Renewing Our Biculturalism

In February 2021 SPAM’s James Bowman and Esther Grant presented a kōrero on Renewing
our Biculturalism to the Vestry of St Paul's, with the support of Scott Parekowhai (Ngāti
Porou), Jonny Grant and Matt Bruns. Jo Simpson (Ngāti Kurī) was also part of the project
team. In May we received this official blessing to continue our proposed haerenga:

“St Paul’s Vestry wholeheartedly supports the journey of Renewing our Biculturalism through
restoring our partnership with local iwi & hāpu and the Māori Anglican church as expressed in
the proposal presented to Vestry, and thanks those involved in its creation. Vestry
acknowledges the weight of St Paul’s 180 year history, including our ties to both colonialism
and local iwi & hāpu. Vestry further acknowledges that seeking progress and developing
meaningful relationships in renewing our biculturalism will require humility, conviction and a
long term commitment to this vision from the church and its leaders.”

We say “continue” because the various hui and kōrero that have happened over the past few
years, encapsulated in the document, have already resulted in the renewing and the beginning
of relationships, and of bicultural initiatives that many have been involved with.

You can download a PDF of the document that covers our kaupapa / purpose, tangata & roles,
our bicultural story and our proposed haerenga / journey here. Contact James or Esther if
you’d like to join the team or get involved

Proposed Haerenga / Journey

How can we renew the biculturalism of St Paul’s through relationship between Māori and non-Māori
(Pākehā / Tauiwi) in Christ?How can we glorify God by recognising, restoring and reimagining His unique
creation, te ao Māori, and Christianity in Aotearoa?

Become Te Tiriti covenant partners.

Archbishop David Moxon wrote a message to the wider NZ
Anglican church in 2011 called: ‘The Treaty and the Bible in
Aotearoa New Zealand’, about updates to the Anglican
Constitution. He wrote:
‘The Anglican Church in these Islands has an historic, moral
and spiritual responsibility to see that the covenantal theology
in the Treaty signing process continues to be honoured,
enacted and lived. To this end the Anglican Church here has
restructured its constitution to live within Treaty principles as
a means of practising what was preached in 1840.’
Have we looked at how St Paul’s can formally adopt this?
Let’s also look at how St Paul’s can honour ‘the spirit of the
Treaty’ as described by Jay Ruka in ‘Huia Come Home’. What
can we do to be generous, committed covenant partners
today and into the future? And how do we express this?

Observe and/or recognise Māori tikanga.

St Paul’s culture is predominantly Tikanga Pākehā, and we
don't aim to provide a full Tikanga Māori church setting like
Holy Sep. Also, while we respect Tikanga Pākehā Anglican
traditions, we also have a culture of exploring fresh church
settings. These combined factors have resulted in some of the
ways we do things being uncomfortable or even o􀄳ensive to
Let’s review our practices and decide what we want to change
to be more welcoming to Māori, and let’s clearly
communicate our reasoning for the things we decide not to
change. We're bound to learn a lot from the process

Apologise and consult.

We should look to offer formal apologies to specific iwi/hapū,
where we have been involved with, or stood by and didn’t
challenge, Treaty breaches in our church’s history.
We should also use our influence in our broader Auckland
Diocese to do the same.
We need to decide if ‘Selwyn’s Throne’ at St Paul’s was his or
not; possibly amend the current plaque; and ask for advice
(including from Bishop Te Kitohi regarding issues relating to
We should seek to discover from Māori and the Anglican
Church the stories of the land, buildings, and assets which are
connected to St Paul’s, and seek guidance from our Tikanga
Māori partners on appropriate responses. For example: our
building was built on top of a spring and apparently a former
pā site; land was apparently given to our Diocese by Māori for
specific purposes, but not used for those purposes.

Commemorate Waitangi Day together.

Every year on 6 February people of all communities and
backgrounds gather at Waitangi to commemorate the first
signing of Te Tiriti.
The Treaty Grounds closes its buildings for the day and the
grounds become the location for the Waitangi Day Festival.
The free festival at the Treaty Grounds starts at 5am with a
Dawn Service in Te Whare Rūnanga (Carved Meeting
House). All-day entertainment creates a fun, festival
atmosphere, with performance stages on the Upper Treaty
Grounds, at the Waka Shelter and on the sports field opposite
the Treaty Grounds.
Let’s connect with our bicultural story as a community and
stay in Waitangi and attend the festival together. Better still,
let's join Karuwhā Trust for their Hīkoi Ki Waitangi. The
four-day event is held over the Waitangi Commemorations
and is an invitation to experience Waitangi first-hand: to
serve alongside tangata whenua, to visit significant sites, to
spend time listening to stories of our past from kaumātua and
historians, and to seek a better understanding of our country.

Learn te reo Māori together.

To be a people that can ‘walk fluidly’ between Māori and
Pākehā contexts, we need to at least respect te reo Māori,
but better still, learn to speak it. It’s the gateway to truly
accessing Te Ao Māori.
To start with, let’s all learn to pronounce te reo words
correctly, rather than knowingly getting them wrong. Then,
let’s o􀄳er classes to the St Paul's congregation and learn te
reo togethe

Nurture relationships.

We’ve begun to renew intentional relationships with Ngāti
Whatua Ōrākei, Holy Sep and the wider Te Tai Tokerau
Diocese, including through Nathan.
James has created Wikipedia articles on Holy Sep (with Kerry
Davis' help) and Tarore, and expanded articles on Bishop Te
Kitohi, Apihai Te Kawau, and Bishop Selwyn & St Paul's
bicultural histories.
Let’s ask Holy Sep and Ngāti Whatua Ōrākei how we can best
serve them. Can we help at marae gatherings or put on
lunches for them? Can we share our stories with each other?
What gifts can we give them? Can our counsellors help their
counsellors? Can we provide scholarships for their leaders or
artists? Can we go to Waitangi together? Many Māori don’t
know te reo, would they like to join us in learning?
Holy Sep’s accounts person suggested financial giving at our
Big Issues Forum. Can we work with them to create Open
Courses or Forums for their community, as discussed with
Shona Pink-Martin and Jonny?
How can we nurture our relationships with Te Tai Tokerau
including Bishop Te Kitohi, and the wider Māori Anglican
Church, tikanga Māori at St John’s, and the Diocesan working
group in this area recently set up by Dio Council and Te Tai
Tokerau? What can we do on Te Pouhere Sundays to
celebrate our partnership?
Also, have we met our neighbours at AUT’s Ngā Wai o
Horotiu marae? How can we serve them?

Create together.

Let’s invite Ōrākei, Holy Sep and others to collaborate in
creating songs, art, media and events with us. And invite them
to create new stained glass windows and tukutuku panels at St
Paul’s, to honour and give mana to tangata whenua, and to
glorify God. Always seeking to follow our Creator's creative