Tuesday, 12 November 2019

NZ Defence Force and local Iwi commit to a new relationship


NZ Defence Force and local Iwi commit to a new relationship

On 9th November the NZ Defence Force vested back to local Māori of Ngāti Rangi land that had been used as a Communication Centre.

In a week, on 16th November, the Iwi will gift back to the Crown and Defence Force that land.  It will continue to be used by Defence for the good of all New Zealanders. 

This apparently strange exchange of land has a deeper significance.  It marks a unique new relationship of the New Zealand  Defence Force and a local Māori group.  This is the first time such a ‘gifting’ or ‘vesting’ has taken place involving the Defence Force.

The background historically arose where the Crown gradually subsumed land belonging to Ngāti Rangi.  This possession brought serious consequence for Māori who were not able to work the land and care for their people, and eventually left the area to seek work elsewhere.  This included a block of land New Zealand Forces took over as a Communication Base under the banner of the New Zealand Navy. 

It was involved for example in communications around the Japanese advances in the Second World War.  Although in the middle of the North Island near Waiouru, the base was regarded as a ship of the Navy, HMNZS Irirangi!

There was a good relationship locally between the Defence Force and Māori, celebrated for example in rugby games played on the site and dances at the local base.  Originally, Ngāti Rangi providing a name for the base.  They gave it the name ‘Irirangi’, meaning broadcasting or communicating a message. 

This name, Irirangi, means the communication of sacred knowledge. In particular the good news of Love and mutual co-operation.

The name came forth from what is known as a Rā.  Rā, meaning ‘Day’, is a meeting local Māori still celebrate starting at midnight of the 8th of November and going through to midnight of the 9th of November.  The 9th of November marks the death of one of the prophets of a Māori movement aimed at preserving and enhancing Māori well-being.

Hence the 9th of November was chosen to conduct the ceremony.

Members of the three branches of the Defence Force gathered at Raketapauma marae and were welcomed on.  Then a Mass was held to deepen the spiritual significance of the day.

All persons, from Defence and the local Iwi, then went to Irirangi and a ceremony acknowledging the significance of the day took place.

A plaque on a rock base was unveiled.  The wording reads “This plaque marks the relationship between Ngāti Rangi and the NZ Defence Force.  It records the vest and gift-back of these lands within Rukutia te Mana, the Ngāti Rangi (Treaty) settlement.”

Kemp Dryden, Chair of the local Marae, spoke, outlining the background to the day.  He thanked those who have been negotiating since 2015. 

He noted that this relationship will expand into commercial opportunities as well. This will include working together to use land for housing and employment.  This first in Treaty agreements will mark a new era for Ngāti Rangi and the NZ Defence Force.

Rear-Admiral David Proctor said this relationship will be something to be recognized in the teaching of our national history in schools.  He also expressed the hope that this would link youth on both sides in a new dignified unity.

Mr John Wood, Crown negotiator, representing Honourable Andrew Little, Minister of Treaty Settlements, apologized on behalf of the Crown for the way land had originally been acquired.  He expressed the conviction that today marked a new partnership going forward together.

The day could be likened to a stepping stone.  It marks a new beginning of working together in growing understanding between the Defence Force and Ngāti Rangi.  










Sunday, 14 October 2018

Respect Life Sunday pastoral letter, 14 October 2018



Dear sisters and brothers in Christ
E te whānau whakapono a te Karaiti

Praising God for the gift of life is common to all world religions. Deep down in the heart of every person is the knowledge that life is precious and often fragile.

The worldwide human family recently experienced this belief as we watched with bated breath the heart-warming rescue mission of the Thai boys trapped in a cave. How fitting it was that all the boys, soon after their rescue, went to a monastery for a month’s retreat as an act of respect for the one who had sacrificed his life saving theirs.

Respect Life Sunday reminds us that every day is an opportunity to reflect on the insight that life, far from being random or an act of self-determination, is, in fact, a gift.
The beautiful gift of parenthood is a collaboration with God in the creation of a new person made in God’s image and likeness. It is sometimes said that every child is the fruit of God’s love and their parents’ love, “given a name”.

Sometimes, however, the gift of life is not experienced as this profound communion of love, family and joy. Parenthood can be shattered or tested in a number of ways that cry out for mercy, tenderness, accompaniment and deep understanding. When grief or loss or regret come between a parent and a child - or the hope for a child - we see human nature itself express her pain and anguish.

Today, as shepherds or hēpara, we stand close to those of you who carry the heavy pain and grief of an abortion. Sometimes that anguish, when shared, met with a cold

detached judgement. That was wrong. We encourage those of you who need the burden of regret lifted, to share your story, and, in the words of Jesus, “find rest for your soul” (cf. Mt 11:29-30).

Others carry the pain and grief of what we might call ‘empty arms’ in different ways: perhaps the result of an inability to conceive;
or the miscarriage of a deeply desired but never held baby;
perhaps a child still-born and held only in death;

or the result of having parented embryos that will never be implanted;
perhaps a child given for adoption, a child given away into the arms of others;
or a child who died prematurely through illness or accident, a child no longer present to be held;
or perhaps a child now estranged or distant whom you entrust to the care of the Saints and the compassion of fellow human beings.


Pope Francis has called for a revolution of tenderness in our world. In that spirit, we offer today not explanations or answers but the assurance of listening hearts and humble prayers: for courage, for healing and forgiveness where needed, and for renewed purpose in our lives.

A burden or pain shared is one that is lightened. For some of you, telling your story to another person will bring forth a kind of sacred space of deep, respectful listening; an encounter in which you will feel God’s healing love. We might mourn, we might marvel and above all for all of us may we come to experience anew that we are the deeply loved family of God. And may we continue to build parishes where doors are open and all are made to feel at home.

+ Patrick Dunn, Bishop of Auckland
+ Steve Lowe, Bishop of Hamilton
+ Charles Drennan, Bishop of Palmerston North 

+ John Dew, Cardinal Archbishop of Wellington
+ Paul Martin SM, Bishop of Christchurch








Cradlings

When I asked God how I could hold my empty arms 
and carry what isn’t there,
this is what he said: Rest.
Rest and let me remember you.
I loved you then and I love you now.
I made you full and whole.
I made you laughter and noise,
busy and quiet.
But most of all
I made you holy
and I named you “My Love”.
Rest, My Love and let your arms be filled; 
I am ‘The Gentlest of Cradlings’.
Nuala 


Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Olive Tree Design

The building has been designed to be a low-level structure to minimise its visual impact and to ensure that the church remains paramount on the site. Sunk into the ground, glimpsed through trees and shrubs, the building is viewed primarily as a series of stone walls reminiscent of the stone structures built by the early settlers. Even the roof hovering over it will be clad in stone so that the entire structure will be read as one. 

Local parishioner and project architect Mr Fred Van Brandenburg, says “Our forefathers built to the best of their ability a church that was contemporary in their time. It would be appropriate to do the same in our time”He states that there are many successful examples where historic and contemporary buildings can co-exist harmoniously as neighbours, for example, The Louvre in Paris: the I.M. Pei Pyramid extension, and the ultra-modern George Pompidou in Paris. They all create an interesting juxtaposition between old and new such that they enhance each other and do not confuse the onlookers with what is genuinely old and proudly new. 

Mr Van Brandenburg states that: “In order to protect and enhance the primacy of the church, the roof needs to be low and flat to appear to float - to make the building as transparent as possible. The shape is such that it wants to move away from the Church to increase the distance between old and new, and from the interior, this curvilinear shape creates an image of a leaf that sheds water down the stem.” This fits in with his architectural ideology that curvilinear shapes are friendly forms like those found in nature. Hence his philosophy: “All forms in architecture should be inspired by forms found in nature.” 

The building has become known as ‘The Olive Leaf’. But this is only noted if one sees it from above eye level – like flying over it in a helicopter, or a drone. But in reality, this is not how one will see the building. Instead, it will just be seen as a low-level structure to be subservient to the Church building. However, from the interior – the communal hall - the ceiling’s leaf-shape will be noted, hence its nickname: “The Olive Leaf”, a symbolic roof shape that sits suspended over a light-filled communal hall. A cool, peaceful, more intimate space lies below ground level accessed via a spiral stairway ending in an enclosed crypt-like space reminiscent of churches of old. Here one will see a wall of remembrance; a glass-walled internal garden fed with water flowing from the roof ‘stem’; built-in seating alcoves; brick, wrought ironwork and colourful symbolic mosaic imagery representing life’s journey

These are just some of the delightful features to be experienced leading down towards the core - the centre of the spiral. This space offers a peaceful, quiet, spiritual place for locals and visitors alike to sit, light a candle or just pause a while.
Incorporated into the design are also features highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the early settlers in the area.

Symbolic Maori motifs in mosaics are patterned into the stone walls and gold and autumn colours so evocative of Arrowtown are magnificently highlighted on the underside of the “Leaf” roof in the communal hall. A glass Koru motif – embedded into the floor of the outdoor entrance courtyard allows natural light to filter through to the windowless sanctuary space below. 

The centre is also designed to include spaces suitable for mentoring and support, providing opportunities to rekindle the work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, a Catholic nun who lived and worked in Arrowtown in the 1890’s. Her quaint cottage on the site (part of her original school) attracts visitors and pilgrims from around the world on a daily basis. 

“The Olive Leaf Centre” - Design Inspired by Nature



An inspirational Gem to be discovered in the heart of Arrowtown


A unique architecturally designed multipurpose building “The Olive Leaf Centre” - a gift to Parish and Community, is poised to add another dimension to the culture and beauty of historic Arrowtown.


After nearly three years of design, planning and consultation an application has been lodged with the Queenstown Lakes District Council for consent to build a Parish and Community Centre on land adjacent to the historic St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Arrowtown.


The building has been designed to be a low-level structure to minimise its visual impact and to ensure that the church remains paramount on the site. Sunk into the ground, glimpsed through trees and shrubs, the building is viewed primarily as a series of stone walls reminiscent of the stone structures built by the early settlers. Even the roof hovering over it will be clad in stone so that the entire structure will be read as one.


Local parishioner and project architect Mr Fred Van Brandenburg, says “Our forefathers built to the best of their ability a church that was contemporary in their time. It would be appropriate to do the same in our time”. He states that there are many successful examples where historic and contemporary buildings can co-exist harmoniously as neighbours, for example, The Louvre in Paris: the I.M. Pei Pyramid extension, and the ultra-modern George Pompidou in Paris. They all create an interesting juxtaposition between old and new such that they enhance each other and do not confuse the onlookers with what is genuinely old and proudly new.


Mr Van Brandenburg states that: “In order to protect and enhance the primacy of the church, the roof needs to be low and flat to appear to float - to make the building as transparent as possible. The shape is such that it wants to move away from the Church to increase the distance between old and new, and from the interior, this curvilinear shape creates an image of a leaf that sheds water down the stem.” This fits in with his architectural ideology that curvilinear shapes are friendly forms like those found in nature. Hence his philosophy: “All forms in architecture should be inspired by forms found in nature.”


The building has become known as ‘The Olive Leaf’. But this is only noted if one sees it from above eye level like flying over it in a helicopter, or a drone. But in reality, this is not how one will see the building. Instead, it will just be seen as a low-level structure to be subservient to the Church building. However, from the interior the communal hall - the ceiling’s leaf-shape will be noted, hence its nickname: “The Olive Leaf”, a symbolic roof shape that sits suspended over a light-filled communal hall. A cool, peaceful, more intimate space lies below ground level accessed via a spiral stairway ending in an enclosed crypt-like space reminiscent of churches of old. Here one will see a wall of remembrance; a glass-walled internal garden fed with water flowing from the roof ‘stem’; built-in seating alcoves; brick, wrought ironwork and colourful symbolic mosaic imagery representing life’s journey


These are just some of the delightful features to be experienced leading down towards the core - the centre of the spiral. This space offers a peaceful, quiet, spiritual place for locals and visitors alike to sit, light a candle or just pause a while.
Incorporated into the design are also features highlighting the rich cultural heritage of the early settlers in the area.

Symbolic Maori motifs in mosaics are patterned into the stone walls and gold and autumn colours so evocative of Arrowtown are magnificently highlighted on the underside of the “Leaf” roof in the communal hall. A glass Koru motif embedded into the floor of the outdoor entrance courtyard allows natural light to filter through to the windowless sanctuary space below.


The centre is also designed to include spaces suitable for mentoring and support, providing opportunities to rekindle the work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, a Catholic nun who lived and worked in Arrowtown in the 1890’s. Her quaint cottage on the site (part of her original school) attracts visitors and pilgrims from around the world on a daily basis. 


The Olive Leaf Centre is intended to form an integral part of an overall site complex and will ensure the preservation and maintenance of both the historic Mary MacKillop Cottage and St Patrick’s Church.


The inspiration for the Olive Leaf Centre came from a group of parishioners with a vision to build a place for parish gatherings and for the wider community to enjoy. Their aim was not simply to build a “Church Hallbut rather to create a work of exceptional beauty, timeless elegance and functionality. This design has it all. Like a Koru revealed by a skilled carver from within the Pounamu - a Taonga of our time.


Bishop Michael Dooley the newly ordained Bishop of the Dunedin Catholic Diocese, in a letter of endorsement, stated: “Throughout the ages, the Church has encouraged artists and builders in creating spaces that raise our spirits to God and also provide a practical benefit to the wider community. This project offers us an opportunity to create a beautiful space for prayer and reflection and a welcoming gathering space for social cohesion in our community” He continues: “This is an ambitious undertaking but the history of the Church includes many people who through vision and perseverance created beautiful buildings of which we are the beneficiaries today”.


The Centre will be administered by ‘The Olive Leaf Centre Trust’ an independent charitable body. The Trust is optimistic that it will be able to fund the project through grants and donations including those from patrons of the arts. This will be in a similar vein to the enabling of the completion of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral and raising funds for the Hundertwasser Art Centre project in Whangarei.


Already the project has created considerable national and international interest and offers of support. The Trust has reaffirmed its commitment to delay seeking funding until Resource Consent has been obtained.

The Trust says that work on the project to date has been totally pro bono and gratefully acknowledges the generosity of spirit this project has inspired.

For further information please contact:



Mr Colin Bellett: Trust Chair - “Olive Leaf Centre Trust”. Email: macbellett@gmail.com Ph: +64 27 6109109 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Cooking up a storm on his first trip to New Zealand!

A Priest, celebrity chef, martial arts instructor, break-dancer, award-winning author,  radio and tv show host, Father Leo Patalinghug, is a multi-talented man with a unique message. And it all centres around food and God’s love.
His ministry Plating Grace is about bringing families back to the dinner table through preparing and sharing a meal together and in doing so strengthening family bonds. Father Leo will be sharing this message, complete with a live cooking demonstration,  for the first time ever in New Zealand at the Family Banquet conference organised by the Centre for Marriage and Family (CMF) in Wellington this November.
New Zealand celebrity Chef Martin Bosley will also be presenting at the event sharing about his  ‘Gate to Plate’ voluntary culinary work mentoring prisoners.
Father Leo says, “We believe in the power of food to do good - for all people, no matter their background - as food is the common denominator that can bridge people and culture.”
“Eating around the table is so important because, in today’s fast-paced world, we need to create opportunities for togetherness, connections and communication. We need to realize that we have deep hungers, not just for food, but for companionship - a word that means “cum=with” “panis=bread”. This is what Jesus did when he ate with sinners and strangers.  He invited all to his banquet.  And when we serve one another, we show we love them. That’s what a family meal can do - share love, simply by sharing bread!”
While Father Leo says he’s always happy to show people how to cook, he’s coming to NZ to share the reason ‘Why we cook.’ “From a spiritual point of view, we recognize how all religions have ‘feast days!’  For Christians, we learn why Jesus invites us to be servants at the table and even reveals himself as bread and wine. I will share a message about how a meal can bring us closer to God and one another. That’s a message the entire world needs to hear and I’m excited to share it with the people of New Zealand.”
But that’s not all, the Black Belt Martial Arts Instructor will be engaging, especially young audiences, with his Spiritual Combat message using hand to hand combat techniques to illustrate key biblical concepts on spiritual warfare.
Father Leo, who was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States lives in a consecrated community called Voluntas Dei (The Will of God). He hosts a weekly TV show called Savouring Our Faith on the Catholic Channel EWTN.
Plating Grace is an international apostolate to help strengthen families and relationships through God’s gift of the family meal.

The Family Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 10 starting with a Mass from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. at the Our Lady of Fatima Church, 169 Main Rd., Tawa, Wellington 5028. This will be followed by Conference presentations from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m at the St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, 167 Main Rd. Tawa. For details and how to purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite.co.nz. ENDS