The arrival of the Anglican Church with its claims to religious power was soon followed by British imperial claims to temporal power. Political, legal, economic and social institutions were designed to be the bastions of control across the British Empire. However, they were also places of contestation and engagement at a local and national level, and this was true of New Zealand. Māori culture was constantly capable of adaptation in the face of changing contexts.
This ground-breaking book explores the emergence of Te Hāhi Mihinare – the Māori Anglican Church. Anglicanism, brought to New Zealand by English missionaries in 1814, was made widely known by Māori evangelists, as iwi adapted the religion to make it their own. The ways in which Mihinare (Māori Anglicans) engaged with the settler Anglican Church in New Zealand and created their own unique Church casts light on the broader question of how Māori interacted with and transformed European culture and institutions.
Hirini Kaa vividly describes the quest for a Māori Anglican bishop, the translation into te reo of the prayer book, and the development of a distinctive Māori Anglican ministry for today’s world. Te Hāhi Mihinare uncovers a rich history that enhances our understanding of New Zealand’s past.