Council News November 2006

Welcome to the first newsletter from your new Council of Assembly, which was appointed by General Assembly 2006.

We held our first meeting in Wellington over the weekend of 17-19 November. A significant proportion of the group were not on the previous Council, so we spent Friday night familiarising ourselves with the Council’s functions, including a presentation on the role of governance.

Introducing your Council for 2006-2008

New members this term are:

  • Convenor Rhys Pearson , who is the minister at St Andrew’s in Wanganui
  • Richard Dawson, minister at Leith Valley in Dunedin
  • Lisa Wells, from Dunedin ’s East Taieri Church
  • Ian Guy, minister at Kaikorai in Dunedin and convenor of the Leadership sub-committee
  • Nathanael Lai, minister of the Chinese Christian Church in Auckland, representing the Council of Asian Congregations
  • Hariata Haumata, minister of the Wellington Maori pastorate, representing Te Aka Puaho
  • John Kernohan, from Auckland, representing the Church Property Trustees
  • Lyn Murray, from Waitahuna, representing the Synod of Otago and Southland

Those who served on the previous Council include:

  • Deputy convenor Jane Prichard from Auckland
  • Peter Cheyne, minister at Calvin in Gore
  • David Dransfield from Napier
  • Neil Walker from Taranaki
  • Olinda Woodroffe, clerk of the Pacific Island synod
  • Millie Te Kaawa, moderator of Te Aka Puaho
  • Pamela Tankersley, Moderator of the General Assembly

Service team leader presentations

On Saturday afternoon, presentations were given by the leaders of the different groups in the Assembly service team: Global Mission, Archives, Human Resources, Communications, Finance and National Mission. These presentations focused both on the work done by each area and why it is important to the Church’s wider work.

Council discussed the housing of Archives and made the decision in principle to relocate it from its present basement location at Knox College to more suitable accommodation.

General Assembly 2006

Council considered the decisions of GA06 that would impact its work during the next two years.

Council appointed a task group to explore the federal model proposed to General Assembly 2006, comprising Peter Dunn (convenor), Andrew Norton, Fei Taulealeausumai, David King, Peter Young and Margaret Anne Low.

The Moderator reported on work to record what worked well at GA06 and what could be improved, to help those organising GA08.

The trial of consensus decision-making scheduled for GA06 did not go ahead. The Moderator informed Council about work being done to explore the concept further for the next Assembly.

Church Property Trustees

CPT representative John Kernohan communicated that a report on the Beneficiary Fund will be brought to the next Council meeting.

The CPT is involved in preparing a paper on releasing resources for mission, which will also come to the next Council meeting.

Council of Asian Congregations

Representative Nathanael Lai shared some of the context in which the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand ’s Asian congregations operate.

An Asian Commission, which seeks to bring Asian congregations into closer relationship with the Presbyterian Church, is being piloted and Council affirmed its work.

Assembly Executive Secretary report

New AES Martin Baker reported on recommendations for the establishment board of the Centre for Christian Leadership, which were endorsed by Council: Murray Rae (convenor), Sandra Goodchild, Allan Paulin, Sarah Mitchell, Michael Schwass, Paul Ramsay. There will be other members representing Te Aka Puaho, the Pacific Island Synod, and Michelle Shin will represent the Council of Asian Congregations. Associates on the Board will include The Director of the Centre, the Assembly Executive Secretary a representative from the Leadership sub-committee and a representative of the Council of Knox College and Salmond College.

Council decided to set up an ecologically focused task group, under the direction of the AES , to investigate and develop a Biblical response to the deepening ecological problems threatening our earth and our communities. The group will seek to provide congregations with practical guidelines, examine ways by which our Church may help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, and develop a Declaration of the Care of Creation to be taken to the next Assembly.

Human resources manager Marilla Hood has been appointed complaints officer, under the provisions of the new Book of Order.

Meetings during 2007

  • 24-25 March
  • 21-22 July
  • 17-18 November

We look forward to serving the Church during the next two years, and would welcome any feedback or comments. Council members’ contact details are available on the website, or you can email us a letter via

Yours in Christ,

Rhys Pearson and Jane Prichard
Convenor and Deputy Convenor