Waitangi Day next week is the 178th anniversary of the signing of our Treaty. The day gives us all a chance to reflect on the role that the Gospel played in motivating and shaping the Treaty, and in influencing its reception throughout Aotearoa. In both the new colony and back in England, Christian missionaries and Christians in the British Colonial Office were eager to protect Māori society from the waves of immigration of British settlers, and for the Crown’s dealings with Māori to be sincere and just. The mana with which missionaries were received in many parts of the land also led to warm receptions from local chiefs, many of whom had heard the Gospel and had received Jesus. The Treaty was seen by many as a spiritual covenant with Queen Victoria, head of the Church of England.
This resource from the New Zealand Church Missionary Society offers some more background to the relationship between Gospel and Treaty, and poses some interesting questions for Christians in modern Aotearoa New Zealand, who want to understand what it means to be Christ-followers in these islands at the ends of the earth.
Waitangi Day celebrations
There are plenty of public celebrations around the diocese, including music, poetry and dance in Dowse Square; food and fun in Moutoua Gardens, a day of entertainment in Waitangi Park and waka rides on Te Awarua-o-Porirua, a celebration of multiculturalism in Masterton and even a monster auction in Rongotea!
However you and your community celebrate, have a fantastic day – and send us a snap or two! You can tag us on Facebook (@movementwellington) or just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to see them!
The Anglican Centre is closed on Waitangi Day and re-opens at the normal time on Wednesday the 7th.