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Bishops pay tribute to Bishop Max Mariu

For immediate release December 15, 2005

Anglican Maori Bishops pay tribute to Bishop Max Mariu


The Anglican Church’s five Maori bishops are today travelling to little Waihi Marae near Turangi to mourn Takuira Max Mariu, the first Maori Roman Catholic bishop, and to acknowledge the warm and close relationship they’d shared.

Archbishop Whakahuhui Vercoe, the leader of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, describes Bishop Max as “a committed Christian, committed to his Maori people, and to his church.”

Bishop Max, he said, was a deeply faithful Roman Catholic – yet he was a man whose aroha wasn’t confined to his denomination.

“He was very popular with all Maori,” says Archbishop Vercoe, “and he was able to relate right across the board, to young and old, irrespective of church and faith.”

Archbishop Vercoe says he is travelling to the tangi with Roman Catholic relatives from the East Coast, Whakatane and Rotorua. “We are going together as family,” he says.

Bishop Brown Turei, the head of the Pihopatanga, or Maori Anglican church, recalls the contribution Bishop Max made at a major Anglican hui at Turangawaewae, in February this year, at which Bishop Brown was elected as the new leader of the Pihopatanga.

Tumu Te Heuheu, the paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, had chaired that Electoral College, and brought Bishop Max, his Roman Catholic whanaunga, for support.

Bishop Max’s considerable grace and respect for his Anglican brothers and sisters was evident over those days, says Bishop Brown – and he recalls Bishop Max’s parting words to the hui, words concerning the Anglican Pihopatanga:

“He taonga ta koutou, puritia” – “You have a treasure: hold on to it.”

ENDS

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