From 'Coastie kid' to bishop

Reverend Don Tamihere will take over after intensive nomination and sanctioning process.

Reverend Don Tamihere will take over after intensive nomination and sanctioning process.

The Maori Anglican Church’s new Bishop of Aotearoa, Don Tamihere. File picture

A SUCCESSOR to Archbishop Brown Turei has been announced as the future bishop of Te Tairawhiti.

When Bishop Brown Turei retires in March, Reverend Don Tamihere will take over his role. The announcement was made after an intensive nomination and sanctioning process by electors from the Anglican Maori Diocese of Te Tairawhiti followed by confirmation by three Anglican archbishops gathered in Manutuke in October.

“It's starting to sink in,” says Rev Tamihere.

“I know what I am in for but it is very different once you are in the seat. One aspect of being bishop is you have an extensive geographic area you are responsible for. There are a dozen worship centres in that area.”

That area extends far up the East Coast and down through Hawke’s Bay towards Wairarapa.

The nomination and sanctioning process was long, arduous and thorough, says Rev Tamihere.

“It is a good way to prove what the will of the people is and what is, in our belief, the will of God.”

An electoral college in Manutuke hosted 100 representatives from every area of the ministry and iwi.

“The next level was our House of Bishops. All 15 active bishops across New Zealand and Polynesia met by video conference. You have to be sure about entering the process.

“I took the attitude that if God wants that to happen it will happen.”

The last process is a general synod — an assembly of the clergy — of 90 ministers.

“They consider you on the quality of your teaching, the quality of your character and manner of life and whether you are capable. What is exciting is the ‘we’ factor. This is not about the individual. It is the office and what the role represents.”

Rev Tamihere will be ordained as bishop and begin his role as leader of the church in March.

In the meantime, the newly announced bishop-elect plans to work with church whanau to help ensure Christmas is a time of peace and hope.

Born in Gisborne and raised on the East Coast, Rev Tamihere is aware of the challenge for some families at Christmas.

“I was a typical Coastie kid, hanging around marae, riding horses, surfing, and getting up to mischief. But I also saw whanau that went without, both without the physical and the spiritual blessings that should be found in abundance at this time of year.”

Rev Tamihere is a Maori biblical scholar who is working towards his PhD. He sees Christmas as a powerful message of hope and transformation.

“A child was born into our midst as a message of God’s hope and love. From this vulnerability great change came to an oppressed people. We need to find that hope again in our Christian message.”

Rev Tamihere will hold a Christmas Day service at 8am at St Nicholas Church, Wainui.

A SUCCESSOR to Archbishop Brown Turei has been announced as the future bishop of Te Tairawhiti.

When Bishop Brown Turei retires in March, Reverend Don Tamihere will take over his role. The announcement was made after an intensive nomination and sanctioning process by electors from the Anglican Maori Diocese of Te Tairawhiti followed by confirmation by three Anglican archbishops gathered in Manutuke in October.

“It's starting to sink in,” says Rev Tamihere.

“I know what I am in for but it is very different once you are in the seat. One aspect of being bishop is you have an extensive geographic area you are responsible for. There are a dozen worship centres in that area.”

That area extends far up the East Coast and down through Hawke’s Bay towards Wairarapa.

The nomination and sanctioning process was long, arduous and thorough, says Rev Tamihere.

“It is a good way to prove what the will of the people is and what is, in our belief, the will of God.”

An electoral college in Manutuke hosted 100 representatives from every area of the ministry and iwi.

“The next level was our House of Bishops. All 15 active bishops across New Zealand and Polynesia met by video conference. You have to be sure about entering the process.

“I took the attitude that if God wants that to happen it will happen.”

The last process is a general synod — an assembly of the clergy — of 90 ministers.

“They consider you on the quality of your teaching, the quality of your character and manner of life and whether you are capable. What is exciting is the ‘we’ factor. This is not about the individual. It is the office and what the role represents.”

Rev Tamihere will be ordained as bishop and begin his role as leader of the church in March.

In the meantime, the newly announced bishop-elect plans to work with church whanau to help ensure Christmas is a time of peace and hope.

Born in Gisborne and raised on the East Coast, Rev Tamihere is aware of the challenge for some families at Christmas.

“I was a typical Coastie kid, hanging around marae, riding horses, surfing, and getting up to mischief. But I also saw whanau that went without, both without the physical and the spiritual blessings that should be found in abundance at this time of year.”

Rev Tamihere is a Maori biblical scholar who is working towards his PhD. He sees Christmas as a powerful message of hope and transformation.

“A child was born into our midst as a message of God’s hope and love. From this vulnerability great change came to an oppressed people. We need to find that hope again in our Christian message.”

Rev Tamihere will hold a Christmas Day service at 8am at St Nicholas Church, Wainui.

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