Time for a Hāpu-based Hāhi Again?

In 1992 after much negotiation Mihinare gained our mana motuhake within the Church. However we then proceeded to break that church up into 5 Hui Amorangi and, contrary to expectations at the time, these Hui Amorangi have effectively become independent Dioceses, each unto their own.

Now that might have been fine had it been effective, but actually our Hāhi is shrinking rapidly. In the last census we have lost another 20% of our people, and we know that on the ground numbers are shrinking every year.

This is happening with every Christian denomination in this country. In the US the Episcopalian Church (Anglicans) are undertaking a major review of their national operation to try to counter this. The reality is though it is  probably too late for top-down change.

Instead we need to consider other models. Instead of endless meetings and increasing hierarchies and bureaucracy, how about we re-look at the church as a hāpu and iwi-based church, which is how we started off. Of course hāpu and iwi look different today, especially in the cities. But we need to try something, and working from the ground up looks like a good place to start.

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