by SARAH SPARKS

“We probably got what we came for” said Rangi Davis, a member of the Katorika Māori Steering Committee that
presented back to whānau at a special hui at Whangarei Hato Werahiko Kawerio parish on June 8.

The hui was pivotal as part of a consultation process to establish and formalise the structure of a Katorika Māori Commission — the first ever in Auckland diocese that encompasses Tamaki ki Te Taitokerau and potentially Hauraki.

The committee’s powerpoint presentation kicked off an in -depth discussion about the need for more Māori visibility in the Church, having key people in key roles and upholding mana Māori.

Different successful international models of canon law that serve indigenous cultures were raised.

Each attendee received prepared packs about the proposed mandate of the Katorika Māori Commission in Auckland diocese to take back to their parish to engage other Māori for support.

The four recommendations from the steering committee were; the appointment of a Vicar for Māori, employing a Kaiwhakahaere (a Māori engagement/relationship manager), establishing a Māori office in the diocese, and appointing a Māori pastoral committee that whānau ask to be specifically named, “Hui Taumata” — which would embody the power
of a congress.

“So the next step is for them to take that message back to their people to see if they’re happy with this documentation
— and they can add to it too,” said Lucia Jacobs.

“We’ll put together a good budget to support it, that articulates our forecasting of those two roles and . . . the operational expenditure . . . to support the Hui Taumata and the vicar.”

Prior to the Katorika Māori Steering Committee designing a structure, a lot of work had been done, but not a lot had eventuated from it.

Previously, Mrs Jacobs had developed a Māori Pastoral Care plan with Pā Tony Brown in 2014. Then the Auckland diocese
Justice and Peace Commission’s Bi-Cultural Committee became involved after examining how the Church is supporting the Treaty of Waitangi.

The proposed Katorika Māori Commission will assist confidence in leadership and support Māori in their vision forward after a previous hui, held in 2018.

A report will be put together within four weeks, once all consultation has taken place in other parishes. It will be submitted in August to Bishop Patrick Dunn for commissioning the next step.

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