The most significant all-together gathering each year for Baptist churches in New Zealand is our annual National Hui (aka Assembly), this year being held at Manukau City Baptist Church, 2-4 November. Each local Baptist church around the motu can send delegates as their representatives as we worship God, celebrate, and engage together on issues to do with the life and work of the Baptist ‘tribe’ of Christians in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This year the Hui theme is Baptists shaping our future | ngau nui, ngau roa, hei ngao matariki. Whether it's the next steps on our treaty journey, our young people, the constitution that shapes us, our posture in engaging with difficult conversations, stewarding our assets, ensuring our people and places are safe, or determining our hand-carved mission… it’s time to take some big bites to ensure gospel renewal of people and places in Aotearoa and beyond. The main sessions at Hui have pre-reading to help get Hui delegates up to speed, as well as to keep the ‘Team of 40,000’ Baptists informed on what is happening on their behalf at Hui. Below is the pre-hui read for the session by Baptist Māori, written by Luke Kaa-Morgan who is Te Pouarataki mō te hikoi (Treay Guide) at the Baptist National Support Centre – this session is on the Friday morning of Hui:

He Koronga Maatou – We have a dream

Ki te kahore he whakakitenga, ka he te iwi. | Where there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint.

We will open this session with a video, Hey Love, a song aligned to a national Māori strategy to revitalise our language, a taonga (treasure) of iwi and Māori and an integral part of our national identity as New Zealanders.

Jordyn, the songwriter says, “Having grown up without Te Reo, she sees contemporary Māori songwriting as a means of reclamation. Language reclamation has been a massive part of my life. ‘Hey Love’ gives words to the calling I could feel to fully participate in this work. It’s written from the perspective of our tūpuna (ancestors) and acknowledges the difficulties of reclaiming at the same time as offering hope.” This is a work of gospel renewal in the culture and identity of tangata whenua. 

Below you’ll find the lyrics which include a translation for the kupu Māori (Māori words). 

He koronga maatou, aspirations for our people to flourish as active participants in the mission of God. Our long term vision has been to see all Māori become lifelong followers of Jesus, flourishing and positively transforming their whānau, community and the world in which we live. This inspires us. 

We’re glad, as Tangata Whenua, to take our role as treaty partners seriously and fully engage in our covenant relationship together. We hold knowledges that we feel compelled to share and a desire to embed a bicultural perspective in the context of our Baptist world. This has been a long term journey and we remain present to lead and participate. We are whaanau together.

Our bicultural journey operates in an intercultural world, and we are acutely aware of this responsibility. We value the ethnic diversity in our Baptist whaanau and hold ongoing desires to serve these spaces and our peoples with joy. We are better together.

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi. | With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

Hey Love

Verse 1

hey love

your soul is wandering

in search of home, love

the pieces broke

so far before your time, love

they took your tongue

but you still have your heart


I’ve seen love

the generations sunk

under your eyes, love

the journeys in you

that you never walked love

they took your tongue

but you still have your heart


Chorus

e kore koe e ngaro

tiwhatiwha, ko te pō

tākiri te ata

tēnei ka karanga

puāwai mai uraura

(you will never be lost, even in the sting of the night, the dawn will come & I will call you into your fullness)


Verse 2

It’s dark love

the moon will pull the waters

find your rhythm love

I promise every dawn

the sun will rise love

the sun will rise

you can always find me in these skies


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Hui Programme

The Hui programme is online here.

Other Pre-Hui Reads

A posture of humility for difficult conversations (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 1) by Christa McKirland

A new way of making decisions together (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 2) by Peter Crow and Wayne Schache

A mechanism to ensure our people and places are safe (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 3) by Geraldine Crudge

An alignment of our assets for gospel renewal (pre-Hui read: Big Bite 4) by Charles Hewlett and Wayne Schache

A Baptist way to make decisions (pre-Hui read: Big Bites 1-4) by John Tucker

He Rito: The future of the church (pre-Hui read: Our young people) by Ethan Miller

The morning after (pre-Hui read – Arotahi) by Kelly Enright


Photo: Hui 2023 artwork

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