Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri
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Quakers have a long history of involvement in New Zealand. The Quaker Sydney Parkinson was on James Cook's first voyage ; other Quakers visited or settled before the first regular Meeting for Worship in Nelson in 1843. New Zealand Friends formed a Yearly Meeting, independent of London Yearly Meeting, in 1964.
Early concerns of Friends there included running adult education classes, running a hostel in Wellington (1907 to 1945) to enable rural children to attend secondary schools, and, since the Defence Act 1909, opposing conscription and acts of war. The Society was active in setting up Corso, originally the Council of Organisations for Relief Service Overseas, in 1944. It was one of the original constituent bodies of the National Council of Churches, now known as the Conference of Churches in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Monthly Meetings under the care of the Yearly Meeting in New Zealand include Waitemata North, Bay of Plenty/Auckland, Waikato/Hauraki, Palmerston North, Whanganui and Taranaki, Kapiti, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. In 2005 there were approximately 590 Friends in New Zealand, but about 1500 people, including children, are associated with the Society.
An event possibly unique to Friends in New Zealand is the nine-day-long residential Summer Gathering, held early each year (New Zealand midsummer), usually in a camping environment outside a city, for Friends and friends of Friends of all ages to get to know each other and have fun. Opportunities are provided for serious discussion and study, often with guest speakers, as well as for light-hearted activities (such as bonfires, concerts and fancy-dress parties), and for plenty of informal relaxation. Summer Gathering is valued as an informal way for New Zealand's small and scattered Quaker community to retain its cohesion.
In 1920 a co-educational Friends' Primary School, offering non-militaristic education, was opened in Whanganui. It was closed in 1969 and sold, but seven adjacent hectares of farmland were retained as the site of the Friends Educational Settlement, nicknamed "Quaker Acres". The Settlement consists of 16 separate homes, with 20 adults and 8 children who maintain the facilities in a voluntary capacity. The community is working to become more sustainable,growing an increasing proportion of their own food, and continuing planting of trees. A conference centre with sleeping capacity for up to 40 is used by Quakers, and available for outside bookings. Many Friends see this as a Quaker "marae". The community is outward-looking and active in local affairs. Weekend seminars are run on themes such as mediation, Quaker spirituality, social justice, sustainability, parenting, sharing of faith, men's and women's weekends, and more. For details go to www.quaker.org.nz
The Māori name "Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri" was given to the Yearly Meeting in 1994 by the Maori Language Commission. Its elements are: hāhi = "church"; tū = "stand"; hau = "breath/wind/spirit" and wiri = "tremble". It has been translated as "The people who are moved by the winds of the Spirit" or ""The faith community that stands shaking in the wind of the Spirit." Previously, the expression "Ngā Hoa Tapu" (the sacred/religious friends) was in use.
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in New Zealand(Official Website)