The youngest primate in the Anglican Communion was installed as Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP) on Saturday. About 750 people attended the service, which was held in a a huge marquee at Manutuke marae, west of Gisborne. Archbishop Don is the sixth Pihopa o Aotearoa – or leader of the Maori Anglican Church – and one of three equal-status primates in the Province.
The youth of the new Archbishop – he is 45-years-old – was reflected in the service; during which he was installed in his cathedra not by other bishops, but by three students from Maori schools. Then, to underline the “new wine, new wineskins” message, he chose the Revd Wiremu Anania, newest and most recently ordained priest in the Maori Tikanga, or cultural strand, of the ANZP, to preside at the Eucharist. The 24-year old priest is vicar and missioner of Tauranga Moana, and was ordained just three months ago.
The new Archbishop succeeds the late Archbishop Brown Turei in two ways: as Bishop of Te Tairawhiti, the tribal district which covers the eastern seaboard of the North Island, and as the leader of the Maori part of the church. Before his installation, he sat between his wife Kisa and Archbishop Brown’s widow Mihi Turei.
The Maori King, Kingi Tuheitia Paki, and his wife Makau Ariki Atawhai were amongst the guests at the service. It was the first time that a Maori monarch was present at the installation of any Bishop of ANZP.