Monday, March 16, 2009

New Zealand Readers?

Calling all Kiwis - Maori or Pakeha!  In the spirit of ANZAC, please lend me your aid...

If you have any advice to tender regarding my planned trip to the Land of the Long White Cloud, of your charity post a comment; I hope to cross the Tasman to Christchurch in late May, and depart again in early June.  Unfortunately, it seems best given my limited time and other considerations to tour the South Island only this time, but any from the North Island are free to make helpful suggestions also.


Anonymous said...


I think some reading on New Zealand's Christian history is in order before you go! I know little about it, though George Selwyn, the pioneer High Church Anglican bishop of New Zealand, pops up in the latter-period of my doctoral thesis.


Joshua said...

Good point, Rob - actually, some of my academic studies touched on this obliquely; as I recall, the Catholic missions in N.Z. began with Pompallier and other French priests coming to save the souls of the Maori, but ending up dealing with the souls of Irish settlers as well... later on, Irish priests and bishops came in; famously, there were Australasian links, with Bl Mary MacKillop establishing her Josephite sisters in N.Z. also. Meanwhile, the "wee Frees" came to the south of the South Island to establish Dunedin, and surveys shew that,south of the Waitaki River the largest denomination is still Presbyterian; while to its north, highminded Anglicans of the Canterbury association founded Christchurch as a little English paradise at the antipodes. From what I know, Anglicans also evangelized the Maori; overall, N.Z. Anglicans are VERY Low Church - a friend of mine's father is that rarest of breeds, a very High Church N.Z. Anglican, so he tells me. That's a very short precis of N.Z. religious life: the main difference between Australia and N.Z. is that N.Z. has a lower percentage of Irish and thus of Catholics (only about 15% versus our 30% or so), and that, with the fall-off in all religious observance, N.Z. is perhaps more leftist and secular than Australia (though I'm is not certain).

Joshua said...

A curious footnote: N.Z. has six Catholic dioceses:

Auckland (est. 1848), covering the northernmost part of the N.I;

Hamilton (recently established, in 1980, splitting off from Auckland);

Palmerston North (ditto, split off from Wellington);

Wellington (est. 1848 alongside Auckland - but, having become the capital city, it was made an archbishopric in 1887), covering both the south of the N.I. and the north of the S.I.;

Dunedin (est. 1869, again split off from Wellington), covering the southernmost parts of N.Z.;

Christchurch (est. 1887, splitting away from Wellington also), covering the middle of the S.I.

Very nicely, in Latin the diocese of Christchurch is intituled "Christopolitanus" - the Christopolitan diocese, as if Christchurch were Christcity or Christopolis!

Anonymous said...

The (Catholic) cathedral choir in Christchurch is reputed to be good - much better than you'd get in an Australian provincial city.

Joshua said...

Thanks for the tip!