Tēnā koutou te kāhui ā te Atua,
Greetings to all God’s people.
Kāhore he Hūrai, kāhore he Kariki, kāhore he pononga, kāhore he rangatira, kāhore he tane, wahine rānei; he tangata kotahi tonu hoki koutou katoa i roto i a Karaiti Īhu.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
This Sunday marks Te Pouhere in the Anglican church calendar, which celebrates our life as a three Tikanga Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
What is Te Pouhere and Why Was it Formed?
What is the meaning of Te Pouhere? The Māori word ‘Pou’ is translated 'post' and the Māori word 'here’ is translated ‘bind’.
Te Pouhere is a revised constitution established in 1992, which provides an opportunity for each of the three partners to express their tikanga - their way, style, or cultural model.
These three partners are Tikanga Māori, Tikanga Pākehā and Tikanga Pasefika. They are to express their minds as equal partners in the decision-making process of the General Synod and to exercise mission and ministry to God’s people within the culture of each partner.
For Māori, the 1857 constitution and the 1992 revised constitution has not been truly honoured in terms of partnership and resource sharing. However, in recent times we have seen that there have been some promising steps that we are working towards in achieving an equal partnership.
Below are some examples of the turning of the tide.
Te Pouhere in Te Takiwā o Manukau
Mission and Ministry Continues Under Lockdown
The Māori ministry team has been blessed to continue proclaiming the Gospel throughout this period of lockdown in New Zealand through the use of live-streaming networks and media platforms. From the 24th of May 2020, Howard Karaka - fellow Evangelist to Māori with NZCMS - along with Archdeacon Lyndon Drake and myself (Keri-Ann Hokianga), have started offering a weekly 30-minute worship service called "Karakia Rātapu" onto Radio Waatea here in Auckland.
We collaborate with our Pākehā brothers from the Christian Broadcasting Association who use their resources to pre-record the service for us. They have also created a podcast for the service and we are so blessed that they’re using their gifts to help us proclaim the word of God in our context. We are receiving communication from some un-churched people who are now subscribing to our podcast and letting us know that they will be listening every Sunday. Praise be to God!
This has been made possible by the grace of God through Te Rangapū (Partnership) between Te Takiwā o Manukau, the Christian Broadcasting Association, and Radio Waatea.
Te Pouhere in the Context of Māori Evangelism
The roots of the Gospel being shared in Aotearoa began through friendship and partnership. At Oihi Bay on Christmas Day in 1814, Reverend Samuel Marsden from CMS preached from Luke 2:10, with Ngā Puhi chief Ruatara translated into Te Reo Māori. This partnership to preach the Gospel message began a journey of many Māori being converted to Christianity and this continued to grow as Māori became pivotal evangelists to their own people.
The pattern of this partnership between Rev. Samuel Marsden and Chief Ruatara to effectively spread the Good News of Jesus Christ here in Aotearoa is still being realised today. Praise God that I am one of two Māori Evangelists to partner with NZCMS in 2020, proclaiming the Gospel to our nation.
God is doing a powerful and wonderful thing and we are so excited to be part of His plan as we work together.
Keri-Ann is one of NZCMS' Mission Partners evangelising to Maori. Click the photo of Keri-Ann below to learn more about her life and ministry.