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Wider Anglican support for Maori Anglican stand

November 8

Wider Anglican support for Maori Anglican stand in the wake of the Ruatoki raids

There’s been a swift, unequivocal show of support from the top level of the wider Anglican Church to the stand taken by Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, the Maori stream of the church, in the wake of the Ruatoki raids.

Last weekend Archbishop Brown Turei was sharply sceptical of the raids in his opening address to Te Runanganui, or governing body of Te Pihopatanga, which met in Christchurch. Two resolutions were also passed protesting at the impact of police action on Tuhoe in general and Ruatoki in particular, and expressing concern that anti-terrorist legislation could be used by the State to muzzle lawful Maori protestors.

Te Runanganui’s second resolution urged parliament to reconsider the anti-terrorism legislation with a view to removing its “discriminatory features.”

It also asked the General Synod – the overall policymaking body of the three tikanga Anglican Church – to stand with it on this.

That support has been quickly given. The Standing Committee of the General Synod – the powerful Anglican Church committee which handles the business of the church between meetings of the General Synod – met in Hamilton for three days this week.

The Standing Committee includes the three Archbishops of the church (Archbishops David Moxon, leader of Tikanga Pakeha; Jabez Bryce, of Tikanga Polynesia; as well as Archbishop Turei) and elected representatives of each of the three cultural strands of the church.

As a matter of urgency they considered the Runanganui resolutions in response to the Ruatoki raids – and passed one of their own: “That this Standing Committee of General Synod supports the resolution of Te Runanganui calling for the review or repeal of the anti-terrorism legislation.”

This matter may well be taken further at the church's General Synod in May next year.


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