Thinking Anglicans

New Zealand Maori diocese rejects Covenant

The central North Island hui amorangi (Maori diocese) of Te Manawa o Te Wheke has become the first New Zealand episcopal unit to formally give the thumbs-down to the proposed Anglican covenant.

Read more about this at Manawa o Te Wheke rejects Anglican covenant.

The text of the motion passed unanimously:

That Te Hui Amorangi o Te Manawa o Te Wheke, for the purpose of providing feedback to Te Hinota Whanui/ General Synod, states its opposition to The Anglican Covenant for the following reasons:

  • After much consideration this Amorangi feels that The Anglican Covenant will threaten the Rangatiratanga of the Tangata Whenua.
  • We believe The Anglican Covenant does not reflect our understanding of being Anglican in these islands.
  • We would like this Church to focus on the restoration of justice to Te Tiriti o Waitangi which Tangata Whenua signed and currently do not have what they signed for.

There are five [Maori] hui amorangi. Any motion must gain a majority in all three Tikanga (Maori, Pakeha, and Polynesia) and three hui amorangi constitute a majority in Tikanga Maori. So two further similar votes would cause the Covenant to be “dead in the water” in New Zealand.

Peter Carrell has written Dead Duck Covenant?

Bosco Peters has written Maori vote against Covenant

…Since 1992, the Constitution of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia provides for three Tikanga (cultural streams) partners to order their affairs within their own cultural context: Tikanga Maori (the indigenous people of Aotearoa-New Zealand); Tikanga Pakeha (those here by virtue of te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi); Tikanga Pasefika (encompassing the episcopal units of Polynesia in New Zealand, Vanua Levu and Taveuni, and Viti Levu West, and the Archdeaconries of Suva and Ovalau, Samoa and American Samoa, and Tonga).

When significant decisions are made at te Hinota Whanui/General Synod, as with other Anglican Provinces, there must be agreement across all houses – here those are the house of bishops, clergy, and laity. There must also be agreement across all Tikanga. In other words, even if Tikanga Pakeha and Tikanga Pasefica are in majority agreement in favour of the Covenant, if Tikanga Maori votes against the Covenant, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia would be saying no to the Covenant…

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Father Ron Smith
Guest

Fr. Bosco Peters gives a pretty clear picture of the situation of the Maori Response to the Covenant in New Zealand. The Maori Church is only one of the 3 Tikanga (customary strands) of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand/Pacifica, each of which maintains its own unique cultural traditions of ‘being Church’ in these Pacific Islands. We already embrace a diversity which is acceptable to each of the cultures contained within our provincial life – a situation which came about, one might say, ‘naturally’ and is now part of our Provincial Constitution. What Maori people possibly feel is that, should… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Not surprised, and well done. In the hunt to repress women, GLBTs, the conservatives failed to appreciate that they also alienated others who had previously been repressed and abused. While the repressed and abused might not always agree with each other, there is a common accord that they don’t like any form of tyranny that makes all their lives a misery. The unseen support players that introduced, affirmed and resurrected Jesus despise tyranny in any form (including from Jesus’ own followers). Nor do they accept “this is just as good as it gets”. They didn’t accept it from Satan, nor… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Before you liberals do too much rejoicing..bear in mind the Maori people are utterly oposed to homosexuality or any liberalisation in the Church.

JCF
Guest
JCF

I’m guessing you checked that assertion w/ all the Maori LGBT people you know, RIW? O_o

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

RIW
Nobody has ever tried to impose liberal thinking an a church that hasn’t come to the same conclusions through its own discernment processes. All we ask is that the decisions individual churches come to are respected by everyone in the Communion.

This vote against the Covenant is therefore cause for joy because it shows that this province, at least, has understood the principles of Anglicanism.

david rowett
Guest

In a sense RIW has both got it exactly and missed the point completely. If it is true (and who am I to say that he’s wrong?) that the Maori tradition is not ‘liberal’ (whatever that means), that a ‘conservative’ (whatever THAT means) strand regards the Covenant as entirely inappropriate (rather than ‘inadequate’, as some of our sisters and brothers have), then surely the genius of Anglicanism is being shown to reside in a reluctance to become a ‘confessional’ community regardless of sociological/cultural/theological differences. Not well put, but you probably see what I’m getting at?

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

I hope I can assist understanding by non-Kiwis with a few more comments from an Aotearoa/New Zealand perspective. One of the core reasons why our church adopted its complicated-sounding constitution 20 years ago is a deep sense of ownership and responsibility for the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The Maori text (obviously the only one the maori signatories understood) was translated by CMS missionaries from the English text. So it was in part the Anglican church that persuaded them that their rangatiratanga (sovereignty, or as Bosco Peters points out, “kingdom”) would be preserved. Maori Anglicans campaigned for nearly 150 years… Read more »

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

“Before you liberals do too much rejoicing..bear in mind the Maori people are utterly opposed to homosexuality or any liberalisation in the Church.” RIW Poppycock, Robert Any generalisations about how “all” Maori think is very dangerous and demeaning. They have their debates on these matters the same way as any other group does. It is true that Archbishop Whakahuihui Vercoe expressed sentiments along the lines of your comment some 7 or 8 years ago, and got himself in big trouble for doing so. More recently Tikanga Maori have accepted resolutions advocating much more sensitive and GLB-friendly policies. The point is… Read more »

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

One of my gay Maori acquaintances confirms RIW’s common generalisation about Maori people.

Tobias Haller
Guest

RIW, that seems to be a rather broad generalization about “the Maori people.” I’ve seen a number of articles that would take the a differing position. It seems to me that much of the “opposition” — as in Africa — takes the form of denial.

rjb
Guest
rjb

“Before you liberals do too much rejoicing..bear in mind the Maori people are utterly oposed to homosexuality or any liberalisation in the Church.” Really, RIW? And how much experience of “the Maori people” do “you conservatives” have? My experience of the Maori Tikanga in ACANZP is that they are divided on the issue of sexuality, but – as the above motion makes quite clear – they think there are more important issues facing the Church. On a personal note, I’d observe that some of the clearest liberal voices I’ve heard in New Zealand come from within Tikanga Maori (Apb Paul… Read more »

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

Oh dear, who’s rejoicing? You don’t have to be inclusive of gay and lesbian persons and in favor of liberation in the Church to recognize the proposed covenant is a bad thing. Cheryl Va. is saying just that – we may not agree on a lot of things, but opposing tyranny is one on which we do agree.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I think, from my perspective as a current member of the Anglican Church of New Zealand/Aotearoa and Pasefika, you might need, Robert I Williams, to update your understanding of the modern Maori attitude towards gender and sexuality. If you are really interested in the actual facts on this issue, I suggest you get in touch with the Maori academics at the St.John’s College Maori Faculty in Auckland N.Z (where you were once a student).

Nat
Guest
Nat

Mr. Williams: one can rejoice at the rejection of the covenant on the grounds not of the leanings of a given body, no matter how regrettable, but on the grounds of celebrating autonimous governance. The Maoris may change their attitude – or not – but the covenant would tell them what they must think, which as has been pointed out again and again, denies that the Holy Spirit may be working a change – as it often has.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

‘Opposing’ ‘homosexuality’ is rather like ‘opposing sunshine’ – and just as futile.

‘ Let the sun shine in
face it with a grin !’

Go on ! – life can be Good …

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Behold an example of “the Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church,” valuing its local adaptation, and rejecting the Covenant as an attempt to centralize and to control.

Well done, Te Manawa o Te Wheke.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

If true, So What, RIW? The grounds for rejoicing is in the act of rejection.

Grandmère Mimi
Guest

RIW, to some of us any rejection of the covenant is cause for celebration. We do not gaze longingly toward Rome for we prefer true Anglicanism, with self-governing churches, to a weak version of Rome’s centralized governance.

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

I think the Maori people might be witnessing to us that human sexuality is not the only issue in relation to the “Covenant”. And I think also that this is an important witness. The Maori people have had generations when there has been no listening to them. Let’s just hear what they have to say, rather than reading it through the filters we have created. When I spent some time in New Zealand it was precisely because their issues were so different from mine (I’m English, one of my brothers has lived in New Zealand for over 20 years) that… Read more »

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

The liberals created the three kanga Church, as a sop to their colonial roots and conscience. There may be Maori and Polynesian homosexuals, but my experience of the two Kanga is that they are opposed to ssm and openly gay clergy. One must also remember that the vast majority of Maoris and Pacific people are not Anglican. There are more Mormon Maoris than Anglican. Furthermore there is a growing core of evangelical Anglicans ( with thriving congregations)and the liberal drift seems to have stalled. Ron can deny it, but I feel that the two Kangas (probably for cultural rather than… Read more »

Nat
Guest
Nat

“… I feel that the two Kangas (probably for cultural rather than Scriptural reasons) have definitely stopped Anglicanism in NZ following the TEC direction.”

If this is so, they have done so of their own volition, rather than by fiat – which leaves the future healthily open to persuasion in another direction, which adopting the convenant would inhibit.

Intelligent people will applaud this. It leaves room for the Holy Spirit to work – which the covenant does not. It seems that some conservatives feel the Spirit cannot work through the democratic process, or do any new thing.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“There may be Maori and Polynesian homosexuals”

“may”?

Please.

[And even if considered “not homosexual”, RIW, how would the RCC feel about the marriage between a man and a Fa’afafine? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa'afafine Bar the church door and try to outlaw it, no?]

MarkBrunson
Guest

Why would anyone debate a Roman Catholic with bare understanding of his own tradition on the subject of Anglicanism in a country he knows no more about?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Robert, the Maori word is ‘tikanga’. Kanga has something to do with our Australian marsupial cousins. Get yer facts right!

Gerry Lynch
Guest

“One must also remember that the vast majority of Maoris and Pacific people are not Anglican. There are more Mormon Maoris than Anglican.”

The vast majority of Irish people are not Anglican. That doesn’t mean I’m going to let them tell me how to order my own church.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Apologies for shortening the Maori word. However Ron fails to tell you that conservative evangelicals are growing in his denomination..and one diocese has started its own theological training college. The Bishop there also supports GAFCON.

Yes there may be Maori liberal theologians at St Johns, but they are not representative of the Maori mainstream.

And yes I do know about New Zealand.. I have family there and once lived there. I keep in touch with New Zealand.

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

RIW I agree that you do know something about New Zealand; you used to live here, and you used to be part of St John’s College, where I am presently based. Given that background, it is a pity you base your arguments on “facts” about the NZ scene that are at best tendentious, but in many cases, just plain wrong. In the 2006 Census, there were about 80,000 Maori Anglicans, easily the largest Christian grouping among Maori respondents. It is true that about 50% of New Zealand Mormons are Maori, but they number fewer than 50,000. It is true that… Read more »

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

I have to disagree..sometimes when you are in the forest you can’t see the trees.

The number of Church attending Maoris is a fraction of your census figures.

Evangelicalism extends beyond the Diocese of Nelson,and there are pockets everywhere.

Female vocations have slowed, unlike England. In twenty years you have had two women bishops.

Gay ordinations and blessings are on hold, and you can be in denial, but the liberal trend in New Zealand Anglicanism has considerably slowed.

Liberal St Johns no longer has the monopoly.

Edward you are twenty years too late. New Zealand has moved on.

david rowett
Guest

“I have to disagree..sometimes when you are in the forest you can’t see the trees.”

Lovely! Roughly translated, ‘I know more about it than you because, through not knowing as much about it, I am unblinkered.’ An ignoramus’ charter…..

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Forgot to mention how the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand also reversed its gay policy.

Note how Edward makes no mention of the Pacific Tikanga which is even more conservative.

Furthermore the large congregations in NZ Anglicanism are evangelical.

Gay blesssings are not even an issue in the General Synod.

As for the link on the Maori Church, I read it and I think it rather proves my point. Read the concluding paragraphs.

As for Edward’s easter greeting. It is meaningless if you are not prepared to follow his commandments.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

RIW:

To my knowledge, Christ gave us only two commandments–that we should love God with our whole hearts and souls, and that we should love one another. How does bigotry against gays fit with either of those?

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Bigotry is of course condemned by the Catholic Church.. I am simply commenting on the NZ church scene.

Furthermore our lord gave other commands like not to re-marry after divorce, to celebrate the eucharist, to teach and sanctify etc.

Furthermore his commandments continue through his Apostles and for Catholics through their successors.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

I wouldn’t classify the comments on divorce or the commemoration of the Last Supper as “commandments”.

And which of the apostles gave us commandments?

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

Robert I debated how to respond to your Easter Day posting,as time and energy allowed in between celebrating the Paschal mysteries. I think I would be unwise to continue the discussion further, because a) This thread is getting a bit old b) We are moving a long way from the original point, which was that the ANZP Church may well reject the covenant for reasons only distantly connected with sexuality or the evangelical/liberal divide, and c) What would be the use? But let me comment on the Easter Greeting. This is NEVER meaningless. It is one of the great comforts… Read more »

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Read the last verse of the last chapter of St Matthew’s Gospel.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

OK–I’ll accept “the great commission” as a commandment…to the apostles. Not to everyone. And I still don’t see any commandments handed out BY an apostle.

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Pat you see what you want to see…which reminds me of the evangelical approach to the Bible.