When the Revd. David Moxon arrived back in New Zealand in 1979, after taking up his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, we students at Saint John’s College, Auckland – where David was in-house for a special Maori Language course – couldn’t help but notice his particular air of sophistication in matters of theological education. His later induction as Vicar of Gate Pa and his marriage into the Maori world was an early indication of his determination to embrace the bi-cultural world of the Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
David’s subsequent career in the Church – largely mentored by the then Archbishop of New Zealand Sir Paul Reeves – leading to his election as Bishop of Waikato before becoming our New Zealand Archbishop and Primate was totally predictable, given his balance of solid catholicity and broadly evangelical Anglicanism. This made him an effective Pakeha leader in the three-Tikanga Church (Maori/Pakeha/Pacifica) that had evolved in New Zealand and the Pacific since his return to New Zealand from England.
Given that David’s episcopal consecration took place in the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Hamilton, N.Z., mainly for reasons of the greater space available than in his own Anglican Cathedral in that city, it is probably predictable that he should have developed a good working relationship with the local Roman Catholic Church and its Bishop. David’s interest in ecumenical relationships, especially with the local Roman Catholic Church, led him to a role as one of the Anglican representatives on the ARCIC (Anglican/R.C.) Commission. From this, it was only a short step to being invited to become the Anglican Archbishop of Canterburys’s Representative to the Vatican.
During his time in the Pamphili Villa in Rome, David has made the very best of his proximity to heart of the Roman Catholic administration and has taken part in joint activities with Pope Francis since his arrival. Well done! Archbishop David, and Welcome Home to Aotearoa.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand