Māori Council re-formed


Kia hoe tahi tatau te Waka Whakapono kei te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Te Kahu o te Rangi, a representative body of Catholic Māori in the Wellington Archdiocese, has been relaunched after a call from the Pentecost synod to more biculturalism in the Mass.

Te Kahu o te Rangi was originally set up in September 1992, following an approach to the Māori Chaplaincy team by Cardinal Tom Williams seeking their views on addressing Māori Catholic pastoral issues. The council was named after Tu Hono’s kaumatua, Kahu Ratana, an ardent supporter of the council. He died in Auckland as the council was meeting for the first time.

All of this was explained to those representing Catholic Māori rohe gathered at a hui in the Catholic Centre in October this year to discern the goals and aspirations and issues for Catholic Māori today, and the shape of Te Kahu o te Rangi into the future.

There was a clear wish from those at Synod 2006 for liturgies to be bicultural, and inclusive, that opening and closing rites of the Mass were in te reo and that Māori spirituality was more greatly known and understood by all. Archbishop John Dew hoped that by revitalising and strengthening Te Kahu o te Rangi and supporting its vision and its work, our diocesan partnership might be strengthened in many and diverse ways also.

Henare Walmsley told the hui of dreams for the council, that it could be an advisory body for Archbishop John, articulating the needs, concerns and gifts of Catholic Māori in the archdiocese, that it provide opportunities for ‘soul kai’ for its people, that it strengthen and support education-in-faith opportunities for Māori katekita and young people, that it support the work of the Tūranga Māori Adviser, Morna Taute, and be where possible the interface between Māori Catholic and the archdiocese.

Representatives at the hui elected Henare Walmsley as chair and Teresa Waikari as the deputy. The council plans to meet four times a year.