Maori champion sought for bishops’ conference



The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference has established a new position of Kaihāpai Māori-Māori Champion, with a view to this role helping to shape the Church’s future. 

According to a media release on the bishops’ conference website, the Kaihāpai Māori-Māori Champion “is an influential role that will shape the future of the bishops’ national agencies, in advancing a deeper understanding of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi, and a Māori way of working across all ministries”. 

Among the attributes that the person filling this position would ideally possess is a “commitment to the vision, mission, and values of the New Zealand Catholic Church”, an ability to “engage in and demonstrate tikanga Māori”, fluency in te reo Māori, experience in “building and maintaining relationships with tangata whenua”, and an ability to “appropriately incorporate tikanga and te reo Māori into thinking, planning, and organisation practice”.  

Applications for the position close on August 21. 

The Kaihāpai Māori will support several national organisations – the NZCBC (its secretariat, the National Liturgy Office, the Tribunal of the Catholic Church of New Zealand and the Catholic Enquiry Centre) as well as Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Kupenga – Catholic Leadership Institute, and the NZ Catholic Education Office, the media release stated. 

“The role has a dual purpose. Firstly, to uplift the capacity of these organisations in their knowledge and application of tikanga and te reo. Secondly, to seek opportunities to uplift Kātorika Māori in their faith journey, by identifying and assisting in national initiatives in relation to ministry to Māori.” 

The Wellington-based Kaihāpai Māori is expected to spend some of each week alongside the different national entities, building relationships, and being part of the leadership teams of these organisations. 

The role will also assist the national Māori group that works with the NZCBC (Tē Rōpū Māori), and through that group be aware of diocesan ministry with Katorika Māori. 

The role will also involve domestic travel during the work week, and there will be a budget for the engagement of contractors to support the carrying out of responsibilities (such as for translation work). 

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Michael Otto

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