Te Pouarataki mō te Hīkoi An update from our Treaty Guide, Luke Kaa-Morgan, on behalf of Baptist Māori and Te Whāriki for 2023.

Korooria ki te Atua, te tiimatanga o ngaa mea katoa, te puna o te whakaaro nui, te toka o te aroha. Paimaarire.

Ka tangi tonu te ngaakau ki ngaa mate o te waa. E maha tonu raatou kua riro ki te poo. Haere raa koutou, e moe.

Tihei mauri ora, ki te whei ao, ki te ao maarama.

E te whaanau whaanui, e whai ake nei ko te Riipoata aa Tau o te whaanau Iriiri Maaori.

The highlight of this past year would have to be our national Hui ā Māori. More than 80 Baptist Māori from around the motu gathered in Taamaki, Auckland during the Matariki national holiday. We celebrated, listened, shared, laughed and enjoyed the manaaki of the marae. There was such a strength of being together in unity as we talked story, sung waiata and hiimene and honoured the work of Te Kapa Rautaki who have served our Baptist Union for the past twelve years. They shared the strategic priorities that emerged from our Hui Whakarongo in 2021 and cast vision for the way ahead as the beginnings of a new Māori governance group, Te Whāriki, was established and affirmed by the Hui. This was a wonderful achievement.

At the hui we learnt several verses of a Pātere (chant), written by Ray Totorewa, that tells the journey of our Hui Whakarongo. It is a rich expression in te reo that also serves as a prompt for us to be actively involved in Māori language revitalisation. He taonga (treasure). Matua Matt Hakiaha implored the Hui to prioritise our language journeys and therefore connections with our marae, hapuu and iwi for gospel renewal in people and places.

Ngā Pou Amorangi, our three-year part-time Māori leadership initiative at Carey Baptist College, led by Rewai Te Kahu and Denise Tims has now completed its fifth year. The three day wānanga which are highlights in the programme throughout each year are attended by tauira (students) and many more who are experiencing transformational learning. We’re thankful to God for each of the tauira and graduates and the wide variety of opportunities that have opened for mission, ministry, and leadership. We encourage you to look for Māori leaders in your context who may benefit from this leadership training.

We continue to move forward together as Māori, Pākehā and Tauiwi in our Baptist whānau. Our covenant relationship together is a feature for us and the commitment to see Māori flourish in our Baptist context remains a focus.

A Whakatauākī by the first Māori King in 1858: Kotahi te kōhao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro mā, te miro pango, te miro whero. Through the eye of the needle pass the white thread, the black thread, and the red thread. This is reflective of our collaborative approach and the multiple knowledges, disciplines and treasures we experience and share together. Whakamoemititia a Ihowa.

Photo: Provided by Luke Kaa-Morgan

This update is from the 2023 Annual Report of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, which you can view here.

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