Maori Anglicans from throughout the motu will gather in Otaki next week for Te Runanganui o Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa – the national hui held once every two years to review the life and mission of their church.

And among the guests this year will be two indigenous Canadians who’ve come to see what lessons they can learn from the Pihopatanga and adapt for their home church.

The First Nations people of the Canadian Episcopal Church are long-time admirers of the constitution adopted here by the Anglican Church in 1992. This resulted in the formation of three equal, autonomous yet interdependent Tikanga (Maori, Polynesian and Pakeha cultural streams) within the greater church here.

In light of their interest, and the success of that constitution, Te Pihopatanga (the Maori Church) also has a history of helping indigenous Canadians in their moves towards greater autonomy within their own church.

Earlier this year, for example, Archdeacon Hone Kaa – who is one of those who drove the reforms in New Zealand – traveled to Winnipeg, at the request of the Canadian Anglican Church, to join their discussions as they seek to establish indigenous bishops.

“The native Canadians are coming,” says Hone Kaa, “because Aotearoa is the only indigenous model they have to measure their own efforts against.”

The Otaki Runanganui – the 13th to be held since the Pihopatanga was established – will be the first presided over by the new Pihopa o Aotearoa, The Rt Rev Brown Turei. Bishop Turei was chosen for this role at an electoral synod held at Turangawaewae in February.

Te Runanganui has a full agenda: It will, among other things, hear reports from each of its five hui amorangi, review principles of church legislation and models of leadership; and hear about plans for the future from groups of elected women and youth. There’s also a slot on the Friday morning for the Maori Members of Parliament to speak.

Te Runanganui will begin at Te Wananga o Raukawa on Thursday afternoon, November 3, and will finish on Sunday, November 6. About 200 people are expected to attend – including 130 delegates from the five hui amorangi, plus a big contingent of guests and observers.

ENDS

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