WelCom May 2023
Over the last couple of years the Archdiocese of Wellington has been talking with Ngāti Kapumanawawhiti (Ngāti Kapu), whose ancestors made land available at Pukekaraka, Ōtaki, for the Catholic Mission in 1851. For some time, a group of local Māori have been meeting with Cardinal John Dew and the archdiocese’s general manager, John Prendergast, to explore what it means today for Ngāti Kapu to share their land for the purposes it was offered – sharing the faith, nurturing Catholic life and the education of the young.
The process took on a new meaning with parish priest Fr Alan Roberts going on a year’s sabbatical while at the same time helping Palmerston North diocese by locating to Stratford Parish. In the meantime the group of local people involved in the discussions, including Frs Phil Cody sm and Peter Healy sm, have formed a team to lead the parish.
Cardinal John commissioned this team at an outdoor Mass at Pukekaraka on 29 January this year. Work continues on how Ngāti Kapu can be more involved in the life of the parish and how the parish can be more connected with Pukekaraka. Ngāti Kapu have plans to establish a Health Centre – and already have a couple of doctors committed to giving time – working on Laudato si’ and transforming some of the land behind the church and marae for the community.