December 2006

From the Moderator

Dear Friends

I have just returned from two weeks in Durban, South Africa, where Tala Fauma’asili from the Pacific Island Synod, Mitch Jaram from Te Aka Puaho and I participated in a Council for World Mission School for mission leaders. We spent our time studying Bible texts in depth, in the context of world issues: HIV/Aids, economic injustice, violence against women and children and environmental sustainability, and making field trips into some struggling communities in Kwazulu Natal. I regained a perspective of how deeply privileged we are to live in Aotearoa, and a fuller understanding of how the Bible speaks compellingly about our response to human need in the name of Christ.

I also visited the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa, a church formed across racial differences, energised by the new democracy in South Africa and committed to bringing God’s love and peace in a troubled land. This time in South Africa has reminded me of the choice of God, in Jesus, to stand in solidarity with the poor and marginalised of this world, and the essential need for us to work in unity to bring grace and peace to those who hurt.

Is this not the hope we celebrate at Advent and Christmas? The reason for the season? If we are to be a Christ-centred, community-facing church, we need to go beyond our own privileged positions and stand together to bring God’s love and salvation to the lost and broken of the world.

What opportunities for loving will your congregation take up this Christmas?

May you have a blessed, Christ-centred Christmas,



Assembly Office update

Tena koutou

This is my first contribution to Bush Telegraph coming at the end of my second week in the job as AES. How exciting and full of challenge and possibility are the tasks and functions of this role. I am especially conscious of the extraordinary depth of knowledge and experience brought to this position by Kerry Enright. He has worked day and night to not only provide me with training and information but also to complete a good portion of unfinished post assembly work.

Thank you too for your prayers, letters and emails of support and thanks to those who attended my induction service on November 14. I do indeed feel a great sense of privilege in gaining the church’s endorsement for this role and am committed to working for the unity of our church and supporting its mission and outreach.

Please see the Human Resources section below for our Christmas operating hours.

Council of Assembly

My first Council meeting last weekend was an uplifting experience, with our new Council Convenor, Rhys Pearson providing focus and inspiration with the worship, prayers and reflection which accompanied each day’s business. You will have read in our Council News information about the outstanding group of people who have agreed to serve on the Centre for Christian leadership’s Establishment Board. Council also set a work plan that will guide its efforts during the next two years.

Please note a correction to the emailed version of Council News: the Rev Tala Faamausili is the moderator of the Pacific Island Synod, and Olinda Woodroffe and Asora Amosa are co-clerks.

Task Groups

Our two new Task Groups, one looking at the reform of presbyteries and the other focusing on exploring the implications of a federal Model of church structure will both provide valuable direction for our way ahead. I am working to organise an Ecology Task Group which will provide resources for supporting congregations in their response to environmental concerns and for speaking to their community about issues which I think , at their heart, are of the most profoundly spiritual. We have also been asked by the WARC (World Alliance of reformed Churches), of which we are a part, to develop plans for the celebration of John Calvin’s birthday in 2009. (Let me know your ideas)

HR team changes

I have accepted with sadness the resignation of Human Resources Manager Marilla Hood. We have greatly appreciated Marilla's contribution to the life and mission of our church.

Marilla will continue working with us into the New Year to allow us time to review and best determine the way to fulfil this important role.


There are a number of matters which I would particularly ask for your prayers over the coming days.

The visit to New Zealand of the Rev Dr Setri Nyomi, the General Secretary of WARC. Let us pray for Setri’s work and give thanks for being part of this world wide family of reformed Churches.

In our church worship one of our Elders would often remind the congregation in his prayers that our celebrations are magnified and the weight of our suffering reduced when we come together as God’s people. I have become acutely conscious of the truth of this in my new role and so I would ask that you pray for congregation who are going through times of loss, pain and celebration, knowing that in following Christ there is a path that we walk together.

Just as a final note, I will continue to love preaching and leading worship, so if I happen to be near your church on a Sunday I would very much appreciate the privilege of sharing this time with you. Please let me know if you would be open to this possibility.

Me te Aroha o te Atua a ake ake.

Thank you again for your prayers and support


PS. I have experienced some difficulties with my email set-up during the past two weeks. If you have emailed me and not received a reply, please resend your message to martin(at)

Human Resources update

Office shutdown over Christmas

As in previous years, the Wellington Assembly Office will close over the festive season from Friday 22 December, reopening Monday 8 January 2007.

Christmas and New Year public holidays for employees and ministers

At this time of the year it is common to receive enquires about entitlements to public holidays. There are four public holidays during this period – Christmas Day (Monday 25 December), Boxing Day (Tuesday 26 December), New Year’s Day (Monday 1 January) and the day after New Year’s Day (Tuesday 2 January). If an employee normally works these days then s/he will be entitled to receive paid public holidays. For parttime employees who have fixed days, this should pose no problem when parishes are determining entitlements to paid public holidays – if a parttime employee works Mondays and/or Tuesdays then this year s/he will be entitled to the paid public holiday. If there are any employees who do not work Mondays and/or Tuesdays, then they will not be entitled to a paid holiday. Should an employee be required to work on a public holiday, a check should first be made with the employee’s employment agreement as to entitlements. The norm would be for the employee to receive payment for the hours worked on a public holiday at time and one half, and in addition receive an alternative holiday off (known as time in lieu). If in doubt, contact the HR team for advice.

For ministers, there was a change made to terms and conditions at General Assembly that has introduced a new practice in relation to annual leave and public holidays. Previously ministers were entitled to five weeks leave, which included some public holiday entitlements. Now ministers are entitled to four weeks annual leave per annum. The expectation is that a minister will work on average the equivalent of five days and two evenings per week. On this basis four weeks annual leave represents 20 working days. Up to a further four days paid leave (a maximum of 24 days) may be provided in circumstances where it is likely that a minister’s time commitment to the parish will exceed this expectation. The amount of paid leave days should be specified in the terms of call.

In addition, ministers are now entitled to the 11 public holidays as specified in the Holidays Act. Whenever a minister is required to carry out their duties of office on a public holiday, s/he will be entitled to another day’s holiday in lieu of the public holiday missed. If a minister carries out the duties of office on a Sunday and normally observes a week day, such as a Monday, as his/her “day off”, s/he will be entitled to an additional or alternative paid leave day whenever a public holiday falls on their usual day off.

It will be important for parishes to review how they record their minister’s annual leave and days in lieu in order to keep satisfactory records for leave purposes.

Yearbook update

Trina Lake is in the process of updating the Year Book for publication early 2007. She will be shortly contacting presbyteries with a request to check, and amend if necessary, the data we hold in relation to presbytery, parish and minister contact details. Changes received during the year are updated weekly in the database which in turn links to the church’s website. On the home page see the section headed “contact directory”. This annual check is a chance for corrections to be made that we have not been advised of during the year.

Employing someone from overseas or without a work permit?

There are a number of processes to be followed if you are employing someone from overseas who is not a resident. The Department of Labour’s Immigration Service has produced a very easy to understand guide for employers that explains the application process, including information on work permits. The guide may be downloaded from their website.

In summary, a person must have a job offer before they can get a New Zealand work or residence visa or permit. The job offer must be conditional on the person obtaining a work or residence permit, and they must not start working for you until they do have the relevant permit. If in doubt, do ask the potential employee for proof of residency or citizenship – unfortunately not knowing their status is not an excuse we can use, as we will be deemed to have committed a criminal offence. An IRD number alone is not proof of a person’s legal ability to be able to work in New Zealand. For further information contact the Immigration Service on free phone 0508 558-855 or the Assembly Office HR team.

Ministerial appraisals

Anew section dedicated to ministerial appraisals has been added to the website under the parish tools human resources. Watch this space for future updates.

Marilla Hood

HR Manager

Finance update

Financial Results to October 31

Financial results to 31 October show a continuation of the 2005/06 trend of controlled operating expenditure leading to an operating surplus in excess of that budgeted. The financial year-to-date results are summarized:

  Financial year to 31 October ($000s)    
  Actual Budget Variance ($000s) Variance (%)
Contributions from parishes 1,468 1,484 (16) -1%
Income from Investments 387 360 27 8%
Other Income 710 568 142 25%
Total Income 2,565 2,412 153 6%
Staff costs 512 567 (55) -10%
Beneficiary & Seniority Allowance 516 516 0 0%
Grants/Donations 218 248 (30) -12%
Other 879 982 (188) -8%
Total Operating Expenses 2,125 2,313 (188) -8%
Extraordinary Items (325)   (325)  
Operating Surplus 115 99 16

The extraordinary items that reduce the operating surplus relate to income from Council of World Mission that should have been recorded in the last financial year, and income from Investments that is not accessible by the Church. Also it is important to note that the $16,000 variance in Parish contributions relates to the difference between actual and budgeted levies charged, not funds received.

Although an operating profit is recorded it does not represent cash in hand. Cash flows remain challenging due to the continuing underpayment of levies, and the Church continues to require a borrowing facility to fund operations. My thanks to the majority of parishes that pay in full and on time. Any parishes unable to meet Assembly Assessment payments are encouraged to please contact me.

Insurance premiums

Many thanks to the parishes who have paid their Insurance premiums. Although premiums have now been paid to the insurers, there remain outstanding parish accounts, forcing us to borrow funds to cover premium costs. Therefore any insurance invoices outstanding for payment at 31 October will be transferred to an interest bearing insurance loan account. If you do not have a direct debit facility in place, please contact Margaret Fawcett to arrange payment.

Car mileage allowance

I have reviewed the existing mileage rates following updates in the Automobile Association rates. I have noted a stabilisation in petrol prices over the last 3 months and the small proportion (20%) of petrol costs in the total reimbursement calculation. Therefore it is my recommendation to the Resource Committee that there be no change in the church rates prior to their next meeting in March 2007.

Brendan Sweeney

School of Ministry udpate

The School of Ministry finished its year with the Valedictory Service at Maori Hill Church on Saturday 11 November. The church was full as nine ordinands graduated: Nuka Tauevihi, Nimarota Lale, Alofa Lale, Tekura Wilding, Stephanie Wells, Mary-Jane Konings, Chris Konings, Chris Purdie, Dennis Flett. The sermon was preached by Kerry Enright, who was also farewelled from Dunedin at an event at Knox College on the Friday. Next year there will be 13 residential ordinands and seven distance ordinands, the highest number for some time. We are looking forward to the arrival of Graham Redding as the new Director who begins on 1 February, and are anticipating an interesting and challenging year as details of the new direction are worked out under his leadership and the direction of the Establishment Board. John Roxborogh returns from study leave in December and it will be good to have a full staff complement back on board.

The School is running a summer school, which has been advertised in a variety of places. It is in Auckland at St Kentigern College, from 22 to 26 January and will be taught by Joel Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Seminary, USA. It will explore a number of aspects of New Testament theology from contemporary biblical perspectives. The course is being run in conjunction with the Department of Theology at the University of Otago and can be done either as a refresher course (contact the School of Ministry) or for university credit (go course BIBX 422). A fee subsidy is available for ministers.

Global Mission Office update

We have been reviewing the GMO’s Vision & Mission Statement over the last few weeks. A regular review process is vital as all organisations should be flexible and evolve to meet the changing environment in which they find themselves. One probably has to do this more regularly when working internationally given the greater number of variables in play. It is intended however to be a statement that captures in a nutshell what your organisation is all about today. These are the words we have settled on for now. Let us know what you think or how you would like to join us in our desire to minister on the margins.

Mission statement and goals

We understand ourselves to a small church located in a far flung South Pacific nation. We are on the margins of the globe! Therefore, we seek to take mission from the margins to people who, like us, are on the edge living in marginalized situations. We are Kiwi’s taking mission to the margins. We have five all embracing goals:

  • We are passionate about people

People rather than programmes are our priority. As Maori wisdom teaches us:
He aha te mea nui o te Ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the greatest thing in the world? It is people, people, people.

  • We believe that without proclamation, there is no mission

Through our words and love-in-action, as members of the global community of Christian faith, we want to call all people to put their personal faith and collective trust in Jesus Christ. We also strive to apply the latest missiological and community development thinking to our praxis.

  • We believe that friendship is the word that defines mission best

We strive to work in a contextual way, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the local Church; and alongside the local people in Church-based community projects, development programmes and ecumenical associations.

  • We shout God’s ‘Yes!’

We always seek to work in places in a long term and sustainable way to ensure that our friendship is authentic. We want to communicate the truth of the Gospel as clearly as we are able. We seek out marginalised places where our small gift will make a significant impact.

  • We shout God’s ‘No!”

Confronted by overwhelming injustice, cruel exploitation and unnecessary hardship suffered by so many people around the globe, we intend to work with the Creator to (re)create a just and peace-loving world. So we speak out against all human enterprise and activity that devastates community wellbeing, violates the rights of the weak and threatens the health of our globe.

Vision Statement

The Global Mission Office is built upon the solid foundation of decades of faithful overseas missionary service by many. Some of our friendships stretch over decades while others are brand new. We believe that we still have a message to proclaim and significant gifts to share! As a denominational mission brokerage, our role is to encourage and make a way for New Zealand Presbyterian and Uniting congregations, groups and individuals to respond to the Gospel call to actively engage in the missio Dei - the mission of God. As Maori wisdom teaches:

"Ahakoa iti, he iti pounamu"
Although my gift is small, it is precious.

Would you like to receive an email summary of ‘what is happening’ in the lives of Presbyterian missionaries on a monthly basis?

The Presbyterian Missionary Fellowship (formally known as EPMF) invites everyone to join with them in prayer for Presbytery mission activities. There is no cost and the primary goal of PMF is to provide a prayer chain for missionaries. Convenor Bob Grey will gladly add your email address to his distribution list. Bob is also keen to receive news from people serving overseas. Please contact Bob on bobg(at)

The GMO will close on the 22 December 2006 and reopen on the 15 January 2007. Lori, Liz, Kerry, Atitala and Josh join me in extending to you all warm Christmas greetings and in prayer that the ‘Prince of Peace’ will reign in all our hearts throughout 2007.

In hope



Christian World Service

Christmas Appeal – Water the Gift of Life

Please give generously to this year’s Christmas Appeal and help us continue to take action against poverty. Send back your appeal envelope, hold a special service, collection or fundraising event, donate online at, phone 0800 747-372 or send your donation to CWS, PO Box 22652, Christchurch. Christmas Appeal resources are now available for downloading from the CWS website 

CWS 2007 calendar - The Future is Now

$10.00, including postage. This is the perfect gift for Christmas, order your copy today. Email cws(at)

An alternative gift this year – goats for Christmas.

If you want to give a living gift this Christmas, CWS is offering you the chance to give a voucher to someone in their name, to purchase goats and provide a family with training from the Church of Uganda animal husbandry programme. Your donation will enable poor rural families to:

  • access organic fertilizer for growing vegetables and bananas
  • provide milk for their children and sell it at a fair price to others in the community
  • enjoy meat in their diet 
  • gain confidence and status to take on new income generating opportunities 
  • work together as a community—helping the next family by giving away their first born goat 
  • raise an income from selling goats—and then build a new house, put glass in their windows or send their children to school.

To order your Christmas gift voucher contact cws(at)

Youth topics – Down the gurgler?

Although 70 percent of the world’s surface is covered by water, only 2.5 percent is fresh water and less than one percent is accessible for human use. Water is a necessity for life and a resource to be protected from exploitation. People in developed countries on average consume 10 times more water daily than those in developing countries. It is estimated that the average person in developed countries uses 500-800 litres per day, compared to 60-150 litres per day in developing countries. (UNEP 2000). To order a copy of this resource contact youth(at)

Water who owns it?

This film traces the historical changes in Sri Lanka, from ancient times when rulers devised scientific methods of supplying people with water, to the disturbing stories of many farmers’ present-day struggle for survival. This film forms part of a study series that will be available for use in mid February 2007. Please order with preferred dates, stating DVD/Videos to cws(at)

Today’s small farmers are faced with political pressures associated with globalisation which deprive them of water and therefore their very livelihoods. Farmers are driven to despair and sometimes suicide. ” Althea Campbell, Producer.

Parachute 2007

CWS will be at 2007 Parachute Music Festival 26-29 January at Mystery Creek in the Global Village. Come join us and take action against poverty by supporting the right of all people to safe and adequate water.

Presbyterian Investment Fund

Parishes will be aware that interest paid on deposits within the Presbyterian Investment Fund has been at the rate of 7.25 percent.

We are pleased to advise that the Church Property Trustees approved an increase in the rate being paid to 7.5 percent with effect from 1 October 2006.

Zebedees Youth Live Entertainment Venue

Zebedees (aka Zebz) Youth Live Entertainment Venue in Christchurch is an alcohol and drug free venue for youth to hang out on weekends. We have local high school and youth bands play most Friday and Saturday nights and the youth just love it! But we need more volunteers to keep us running smoothly. We specifically need people who are keen to do security, work behind the bar, or even behind the scene fundraising. If you are keen to help out, or just want to know more, contact Krystel on 0274150020 or krystel(at) or alternatively check out our website

Help CBA broadcast the heart of the Christmas message

The Christian Broadcasting Association (CBA) exists to communicate the Christian faith to those outside the influence of the church. We produce world-class programming for leading secular commercial radio networks.

For the tenth year in a row, we have been the granted the unique opportunity to broadcast live and nationwide on New Zealand’s most popular commercial radio network NewstalkZB and the Radio Sport network this Christmas Day.

We had more than 300,000 listeners at Easter 2006 and expect a similarly large audience at Christmas. In short, we’re reaching those outside the Christian faith, in their masses.

We’d like to ask you for your help... and it won’t cost a cent.

The airtime is free – but we need to cover our production costs, so we are asking churches throughout New Zealand to distribute special appeal envelopes with their Sunday notices to members of their congregation. Whether you’re from a church of 10 or 2,000 it would be an enormous help to us if you would distribute these invitations with your Sunday bulletins.

If you’re willing and able, please email Erin at CBA (info(at) with the name of your church, your postal address, and the number of bulletins you print for an average Sunday service. We will post you a package including the appeal envelopes, a poster and programme details. If you have any questions, please phone (09) 525-2730 or 0800 PRAYER.

APW crisis

The Association of Presbyterian Women (APW) has been a part of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand since it grew out of PWMU in 1964. But it is now in crisis. These years have been a time of great change in the church and in society. Much of this change has been affirming for church women, and is what APW has worked and prayed for , helping to equip women to play a greater part in the church and community . But it is this new opening of opportunity for women to be more part of the church leadership that is having an effect on APW.

Three years ago, the National Executive reformed into a less hierarchical committee, the National Co-ordinating Group. We have wanted to simplify the administration of the APW, to make it able to be run by older and/or busy women.

This has been done, and the NCG is working well. There is affirmation from the 6000 or so women who are its members throughout the country. APW is hugely important; as a place of fellowship and mission, a voice on the United Nations, and a sharing of resources. We work closely with Global Mission. Our ways of networking are growing. Many of us are becoming more computer literate. We can now offer our national news-sheet, Gleanings; programmes and other communications through email.

Next April, the Policy and Administration part of NCG will be retiring. APW needs a new P&A. It needs two women conveners, a secretary and a treasurer.

We have been seeking these since our Conference in April. Thus far, there has not been a response to our request for these roles to be filled.

We have delayed the deadline for application, and continue on in faith. Read the December Gleanings, which is available to every parish in New Zealand.

Is APW still relevant to the women of the church? Times continue to change.

Older women, like other age groups have so many more possible outlets and more calls on their time. However, we believe that the importance of APW is such that it needs to continue to be a part of our church. We believe that its harvest is not yet all gathered in. Are we alone in this? Who can suggest a way forward….

Perhaps, with us, you can look out for the God nudges that may be aimed at someone you know…

With Christmas greetings and all good wishes

Natalie Watkin and Mary North
APW National Conveners.


St Johns Rotorua have produced a DVD based study for their own use, which they would like to offer to any PCANZ church free of charge. ‘Promises - Understanding and Responding to God’s assurances’ is a seven-week study for home groups and individuals that encourages an informed and willing personal response to the promises God has made into seven key areas of daily living.

The studies are designed so that a preaching and service focus at the beginning of each week can be followed by a group study built around a DVD presentation and written study. The studies include recorded interviews with members of St Johns congregation who have a story to tell in relation to the topic and direction of the teaching.


P eople: Our involvement in our community and social responsibilities beyond our Church life.

R elationships: Family, other Christians, Non Christians, those we work and live with.

O ur time: How we use it, how we waste it. How could we use it?

M oney: How we use it, how we waste it. How could we use it?

I nvolvement: In the life of the Church and in the use of our God given giftedness.

S piritual growth: How can I continue to grow spiritually?

E vangelism: How can I be part of the growth of the Kingdom Of God?

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, or like more details send an email to office(at)

CWM scholarship applications

Many thanks to all who have already sent scholarship applications for the CWM June 2006 Trustee Body meeting.

This is just a reminder to all who have not yet sent applications but intend to do so, that the submission deadline for applications to be discussed at the June 2006 meeting is 15 January.

If you intend to submit an application please contact Nneoma Chima before 15 January.


Hewitson Library latest acquisitions

Click here to see the new acquisitions list for September 2006.

Church Register

The Church Register lists additions to, deletions from, and changes in status on the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Ministerial Roll as advised by Presbytery Clerks as at 26 November 2006.


Rev Young Jun (John) Yoo of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, was received and inducted as Minister, Wellington Korean Church (inaugurated on the same date), 29 October 2006.

Changes in Status

Rev Martin Baker, First Church Dunedin, Dunedin Presbytery to Minister within the Bounds, Wellington Presbytery, 14 November 2006.

Rev Robert Robati-Mani, Grant Braes Parish, Dunedin Presbytery, to Otara Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church, South Auckland Presbytery, 26 October 2006.


Rev Barrie MacCuish, Minister Emeritus, resigned from the ministerial roll of the Presbyterian Church on 25 October 2006.

Rev Sherri Weinberg, North Shore Presbytery, has resigned as Presbytery Clerk, as of 1 October 2006.

Ministerial vacancies

Click here to see the full table of vacancies

Highlighted vacancies