The Archbishops have announced the election of the Rt Rev Don Tamihere as the next Pihopa o Aotearoa, or leader of the Maori Anglican Church.
Bishop Don, who is 45, and who has Ngati Porou ties, now succeeds the late Archbishop Brown Turei not only as Anglican Bishop of Te Tairawhiti, the tribal district which covers the eastern seaboard of the North Island, but also as Pihopa Mataamua, leader of Te Pihopatanga and co-leader of the three tikanga church.
The two sitting archbishops, the Most Revs Philip Richardson and Winston Halapua, are delighted that Bishop Don has been chosen:
"We rejoice with the people of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa," they say, "and look forward to sharing the primacy of our church with Bishop Don”.
Bishop Don was nominated for the post – which became vacant when Archbishop Brown died in January 2017 – at an electoral college held during Te Runanganui, the biennial ‘parliament’ of Te Pihopatanga in Nelson, in September last year.
That nomination – which was unanimous across the houses of laity, clergy and pihopa – has since been ratified by the wider House of Bishops, and approved by a ballot of members of the General Synod, and Bishop Don is now therefore duly elected.
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