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Conference - Manukau 2001

Thursday 15th November:

In its final morning together Conference dealt with unfinished business remaining from Committees of Detail:

The key decisions taken were:


Conference asks the President and Vice-President to convey to the Prime Minister Rt Hon. Helen Clark, and to the Minister of Immigration Hon Leanne Dalziel, its concern that the government policy for admitting migrants to New Zealand for humanitarian grounds is to be suspended, and humanitarian applications are to be decided by an annual ballot. The Methodist Church does not support the entry of people in desperate circumstances, many of whom have relatives living in New Zealand, being determined by a lottery. The church believes all people who wish to enter New Zealand deserve to have their application objectively assessed and decisions should be made taking account of all the humanitarian circumstances.

Conference notes that:

(a) While the acts of aggression suffered by the USA on September 11, 2001, were catastrophic, claimed the lives of thousands of innocent victims, and have caused ongoing suffering and heartache on a world-wide scale, it considers the military retaliation by USA, British, and other armed forces has been disproportionate in its violence and likely long-term consequences.

(b) With the horrific displacement of the Afghani people from their homes and livelihoods by this military action, and the onset of winter, the need for humanitarian aid is critical if untold further loss of life and misery is to be averted.

Conference calls on the New Zealand Government to:

(a) Withdraw its offer of SAS troops

(b) Call a halt to all aggressive military action in Afghanistan, so that emergency relief operation can proceed to deal with the humanitarian crisis resulting form the war

(c) Urge all parties involved in the conflict to engage in face-to-face talks to find a way of resolving the issues underlying the violence.

Conference asks CASI, with a degree of urgency, to prepare resources to enable the Church to reflect on the attitudes and issues involved in the conflict.


The report of the Lay Preachers Association was received and the substantial contribution made by Garth Cant as Editor of “The Preacher” was acknowledged.

The report of the Methodist Women’s Fellowship was received, noting that over $35,000 was raised during the 2000/01 special project. Ruth LeCouteur’s services to the World Federation Methodist United Church Women and New Zealand Methodist Women’s Fellowship, and the work of Joy Dine as Convenor of the Programme Committee of the National Executive.

The National Executive of the New Zealand Methodist Women’s Fellowship 2001/2002 is: Susau Strickland, Rev Sylvia Tongotongo, Margaret Martin, Ruth Blundell, Valerie McKenzie, Margaret Gordon, Savika Oakley, Kushma Narayan, Fumi Schaaf, Siutsisa Tukutau, June Dewhurst, Rohini Karan, Suiliveta Kaisa, Loata Draunidalo, and Margaret Ramsay.

The report of the Wesley Historical Society was received.

The report of the board of Wesley College was received and the board for 2002 is: Audrey Bruce, Mervyn Dine, Violet Hesse, Barbara Lawrence, Lana Lazarus, Wesley Mansell, John Murray, Jack McCoskrie, Harvey O’Loughlin, Jack Paine, Diana Tana, Colin Telford, Gillian Telford, and Mara Tupaea. Conference expressed its appreciation to Roger Biddle (Acting Principal), Stephen Tema (Chaplain) and the Staff and Students of the college for their warmth of welcome and generous hospitality shown during Conference 2001.

The Communications Committee for 2002 is: David Bush (Convenor), Denise Biddick, Robyn Brown, Brian Peterson, Trish Moseley, a member of the Epworth Board, plus one to be appointed by the President.


A statement was presented to Conference from Vahefonua Tonga O Aotearoa, Sinoti Samoa, and Bose ko Viti e Niu Silada, expressing support for the Bicultural Journey of the church and encouraging exploration of how multicultural concerns can be fully and appropriately addressed in our journey together. Issues of education, the marginalization of Pacific voices and contributions from Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji in the life of the Conference and Tauiwi and how we might progress as one church were raised in the statement. The statement asked the church to review the churches bicultural journey and life over a two-year period.

Conference resolved to refer the statement and suggested decisions to Hui Poari, Tauiwi Strategy and Stationing Committee, and the Council of Conference for work and reporting back to Conference 2002.


The report of the Forum of Cooperative Ventures was received. A notice of motion asking that a proposed Code of Ethics for those engaged in pastoral ministry, issued by the Forum, be further revised.

The report of the Futures Group was received, noting that the current members are to be thanked and discharged no later than August 2002.

The reports of the Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy, and the Churches Education Commission were received.

The report of the Evangelism Group was received, noting that this group has had a name change approved – they are now known as the “Spirit and Spice Group”. Conference asked the Spirit an Spice group to look at cultural sensitive forms of evangelism.


The report included the following information:

Council of Conference membership for 2002 is:

Te Taha Maori: Lana Lazarus (Co-convenor), Kiri Haretuku, Rob Hawkins, Violet Hesse, Aroha Houston, Rex Nathan, Markus Rogers, Diana Tana, Lillian Vaoga, Rangi Wood and substitutes Jim George, Te Rere George, Maree Guest, Evalene Haua, Keita Hotere, Evelyn Kingi, Raima Kingi, Gillian Laird, Faith Tuheke.

Tauiwi: Usefili Unasa (Co-convenor), Jayne Alexander, Derek Holland, Motuopua’a Lauati, David McGeorge, Taniela Moala, Akisi Renner, John Murray, John Salmon, Mary Caygill and substitutes Tovia Aumua, Mervyn Dine, Kilifi Heimuli, Gavin Rodley, Kenneth Smith, Jan Tasker, Norman West.

Resource People: General Secretary, President, Vice-President, Director Mission Resourcing, Principal Ministry Resourcing.

The Council of Elders for 2001 is

Te Taha Maori: Marama Hotere, Bella Ngaha, and Pari Waaka

Tauiwi: Nicola Grundy, Graham Whaley, Neville Price.


The report noted that:

A clear job description for Tauiwi Council of Conference members is to be prepared.

The term of office of Tauiwi members of the Council of Conference will be for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years.

The Tauiwi forum is disestablished and a Tauiwi Strategy and Stationing Committee is formed to work on Tauiwi strategy, ministry, and stationing matters. The membership of the Committee is:

Two people from each District (one lay, one ordained, at least one of whom will be the District Superintendent), the leaders and one other from each of Sinoti Samoa, Vahefonua Tonga O Aotearoa and Bose ko Viti e Niu Silada (one lay, one ordained), the Superintendent of the Evangelical Network (with the option of a lay representative), the Director, Mission Resourcing, the Director, Ministry Education, the General Secretary, President, Vice President and any member of Council of Conference not otherwise attending.

Tauiwi Strategy and Stationing Committee consider as a matter of urgency processes for determining Tauiwi nominations for President and Vice President for partnership discussion with Te Taha Maori at Conference.

In Closing, Conference shared in the Covenant Service and Holy Communion together before dispersing back to all points in the Connexion.

Craig Forbes - Conference Media Liaison Officer