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Salvation Army redeploys in the South

Media Release
The Salvation Army

Salvation Army redeploys in the South

15 May 2006 -- Wellington -- The Salvation Army is thankful to God for a rich heritage of ministry and service, but the next few years will be critical according to its Territorial Commander Commissioner Garth McKenzie.

To stay strong and true to its mission, The Salvation Army recently launched a five-year strategic plan after extended consultation with staff, Salvation Army officers (ministers), and church members. The plan affirms The Salvation Army's mission statement: 'Caring for people, transforming lives, reforming society.' Four key goals are established including continuing taking 'significant steps towards eradicating poverty in New Zealand'.

'The Salvation Army is committed to an ongoing review of our mission effectiveness—including financial management—and directing resources accordingly,' said Commissioner McKenzie.

A strategic decision has been taken that on 11 January 2007 the two South Island Salvation Army divisions, currently overseen from headquarters in Dunedin and Christchurch, would combine and be known as the 'Southern Division'. The new Southern Division Headquarters will be based in Christchurch.

Salvation Army staff in the two South Island Divisions are aware of this change and consultations have commenced for redeployment where applicable. The Salvation Army will announce the appointment of divisional leaders for the new Southern Division later this year, along with other related appointments.

'This decision has only been taken after careful and prayerful consideration, and with a full awareness of the significance and history of the present South Island Divisions,' said Commissioner McKenzie.

The Salvation Army in New Zealand had its origins in the South, when General William Booth dispatched 20-year-old Captain George Pollard and 19-year-old Lieutenant Edward Wright to New Zealand after receiving a letter from Arabella Valpy, daughter of one of Dunedin's pioneers. In April 1882 Arabella wrote to General William Booth urging him to send out officers to 'rescue perishing souls' in depression-ridden Dunedin, and reinforced her plea with a bankdraft for two hundred pounds.

Pollard and Wright commenced Salvation Army work in Dunedin in March 1883. Within nine months, Salvation Army church and social work had reached as far as Christchurch in the South, and in Auckland and Wellington in the North Island.

Commenting on the redeployment and rationalisation of resources in the South Island, Commissioner McKenzie said: 'This strategic move is designed to enhance our mission and the services provided in the South Island. By utilising our resources to the best advantage we view this as an opportunity for further development and to ensure that we deliver on our God-given mission in New Zealand.'

'The Salvation Army is nearly 125 years old. We want to make sure we don't lose our cutting edge,' he added.


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