Friday August 18, 2017   Last updated 17:00PM
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Church a Maori thing says bishop elect
Don Tamihere , Anglican Church

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The new Anglican bishop elect of Wairau says he’s proud to be chosen to lead the beautiful faith in Te Tairawhiti.

Don Tamihere was elected to succeed his mentor Archbishop Brown Turei, who has retires in April.

The Gisborne-based priest says the gospel was brought to the coast by Maori evangelists rather than missionaries, so Ngati Porou was not so much converted as adopted the religion into the heart of their culture.

While some people reject the church as a tool of colonisation, he says the ancestors made the faith part of their expression in haka and waiata.

"I think our people's relationship wiith the faith is that it's ongoing and it's true and it's deep. It's just that we struggle to articulate that well and if you take it simply we all believe in aroha, we beleive in whakapono, we beleive in manaaki, and that's where the church and the faith is at its greatest strength and that's what we need to return to, so less political, less about talking, more about doing I think," Reverend Tamihere says.

He says the church is at its best when it is there for people in need.

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