Wednesday, 20 June 2018

New look for Catholic Discovery

The Catholic Enquiry Centre (CEC) has unveiled new Catholic Discovery branding, as it seeks increased engagement with different audiences, including those with and those without Christian Faith, those active in the Church and those who have left, inviting them all to discover more about our community and the Church today.

Last year, the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) set out a new mandate for the CEC, updating their core work for a new era, to become better connected with the Bishops’ work in dialogue with society and actively developing leaders and faith communities to assist in this work.

The CEC has been charged with finding ways of reaching out through social media and digital marketing, as well as through the individual and collective leadership present in our parish and school communities.

CEC Director, Fr Neil Vaney says, “Catholic Discovery involves the process of learning about our faith. Our approach with teaching is to utilise online platforms. We know our audiences use these channels. We want to share faith-based messages that people potentially cannot access elsewhere.”

“As part of this we have built Catholic Discovery and established branding that is more visual and vibrant. This fresh look better reflects our commitment to today’s missionary challenges. The new logo offers a modernised presentation and will be used on our digital platforms.

The icon, he says, is purposefully ambiguous. When looking at it, you may see a flame, a path or even a dove. These are all traditional symbols of Catholicism. The new logo is a metaphor that shows one can find many things within our faith.

The colour purple has been used to represent Christ’s suffering on the cross.
The logo will be used across our social media platforms. 

Please do visit to follow our page and share our content and follow us on Twitter at

We’re currently reviewing the website and creating an Instagram account.
We are always looking for good stories. If you have done something special or noteworthy within our community, please do let the Catholic Enquiry Centre know.

Tel. 04 385 8518

Amanda Gregan
Communications Advisor - NZ Catholic Bishops
Te Huinga o ngā Pīhopa Katorika o Aotearoa

20 June 2018

Tuesday, 12 June 2018


12 June 2018

Yesterday, representatives of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) presented their serious reservations over David Seymour’s ‘End of Life ChoiceBill to the Justice Select Committee.

The Justice Select Committee heard Bishop Charles Drennan and Dr Caroline Newson, who works in acute psychiatry medicine, speak on the proposed Bill. New Zealand’s foremost bioethics agency, The Nathaniel Centre, was represented by Centre Director, Dr John Kleinsman and Researcher, Sue Buckley.

Bishop Charles acknowledged the selfless staff working in rest homes, hospices and hospitals who accompany the dying and their families and whanau daily. He noted the Church’s long involvement in palliative care and referred to the first hospice in New Zealand, founded by the Little Company of Mary, a group of Catholic sisters, who advocated in the early 1970s to set up beds to nurse the dying and established the Mary Potter Hospice.

Bishop Charles argued against the Bill’s narrative, based on the premise of individual choice. He said, “choice is good but not always good. What is important is to choose what is right or dignified or best”. 

Bishop Charles’ main argument was that the Bill if passed would usher in a regressive unnecessary backwards move. New Zealand prides itself on being a progressive nation and to be truly progressive is to challenge ageist attitudes and eliminate the sense that being sick or old or dependent equates to being a burden. 

He stressed that assisted suicide of the elderly or sick, like the tragedy of youth suicide, would be a cause of great whakamā or shame for Aotearoa.

In her statement, Dr Caroline Newson said this Bill would contradict the Government’s pledge to better support mental health, making it legal for those with a mental illness to have a doctor assist their suicide.

Dr Newson continued, emphasising that euthanasia and assisted suicide had no place in healthcare and that doctors did not want nor should have imposed upon them the burden of being the ones to end people’s lives when they were trained to provide care and give hope to their patients.

“This Bill places a heavy burden upon the Medical profession to aid in the suicide of, or actively kill a person who seeks such an end to their life and is deemed to satisfy the Bill’s eligibility criteria,” she said.

In his presentation to the Committee, Dr Kleinsman spoke to the Bill’s problems; its imprecise terminology, vague and subjective language around eligibility, failure to consider broader social implications and the ethical contradiction of involving doctors in ending the lives of their patients – “we should not ask doctors to be ‘life takers’ as well as ‘life savers’.” 

He spoke too to the impossibility of ensuring people were not coerced, a point made by various other medical groups during the day, as well as the absence of effective safeguards within the proposed legislation.

 Citing the growing rates of elder abuse as well as growing social isolation amongst older people along with an increased sense amongst our elders that they are a burden, Kleinsman added: “There has never been a more dangerous time to implement an assisted death regime in New Zealand.”

Dr Kleinsman also warned against the slow creep of eligibility and cited international examples where the year on year increase of numbers of Euthanasia is rising steeply. 

The practice of Euthanasia, Dr Kleinsman said in his submission, is contributing to a “new norm around dying” in places such as Belgium and the Netherlands whose regimes are very similar to the propropsed legislation

The NZCBC’s social justice agency, Caritas also presented to the Select Committee.
The timetable for the Justice Select Committee's report on the End of Life Choice Bill has been extended after a record number of submissions were received. The select committee will report back to Parliament at the end of March next year.

Ko te Huinga Pīhopa o te Hāhi Katorika o Aotearoa (NZCBC) te kāhui whakahaere o ngā mahi whakapono a-motu me ngā rōpū minita o te Hāhi Katorika. Otirā ngā rōpū mātauranga, tika me te pono, kaitohutohu Māori, whakapaoho whakawhiti whakaaro me te toro atu ki te iwi nui tonu, ritenga o te Hāhi, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā Hāhi, matatika koiora, whakawhanaungatanga o ngā whakapono, mahi minita ki ngā whareherehere me ngā hohipera, oti atu.

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference (NZCBC) is the assembly of the Catholic Bishops of New Zealand coordinating national activities and ministries of the Catholic Church. These include education, social justice, Māori advisory, communications and engagement with the public, liturgy, ecumenism, bioethics, interfaith relations, pastoral work in prisons and hospitals, and more.

Their media statement on their submission can be found by visiting their website at

Others presenting to the Select Committee included Not Dead Yet Aotearoa, Care Alliance, Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Grace Presbyterian Church of NZ, Palliative Care Nurses, Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine and Hospice New Zealand. 

Catholic Educators Gather for Triennial Convention

Eight hundred Catholic educators are gathering in Wellington this week at the TSB Arena to celebrate Catholic education in New Zealand.

The nation’s Bishops will be present, and virtually every Catholic school will have delegates attending. Teachers from schools and Catholic tertiary educators will present a range of seminars.

International speakers are coming from the United States, England and Australia, and speaking on topics as diverse as Catholic schools and the Possibility of God, Responding to Christ’s Call in the Age of Pope Francis, and Catholic Education and the Art of Accompaniment.

Catholic schools make up 8.4% of the Government’s overall provision for education. There are 238 schools, with 66,000 students.

Catholic schools were among the first to integrate, following the 1975 integration legislation, and they have a long partnership with the state, providing high quality education across all deciles.

The triennial conventions are designed to ensure that Catholic schools remain authentic in their commitment to Church and State, as vibrant communities of faith and learning.

Paul Ferris, the CEO of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office, which has organised the event, said, “While managing these events is a huge task, it is important because it reminds our community of our diversity and our national coverage.”

Minister Jenny Salesa is unwell and will not be able to present to the convention as planned, but she will be represented by Iona Holsted, the Secretary for Education.

In a year when the Government is undertaking reviews of many aspects of education, it is important that Catholic schools review the ways in which they play a critical part in the delivery of education, and consider what works well for them. 

Highlights include:

  • David Wells, international presenter based in England -  Keynote “Shoulder my yoke and learn from me” – Catholic Education and the Art of Accompaniment.

  • Franciscan priest Daniel Horan, from the United States Keynote Address: “The Joy of Christian Foolishness: Responding to Christ’s Call to Discipleship in the Age of Pope Francis”


Amanda Gregan
Communications Advisor - NZ Catholic Bishops