Time for new leadership in church: Archbishop Turei

Archbishop Brown Turei decides to retire after 65 years as a priest.

Archbishop Brown Turei decides to retire after 65 years as a priest.

RETIRING: Archbishop William Brown Turei is to resign as Te Pihopa ki Te Tai Rawhiti (Bishop of Tairawhiti) at the end of this year, and as Te Pihopa o Aotearoa from the end of March next year, having served more than 65 years as an Anglican priest. He is pictured with Governer-General Sir Jerry Mateparae at a New Year Honours List awards ceremony in April after being made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the church.

Picture supplied

THE need for “new leadership, new vision and ideas” are reasons behind Archbishop William Brown Turei’s decision to retire after 65 years as a priest.

Archbishop Turei has announced he will resign as Bishop (pihopa) of Tairawhiti at the end of this year and as Bishop of Aotearoa — leader of the Maori arm of the Anglican Church — from the end of March in 2017. He has planned his resignation in two stages “to allow Tairawhiti and Waipounamu to elect new bishops and have full representation in place before the election for a new Bishop of Aotearoa is convened”.

“It will give me great peace of mind to be able to leave Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa and Te Hui Amorangi o Te Tairawhiti knowing that they are settled and prepared for the future. Now is the season for new leadership, new vision and ideas, and a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to come and lead the church forward.

“I am very excited about the new generation of young leaders waiting in the wings and I can’t wait to see what God will do through them. It has been the great privilege of my life to have served as a deacon, priest and bishop in this wonderful church. I am indebted to Christ and to my wife (Mihi), family and all those who helped me along the way. It is my hope now that I may be able to retire with the dignity and the honour that the roles I have carried so rightly deserve.”

Fellow archbishops Philip Richardson and Winston Halapua have accepted and supported his decision, and have formally advised the other bishops of his plans.

Early years

Archbishop Turei, who has Ngati Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui affiliations, was born in 1924 in Opotiki to the Waititi whanau. He was whangai to the Turei whanau in Cape Runaway on the East Cape. He was named after the Rev Brown Turei, a Hahi Mihinare priest on the East Coast.

Archbishop Turei spent his primary school years at Rangitukia and Cape Runaway, followed by four years at Te Aute College. He was earmarked for the priesthood from his young days, and spent a short stint at College House in Christchurch. These were the war years and he broke his studies to enlist with C Company of the 28 Maori Battalion. After the war, he went to St John’s College in Auckland and was ordained a priest in 1950.

He has served the Anglican Church in parishes and Maori pastorates in Tauranga, Whangara, Te Puke, Whakatane, Manutuke, Christchurch and Waipatu. He was chosen as Archdeacon of Tairawhiti in 1982, began a long association with Hukarere Girls' College as chaplain from 1984 and also served as chaplain of the Napier Prison for four years.

His election as Bishop of Tairawhiti in 1992 followed the reforms of the Anglican Church here in 1990. He celebrates the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop on March 7 of next year.

In 2005, Archbishop Turei was elected Bishop of Aotearoa and in 2006 he was installed as Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa-New Zealand and Polynesia. Earlier this year, he was made on Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to the church.

THE need for “new leadership, new vision and ideas” are reasons behind Archbishop William Brown Turei’s decision to retire after 65 years as a priest.

Archbishop Turei has announced he will resign as Bishop (pihopa) of Tairawhiti at the end of this year and as Bishop of Aotearoa — leader of the Maori arm of the Anglican Church — from the end of March in 2017. He has planned his resignation in two stages “to allow Tairawhiti and Waipounamu to elect new bishops and have full representation in place before the election for a new Bishop of Aotearoa is convened”.

“It will give me great peace of mind to be able to leave Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa and Te Hui Amorangi o Te Tairawhiti knowing that they are settled and prepared for the future. Now is the season for new leadership, new vision and ideas, and a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to come and lead the church forward.

“I am very excited about the new generation of young leaders waiting in the wings and I can’t wait to see what God will do through them. It has been the great privilege of my life to have served as a deacon, priest and bishop in this wonderful church. I am indebted to Christ and to my wife (Mihi), family and all those who helped me along the way. It is my hope now that I may be able to retire with the dignity and the honour that the roles I have carried so rightly deserve.”

Fellow archbishops Philip Richardson and Winston Halapua have accepted and supported his decision, and have formally advised the other bishops of his plans.

Early years

Archbishop Turei, who has Ngati Porou and Te Whanau a Apanui affiliations, was born in 1924 in Opotiki to the Waititi whanau. He was whangai to the Turei whanau in Cape Runaway on the East Cape. He was named after the Rev Brown Turei, a Hahi Mihinare priest on the East Coast.

Archbishop Turei spent his primary school years at Rangitukia and Cape Runaway, followed by four years at Te Aute College. He was earmarked for the priesthood from his young days, and spent a short stint at College House in Christchurch. These were the war years and he broke his studies to enlist with C Company of the 28 Maori Battalion. After the war, he went to St John’s College in Auckland and was ordained a priest in 1950.

He has served the Anglican Church in parishes and Maori pastorates in Tauranga, Whangara, Te Puke, Whakatane, Manutuke, Christchurch and Waipatu. He was chosen as Archdeacon of Tairawhiti in 1982, began a long association with Hukarere Girls' College as chaplain from 1984 and also served as chaplain of the Napier Prison for four years.

His election as Bishop of Tairawhiti in 1992 followed the reforms of the Anglican Church here in 1990. He celebrates the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop on March 7 of next year.

In 2005, Archbishop Turei was elected Bishop of Aotearoa and in 2006 he was installed as Primate and Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa-New Zealand and Polynesia. Earlier this year, he was made on Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to the church.

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