Anglican General Synod

Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

Te Hāhi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tīreni, ki Ngā Moutere o te Moana Nui a Kiwa

Ma Whea? Commission on Same-Gender Relationships, Ordination and Blessing

The REPORT is released: (4 April 2014)

Report 1.43 MB


Sir Anand Satyanand, Chair, speaks about the Commission:

Submissions are to submitted in writing, (by June 1, 2013) in the first instance to The Ma Whea? Commission,

c/- The General Secretary, PO Box 87-188, Meadowbank, Auckland, 1742, or

NOTE: the last day for receiving submissions to be considered in the report of the Commission is June 1, 2013!!

The Commission Chair reports to General Synod/ te Hinota Whanui - July 2012

The idea of the Ma Whea Commission took on flesh and blood this afternoon – with its chairman, Sir Anand Satyanand, telling the synod about his hopes for the commission.

He traced his own life’s journey – his parents were from Fiji – to becoming “a contemporary New Zealander.”

He then sketched profiles of the other members of the commission – Justice Judith Potter, Professor Paul Trebilco, Mele Tailai, Sir Tamati Reedy – and the commission secretary, Elizabeth Smaal, and described them as a “team of generalists, led by a generalist.”

He then indicated why he felt a small group in the South Pacific might be able to help resolve some “really difficult and seemingly intractable problems.”

He gave three reasons for his hope:

“First, the countries of the South Pacific have operated as neighbours for much longer than living memory can trace.

“People from this country and other Pacific territories have migrated to New Zealand and have become part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s life present way of life.

“Secondly, in New Zealand in the last part of the 20th Century we have developed a number of mechanisms to resolve long held grievances and to reach both understanding and completion.

“An example is the Waitangi Tribunal methodology, which by listening and hearing, has time and again been able to point towards resolution of long held injustice and being deprived.

“Thirdly, in the Pacific more generally there is the practice of talking things out in a fashion that can provide resolution in what has come to be called ‘the Pacific way’.

In short, the experiences of our part of the world may help us to discuss what is involved with our remit, in a way that will enable helpful pathways to emerge.’

Sir Anand anticipated “two stones that can be thrown.”

Doubts about how a group “without long term connections with the upper levels of the Anglican Church” would fare.

But any difficulties there, he felt, would be overcome by having “regular recourse” to the reference group which has been appointed.

“The second stone is that none of us has any public connection with the advancement of same gender issues.

“That is also true. But I submit that our combined experience as members of the community will enable a satisfactory process to occur.”

See Terms of Reference here:

Final Terms of Reference for a Commission on the Ordination and Blessing of People in Same Sex Relationships – November 2011

The General Synod Standing Committee at its meeting in November 2011 establishes a Commission to be made up of a small group of eminent people with ability, credibility, and a commitment to work in prayerful collegiality, and to report to the General Synod/te Hinota Whanui on:

(a) A summary of the biblical and theological work done by our Church on the issues surrounding Christian ethics, human sexuality and the blessing and ordination of people in same sex relationships, including missiological, doctrinal, canonical, cultural and pastoral issues; and

(b) The principles of Anglican ecclesiology and, in light of our diversity, the ecclesial possibilities for ways forward for our Three Tikanga Church; and

(c) The implications of (a) and (b) on the place of our Three Tikanga Church as a whole within the worldwide Anglican Communion; and

(d) What care and protection there would be for those who could be marginalised.

(e) The Commission should consider and report on other issues and matters that may arise from their consideration of the above.

The Commission is to report progress to the General Synod/te Hinota Whanui in 2012 but in any event to complete its work and report to the General Synod/te Hinota Whanui by 2014.

That various bodies of this Church, through the terms of reference, be available to offer the Commission advice on specific matters or questions, including the Doctrinal Commission, the Judicial Committee, the Liturgical Commission, as well as the bench of Bishops. The Commission will be free to take such advice and any other advice that it deems appropriate and to receive submissions

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