Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia logo.gif
Primate William Brown Turei (Aotearoa)
Philip Richardson (New Zealand)
Winston Halapua (Polynesia)
Polity Episcopal
Headquarters Wellington, New Zealand
Territory New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands
Members c. 580,642[1]

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is a church of the Anglican Communion serving New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. The primate of the church, known as the Archbishop of New Zealand, is William Brown Turei.

Since 1992, the church (formerly known as the Church of the Province of New Zealand) has consisted of three tikanga or cultural streams: Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. The church's constitution says that, among other things, it is required to "maintain the right of every person to choose any particular cultural expression of the faith". As a result, the church's General Synod has agreed upon the development of the three-person primacy based on this three tikanga system. This sees Turei sharing the primacy with Bishops Philip Richardson and Winston Halapua.


The church has decided that three bishops shall share the position and style of archbishop, each representing one of the three tikanga. The three archbishops sharing the title of Archbishop of New Zealand are the Most Reverend William Brown Turei, Bishop of Aotearoa, head of Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa which oversees churches for the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand.); the Most Reverend Philip Richardson, Bishop of Taranaki, representing the dioceses in New Zealand; and the Most Reverend Winston Halapua, Bishop of Polynesia.


Te Pīhopatanga o Aotearoa, which Turei also serves as archbishop or co-presiding bishop, oversees churches for the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand. Aotearoa is made up of five hui amorangi or regional bishoprics:

New Zealand[edit]

The tikanga of New Zealand, which serves non-Maori in New Zealand, is made up of seven dioceses:

Distribution of Anglican population within New Zealand at the 2001 census.

Formerly, the dioceses in New Zealand were led by a "senior bishop" elected from among the diocesan bishops. However, as the church moves towards a three-person primacy, the leader of the dioceses in New Zealand is elected as co-presiding bishop and styled as an archbishop. The current Pākehā co-presiding bishop is Philip Richardson, Bishop of Taranaki.


The Diocese of Polynesia, or the Tikanga Pasefika, headed by Bishop Winston Halapua,[2] serves Anglicans in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. The diocese's first bishop was consecrated in 1908. The diocese's cathedral is Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva, Fiji. As the province moves towards a three-person primacy, the Bishop of Polynesia is automatically a co-presiding bishop and styled as an archbishop. The Bishop of Polynesia is currently supported by three suffragan bishops: Bishop Winston Halapua, now the new Bishop of Polynesia, formerly lead the ministry to Polynesians in New Zealand, Bishop Apimeleki Nadoki Qiliho serves Vanua Levu and Taveuni, and Bishop Gabriel Sharma serves Viti Levu West as well as the archdeacons of Suva and Ovalau, Samoa and American Samoa, and Tonga.[3]

Theological training[edit]

Residential theological training is carried out primarily at St John's College, Auckland, which is also organised according to the three tikanga approach.

Theological training was formerly carried out by College House in Christchurch, but over time College House has become secularised as a hall of residence of the nearby University of Canterbury. While it still falls under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch and has the extensive theological holdings in its library, it no longer trains ordinands.


The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has no official policy on the issue[4] and is one of the many churches of the Anglican Communion considering same-sex unions. In 2011, the Diocese of Auckland voted in favour of ordaining partnered gay and lesbian priests.[5][6] The Dunedin Diocese also provides a blessing for the relationship of "two people" irrespective of gender, and had ordained an openly partnered gay deacon.[7][8] Subsequently, the Dunedin Diocese ordained the same deacon as priest.[9] In 2012, some bishops and four dioceses supported a rite of blessing for same-sex unions.[10] Motion 30, adopted by the 62nd General Synod on 14 May 2014, designated a working task group with the purpose of creating a "process and structure" that would allow the blessing of same-sex unions, while also upholding the traditional doctrine of marriage as the union of a man and a woman.[11] In 2016, the committee responsible for developing the rites of blessing released its proposed liturgies for same-sex couples to be discussed by the General Synod.[12] The General Synod 2016 voted to 'receive' the report on blessings but left the option to "[lie] on the table" and the issue will be reviewed again in 2018.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About". Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ "New archbishop for Anglican Church". Radio New Zealand. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  3. ^ About
  4. ^ "Anglican Church around the world". BBC. 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  5. ^ Coward, Colin. "Auckland Diocese Synod votes for full inclusion of lesbian and gay people in ministry". Changing Attitude. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Anglican Diocese on Support for GLBT Members | Scoop News". Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  7. ^ "Liturgical Resources | CalledSouth". Retrieved 2016-05-06. 
  8. ^ "Anglican church to ordain gay deacon". Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  9. ^ "Gay priest predicts a new conservatism | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News". Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  10. ^ "Anglican debate on gays risks splitting church". New Zealand Herald. 2012-06-30. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  11. ^ Legal challenge filed to NZ gay blessings motion, Anglican Ink, 20 February 2015
  12. ^ "New Zealand working group reports on same-sex relationships". Episcopal News Service. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  13. ^ " Anglican Church rejects blessings of same-sex marriages". Retrieved 2016-05-11. 
  14. ^ Quiqcorp. "Anglican Taonga : New Zealand's Anglican News Leader". Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  • Cox, Noel, Church and State in the Post-Colonial Era: The Anglican Church and the Constitution in New Zealand (Polygraphia (NZ) Ltd, Auckland, 2008; ISBN 978-1-877-33260-9)

External links[edit]