New White Ribbon ambassador, Rev Hana Popea, is a Presbyterian Church minister who brings Pasefika woman’s perspective

4 October 2022

White Ribbon NZ’s new ambassador is a Presbyterian Church minister who aims to create a church support network to help prevent and stop violence towards women and children.

The Reverend Hana Popea has been appointed a White Ribbon ambassador for the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, and an ambassador by White Ribbon NZ. The Presbyterian Church has a long-time commitment to supporting White Ribbon. 

Hana brings a Pasefika perspective to issues of family violence in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Born in Samoa, she studied at Samoa College. She has a Bachelor of Theology and Post Graduate Diploma of Ministry from University of Otago. She was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 2005 and has been in parish ministry for 17 years.  Hana has been minister at St Ninian’s Uniting Church in Karori, Wellington, since 2016.  She is married to David Dell.

Passionate about children and families’ ministry, Hana’s work with White Ribbon will be informed by her interest in family violence prevention and her ongoing study and work with children and youth around resilience. This important part of her ministry is informed by her work as a minister, her experiences as a Pasefika woman, and as a mother raising a young man.

Her experiences have made her realise that there’s a big gap between listening and actively hearing the silent suffering of women and children who experience violence and abuse within our society.

She says that churches have an important role to play in closing this gap. “We have many people in our churches who are already working and volunteering with organisations in their communities to prevent violence towards women and children. The challenge is to connect them with each other, with other churches, cultures and with White Ribbon, so they can access training and resources to share.” 

Hana says her mission for the kaupapa of White Ribbon is to help others to find their voice, to break the cycle of abusive behaviour, to create an open talanoa process and to facilitate educational programmes towards healing, caring, and the restoration of healthy relationships. 

She dreams of helping to make New Zealand a place where healthy relationships thrive, positive attitudes are empowered, and loving and safe environments are the daily experience for all women and children.

•    See a profile of Reverend Hana Popea on the White Ribbon NZ Ambassadors website page and on the Presbyterian Church website. 
•    During November, White Ribbon month, as in previous years Presbyterian Church parishes will hold events to promote White Ribbon Day in their communities. Events are aimed at acknowledging the problem and educating about how to prevent and stop violence against women and children. See more on the PCANZ and White Ribbon NZ here on the PCANZ website.
•    Download a hi-res image of new White Ribbon NZ Ambassador, Rev Hana Popea here.
About Rev Hana Popea:
Hana was born in Samoa, studied at Samoa College, and has continued her studies and work in NZ since 1986. She is a Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) minister, ordained in 2005, who has been in parish ministry for 17 years.  She was inducted into St Ninian’s Uniting Church in Karori, Wellington, in 2016.  Hana is on the Presbytery Central council of the PCANZ. She has worked alongside the Presbyterian Church national Youth, Children and Family Ministry. She has one son and is married to Rev David Dell, a Police chaplain.