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Bishop celebrates Maori church
Bishop Don Tamihere ©

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The new Bishop of Aotearoa says religion is an intrinsic part of Maori society.

Don Tamihere, the Bishop of Tairawhiti, has been confirmed to succeed the late Archbishop Brown Turei as primate of the Maori arm of the church after almost six months of scrutiny, known in the church as sanctioning.

He says Maori embraced Christianity because it fitted with their own faith traditions, and they chose to highlight parts of it rather than being simple converts.

"They were attracted to aspects of the church that looked like good religion so helping the poor, speaking up for justice and peace, trying to make the world a better place, and it is those parts our ancestors adopted and took on board," Archbishop Tamihere says.

Maori also experienced the church at its worst, when it behaved like an empire.

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