September 2006

Assembly Office update

Kia ora

General Assembly

Preparation for GA06 is progressing well. Assembly reports and CDs containing the proposed Book of Order and Conditions of Service Manual were distributed in mid August. A second set of Assembly reports will be posted on the website in the week starting 18 September. Please see the General Assembly section below for a more comprehensive update. I look forward to seeing many of you at St Kentigern College later this month.

Te Wananga a Rangi

It was a great pleasure last week to attend the re-opening of Te Aka Puaho’s training centre Te Wananga a Rangi. For over 30 years it has been associated with the Theological Hall, and then School of Ministry, in Dunedin and is now based at Te Maungarongo marae, Ohope. The maihi which stood outside Knox College was also rededicated in its new location at the entrance to the marae. This was a wonderful event, well supported by many from related teaching and research institutions. More information about the event is available here.

Installation of Maori King

Many people have contacted us affirming, with appreciation and feeling, the evident presence of our Moderator at the installation of the Maori King and funeral of Te Arikinui, Dame Te Atairangikaahu. The Moderator went to express our support and was drawn into participation in the events by the Tainui leadership. Thank you for representing us, Garry.

Death of Sir Norman Perry

Near the beginning of August, one of the most significant leaders in the history of the Presbyterian Church died. Sir Norman was an influential leader among Maori, in the Church’s New Life Movement and was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1964. An obituary to Sir Norman is on the website.

Presbyterian Foundation grants

Applications for these grants close on 15 September. More information about how to apply is available here.


Recently I attended a national interfaith forum under the auspices of the Human Rights Commission. Whatever our theological perspective, there is no doubt it is a conceptual framework being applied by various government organisations and by the Government itself. Each session of the forum was chaired by a Cabinet minister. At the forum a statement of 10 principles affirming the role of religion in New Zealand was proposed for discussion by religious groups. Much is occurring in this area of our nation’s life, with the active encouragement of government, and it is evident we need to be thoughtfully involved at many different levels.

Australasian Religious Press Association awards

Congratulations to the communications team, who were recognised in two categories at last month's ARPA awards. sPanz was highly commended in the "most improved magazine" category while was highly commended in the "best website" category.

Ka kite,

General Assembly 2006 update

Assembly reports

These were sent to commissioners last month and are available online. The website also includes some full reports that were posted out in summarised versions. We expect that the second set of Assembly papers will be online in the week beginning 18 September.

Registration at Assembly

Please pick up your welcome pack at St Kentigern on the morning of Thursday 28 September. This is also the time that you will need to check-in to your accommodation if it has been arranged by Assembly Office.

GA06 email news

If you are not attending GA06, you can keep in touch with the proceedings by signing up for the daily newsletter and checking out the GA06 webpages. Keynote speeches will also be available online.

Media coverage of GA06

A media pack has been produced and distributed to news organisations by the Assembly Office communications team, which will manage our interaction with media at Assembly. The Moderator is the Church's spokesperson, so Pamela Tankersley will speak for the Church from the start of GA06. We will also liase with other groups when media ask for different perspectives. We will work to ensure that the Church is kept fully informed about matters that are likely to appear in the media.

Media interest is already being shown in the proposal that is coming back to Assembly after having been considered by presbyteries, namely that Assembly rule that people involved in sexual relationships outside marriage cannot be trained, licensed, inducted or ordained (though this does not apply to homosexual persons who have been licensed, ordained or inducted prior to Assembly 2004). It is a fair assumption that media coverage of GA06 will focus on this issue.

To keep the Church informed, as soon as possible after Assembly has considered the proposal, the outcome of the deliberations will be published on the website at We also anticipate that a pastoral letter will be emailed to all ministers, parish clerks and those on the GA06 email list. If you are a minister or parish clerk and have recently changed your email address, please contact info(at) to update your details.

Human Resources update

It is pleasing to note that there has been a marked increase in human-resource related enquiries coming through to the HR team since the new “Who do I contact at Assembly Office in Wellington?” section was made available on our website. That’s what we are here for, so keep it coming. If we don’t know the answer we will find out for you. Everyday I am learning something new, which makes for an interesting role.

The following are a few snippets of information to whet your appetites and give you something to ponder on.

Do enjoy, from Marilla and Juliette.

Applications for Director, Centre for Christian Leadership

Applications for the proposed position of Director, Centre for Christian Leadership, close on Monday 4 September. Information about the role, including the process, is contained on the Job Vacancies section of the website. Interested persons are invited to apply now to enable the successful candidate to start as early as possible, should the General Assembly decide to establish the Centre and this new position. Enquiries and applications should be made to the HR Manager, Marilla Hood.

Bill and Margaret Best Travel Fund

Applications are now open for the Best Travel Fund. The purpose of the fund is to assist church workers (ministers, lay ministers and elders) wanting to further develop their area of service to the Church. Applicants must have been employed in a recognised, equivalent fulltime role with the Church for at least five of the previous 10 years. For further information on eligibility for the fund, and to request an application pack, contact Juliette at juliette(at) Applications close 31 October 2006 and applicants will be notified of the outcome in December.

Ministry appraisals

Over the next few weeks, information about minister appraisals will be made available on the website. Appraisals, also known as reviews, are a helpful way to enable ministers to reflect on their learning, growth and relationships, and to receive timely feedback in order for their leadership to be enhanced. The Psalmist (19:12 -14) recognises that we often cannot see ourselves clearly and need outside help. Jesus took his disciples away for quiet and reflection when they returned from mission activities. A review provides the opportunity for us all to reflect on the past and to build a way forward. Sometimes it is the first opportunity for a person to hear how others consider them, and this can be very rewarding.

For further enquiries please contact Marilla at marilla(at) or on (04) 801-6000.

Annual leave changes 2007

From 1 April 2007, the Holidays Act annual leave requirement will increase from a minimum of three weeks to four weeks per annum. On or after 1 April 2007, should an employee leave their position, he or she will be entitled to holiday pay of 8 percent retrospectively. Should they leave before 1 April 2007, then the 6 percent rule applies (unless of course the employee is already on four weeks annual leave per year).

Kiwi Saver update

There has been a lot of information in the media over the last few months about the Government’s proposed Kiwi Saver scheme. Originally planned to take effect from 1 April 2007 it now appears that it will become active a little later, from 1 July 2007 . For parishes and others that employ staff, there will be an additional administrative function required when new employees start. New employees will need to be provided with information on the scheme so they can decide if they want to take part. Existing employees will also be entitled to join the scheme. As employers, we will also have some obligations to IRD. Once the matter has proceeded through Parliament, we will provide you with more information.

Probationary 90 Day Bill update

Also in the media has been news on the Probationary 90 Day Bill, where, if passed, employers will be able to include in employment agreements a “no-fault” dismissal clause within the first 90 days of an employee starting a new job.

Currently, under the Employment Relations Act, employers may already insert a probationary period, however the contract must provide for when the probationary period ends, information on how progress will be monitored during the probationary period, and the nature of employment after the probationary clause ends. While employers can terminate an employee for non-performance at the end of a probationary period, they MUST be able to show that they have actively managed the performance of the employee, and offered appropriate support and training throughout the period concerned. In all, our advice to employers is to ensure that recruitment, selection and performance management processes are robust. If they are, a probationary period shouldn’t be needed

At this point in time, it is business as usual, so contract templates don’t need to be changed. We will update you further as the Bill progresses. The next Presbyterian People newsletter (see below) will contain more detail on probationary clauses.

Presbyterian People newsletter

After a hiatus due to staff resourcing, Juliette is working on the next issue of Presbyterian People, an employment news and information bulletin. You may recall the previous (and first) issue that came out in December 2005. We intend to make them a more regular feature that provides more detail on relevant human resource matters than can be covered in Bush Telegraph.

School of Ministry udpate

Students finished the major academic teaching part of the year with a three-week block course on mission in multi-cultural New Zealand with Kevin Ward (and others), and a one-week block course on worship with Susan Werstein for our distance students. The students are now engaged either in full-time field education placements in churches, or in a full-time clinical pastoral education course. John Roxborogh has left on study leave for Malaysia then England .

In January the School is again hosting a summer school in conjunction with the Department of Theology at the University of Otago. This year outstanding New Testament scholar Joel Green from Asbury Seminary will be presenting a course on aspects of new testament theology. It will look at contemporary methodologies in examining such issues as unity and diversity in the NT, the relationship of the NT to the OT and the relationship between Biblical studies and other theological disciplines. The school will be held in Auckland at St Kentigern College, 22-26 January. Details can be obtained from either the School of Ministry or the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago.


Police checks

The human resources team is currently receiving a large number of requests for police checks that use the old consent forms.

In November 2004 the consent forms were changed to incorporate the Clean Slate Act 2004. The police will not process consent forms that do not make reference to this Act.

The correct consent form can be downloaded here and can be printed onto Parish letterhead. You will need Adobe Reader to view this document. This software can be downloaded for free here.

Please ensure any future requests for police checks use the correct form.

Christian World Service

Wipe Out Poverty week

Don’t forget Wipe Out Poverty week, 4-10 September. This is CWS’s annual youth fundraiser and is an opportunity to combine fun and service through fundraising art auctions, car washes, cake stalls, chocolate sales, mufti days, and much more. It’s not too late to sign up your youth group. Contact Liz Whitehead at youth(at) (or 0800 747-372) to register and receive a free kit to help plan your event.

CEPAD visit

CWS is pleased to be hosting the visit of Damaris Albuquerque and Gilberto Aguirre from CWS’s Nicaraguan partner group, CEPAD. CEPAD was a feature partner in last year’s Christmas appeal. This is an opportunity to hear more about the situation in Nicaragua, especially the damaging impact of debt and free trade on poor people, CEPAD’s work in assisting communities overcome poverty, and the beneficial impact of NZ aid funding. Damaris and Gilberto arrive in New Zealand on 30 August. There will be public and church events in:

Friday 1 September - Knox Church, Bealey Ave, 5.00-7.00pm
Saturday 2 September - St Francis Cooperating Church, 1.30-3.30pm
Sunday 3 September - Youth Fair Trade Cafe, All Saints Chapel, Waikato Diocesan School, 7.00-9.00pm
Monday 4 September - Te Maungarongo Marae, hosted by Te Aka Puaho, powhiri 3.00pm
Friday 8 September - St Andrews on the Terrace, 5.30-7.00pm
Saturday 9 September - St Andrews St Church of Christ, 3.00-5.00pm

For further information on the CEPAD visit, contact CWS: cws(at) or ph: 0800 747-372

Human rights and peace activist from West Papua visit

Rev Socratez Yoman is currently visiting New Zealand. Since 2002, the people of West Papua have declared their homeland “a land of peace”. In particular, the churches and human rights NGOs have campaigned consistently at many levels – local, national and international – to preserve West Papua as a land of peace, with the aim and hope of securing basic human rights, human dignity, justice, peace and equality.

Rev Socratez Yoman’s speaking engagements for September are in Christchurch:

Sunday 3 September, 7.00pm: Church meeting. Oxford Terrace Baptist lounge (cnr Oxford Terrace and Madras Street ). Contact: Gillian Southey, Christian World Service, ph: 366 9274.
Monday 4 September, 7.30pm: Public meeting, West Papua: Creating a Zone of Peace. Knox Hall, 28 Bealey Ave. Organised by Arena, Christian World Service and the Indonesian Human Rights Committee.
Tuesday 5 September, 1.00pm: Seminar, West Papua: the Hidden Pacific Conflict. Macmillan Brown Centre, 100 Arts Rd, University of Canterbury. Contact: David Gegeo david.gegeo(at) or Gillian Southey, ph: 366 9274.

For further information on West Papua see:

International day of prayer for peace

This year the World Council of Churches calls all churches to join in observing the UN International Day of Peace in service and prayer for peace. Around the world, people will be conducting world peace prayer ceremonies, participating in community service projects and much more. For more information refer to: or

The future is now – CWS calendar for sale

The popular CWS calendar is back for 2007, a great Christmas gift and all year round inspiration. The Future is Now, portrays the work of CWS partners as they guide young people to prepare their future and that of their communities. Only $10.00 each. Order now online at

The CWS Christmas Appeal – Water the gift of life

“Water, the Gift of Life” is the theme for this years CWS 2006 Christmas Appeal. Because one in five people in the world lack access to safe water, CWS supports many partner groups around the world who tackle this issue as part of their development efforts. Unequal access to water leaves millions with poor health, poor nutrition and heavy workloads as they try to buy or collect water. Competition for scarce water causes conflict among communities, regions and nations.

Parishes will soon be receiving the resource kit containing material to promote the Appeal and to keep parishioners informed about our partners all year round. For more information about the appeal, see


Look out for the next copy of @world, the CWS news magazine. The spring/summer edition, due out in September, features the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, a project partner of CWS. A major project this year for the ZCC has been the construction of water tanks as part of rainwater-harvesting programmes for villages.

Churches Agency on Social Issues

In March 2005 Capital City Forum and the NZ Human Rights Commission jointly sponsored a highly successful forum on race relations. The papers from that Forum have now been published as a contribution to the 2006 Diversity Action Programme. The Forum drew on speakers with a wide range of experiences, and each key-note speaker was bracketed with an example of their topic in practice. Topics covered included community relationships; constitutional issues; issues for Maori; and issues for Churches. The book is intended to be very practical, with ideas for building better relationships between the communities.

Available from:
Churches’ Agency on Social Issues
P O Box 6469
Email: casi(at)
Ph: (04) 384 3587 ext 2

Hymn books available

Eighty-eight used Church Hymnary 3rd Edition in good condition, and 20 newer books which need spine re-bound, are available for free (postage costs not included). Contact St Johns, Rotorua at office(at) or on (07) 348-2954.


Hewitson Library latest acquisitions

Click here to see the new acquisitions list for June 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 31 August 2006

Changes in Co-Operative Venture Ministries

Rev Alex Webster of the Methodist Church finished his term as minister in the Co-operative Venture of St James Union on 30 July 2006 .


Rev Ian McBride, Minister Emeritus, Christchurch Presbytery, died on 12 August 2006 .

Ministerial vacancies

Click here to see the full table of vacancies

Highlighted vacancies