World’s First Maori Woman Bishop

  1. CathNews NZ Pacific
  2. New Zealand

First Māori Woman Bishop welcomed at Rangiatea Church

Māori woman bishop

Monday, December 2, 2019 – CATHNEWS NZ.Pacific

Pihopa Waitohiariki Quayle, New Zealand’s first Māori woman bishop, 24th November, was welcomed in a service that took place in the beautiful and historic of Rangiatea Church in Ōtaki.

The newly ordained bishop was supported by groups from different areas.

She comes from from the Wairarapa, but now has charge of a large area that includes Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington up to Palmerston.

Rev Dr Rangi Nicholson, the local minister, welcomed Waitohiariki. “I hope your ordination will bring new life to Rangiatea and the region”, he said.

He noted that all churches welcomed her.

“We are faced with a lot of challenges. How do we, Anglicans and indeed all Christians, keep the church alive, especially for youth”.

The service was organized and led by another Rangiatea minster, Rev Marie Collin.

She is an Anglican priest who also hails from the Wairarapa.

She was assisted by long-time Anglican support, Rev Georgia Hapeta.

The service was the one used on Aotearoa Sunday.

It marks the start of the Christian church in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

It recalls Samuel Marsden, whose arrival was to shape the bicultural identity of the church.

Waitohiariki pronounced forgiveness, read the Gospel and preached.

“I acknowledge all those who have gone before me. They opened the gateway to the Gospel for us.

I remember especially the different Māori Bishops before me, such as Bishop Paul Reeves, Bishop Hapai Winiata, Bishop Whakahuihui Vercoe and Bishop Muru Walters”.

At her ordination in Masterton in September the bishop was presented with a full kākahu.

Denise Hapeta explained how it had been woven by local weavers.

It is called Tohaina ō painga ki te Ao: Spread your good works to the world.

“This kākahu is a blessing for you to do that”, she said.

The bishop gave a final Blessing.

After the service, the bishop was welcomed onto Raukawa Marae where further speeches were made and a lovely hākari to celebrate.


Supplied: Pa Piripi Cody


Thanks to our Catholic friends for this article from their CATHNEWS NZ website.

This is, indeed a first for our Anglican Church in these South Pacific Islands (ACANZP) – when oue first Maori woman, Waitohiariki Quayle, was ordained Bishop in Masterton in September. This article describes her official welcome at the historic Rangiatea Anglican Church in Otaki, near N.Z.’s captial City of Wellington.

Pakeha women were ordained Bishop earlier with the consecration of Bishop Penny Jamieson, in Dunedin. However, the indigenous Maori tradition has taken its own time to agree to the understanding of the epsicopate being open to a female. In our three-tikanga (tradition) Church, there is still one more cultural strand (Pasifika) that has yet to come to this point. However, it has to be processed through the agency of its own unique culture, retaining its own identity as an integral part of ACANZP.

This situation serves to emphasize that each of our 3 cultural streams is free to choose its own traditions of determining who can attain to ordained leadership in ministry – in order to preserve our 3-Tikanga integrity; celebrating our cultural diversity within the unity of our Provincial Church.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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