Bishop Tamaki - Statement To Interfaith Forum
This document was delivered to the Asia Pacific Interfaith Forum on 29 May 2007 www.christiannation.org.nz
The New Zealand Government And Delegates Of The Asia-Pacific Interfaith Forum Being Held At Waitangi 29 – 31 May 2007
The peoples of New Zealand wish to formalise New Zealand’s Christian heritage in such a way that it cannot be tampered with by future Governments. We seek to have this declaration officially recognised by New Zealand Parliament at the earliest opportunity.
STATEMENT ON NEW ZEALAND’S RELIGIOUS IDENTITY:
1. We formally recognise New Zealand as a Christian nation.
2. Christianity affirms freedom of religious choice.
3. Future Governments shall protect and preserve New Zealand’s Christian heritage and the above principles forever.
29 May 2007, Waitangi
BACKGROUND: The Governments proposed National Statement on Religious Diversity (NSORD) sets out eight principles, none of which recognise or acknowledge New Zealand’s significant Christian heritage. The first principle states, “New Zealand has no established or official religion” and amongst other things, says schools should teach a diversity of religions. Although it is ‘technically’ correct that NZ does not have an official religion, from the basis of ‘established’ meaning ‘those things that have been set in place,’ Christianity has played a major role in shaping our National identity. If the Government’s NSORD were to be embraced at a political level in its current form, then those elements of Christianity that currently exist in our constitutional, judicial, political and social arrangements would have no basis to remain.
CONTEXT: This statement (outlined above) presumes the separation of Church and State, treats all people equally before the law and is not intended for the purposes of imposing the Christian religion on society. Its principle aim is to protect and preserve New Zealand’s Christian heritage for the benefit of future generations.