May 13, 2022
Presbyterians to offer back whenua
The Presbyterian Church will give local iwi the first right of refusal to any church-owned land which comes up for sale in future.
Reverend Dr Wayne Te Kaawa, a former chair of the Presbyterian Māori Synod, says the milestone decision reflects a younger generation coming into leadership roles.
When he made a similar proposal a decade ago it was sidelined.
“The older generation like my generation, my parent’s generation, they didn’t want to have these conversations. Every time you brought up confiscation and land and how the church got that land, those conversations got sidelined. But the younger generation are very happy to have those hard conversations and ask those hard questions that nobody else wants to ask,” he says.
Reverend Te Kaawa, who teaches theology at the University of Otago, says his former church in Dunedin is now closed and should be made available.