Moderator’s message Waitangi Day 6 Feb 2023


1 February 2023

Kia ora tautou Presbyterian Church whanau!

Waitangi Day comes this year at a time when co-governance is a hot topic. We have a new Prime Minister preparing for an election year and many of us are lamenting the vitriol meted out to Jacinda Ardern by a small but vocal group within our community. We have a melting pot of issues and responses. As a Church, what is our part in all of this?

I am representing you at Waitangi this year, at the 5am Dawn Service and the 10am Ecumenical Service.

Te Aka Puaho Moderator and Moderator elect, Marina Rakuraku and Tamiana Thrupp, have been helpful mentors in preparing me for this. For them, the Church’s part is to draw attention to God and the gospel message of Jesus Christ. "Stick to that and you will be good!”, they urged me.

I am mindful of the message brought to this land by Samuel Marsden on Christmas Day 1814, and the further messages from a succession of missionaries and church leaders. They have not always got it right! But I do think we are called as Christians in this land to continue to seek the right words and actions in honouring both God and the bicultural journey we are on together.

As Presbyterians we particularly acknowledge the special place of Te Ake Puaho and Te Maungarongo Ohope Marae in our life together. At this time, I want to draw attention to two significant things in this life together:

New Moderator for Te Aka Puaho

On 11 February, Tamiana Thrupp will be inducted as the new Moderator of Te Aka Puaho. We uphold him in our prayers and we give thanks for the work and contribution of Marina Rakuraku, the outgoing Moderator.

PCANZ Moderator's Appeal for Te Maungarongo

Prior to Christmas we launched an appeal for urgently needed earthworks to retain a slope to the side of the national marae in Ohope. Thank you to all those who have contributed. We did get some feedback that Christmas was not the best time for this appeal. The appeal is still live, and the need still real: contributions received so far will only cover 1/10 of the cost. I would love for your parish to consider promoting this for the New Year, see the link here.

Nga mihi nui

Hamish Galloway
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ