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August 2022 update for Synods

Since the Conference 2021 Climate Justice Workshop the CJWG has been focussing on four areas of work identified from the discussion group feedback. They are: Green Sunday, a 10 year project on climate justice, Sustainable building activity and a Climate Refugee policy. We are pleased to provide the following update.

Green Sunday

Following feedback from synods about the proposed date clashing with Father’s Day, Green Sunday will now be recognised in the Lectionary on the 4th Sunday in September within the Season of Creation.

For 2022, this celebration will occur on Sunday 25 September. The following resources will be made available to the Connexion on the CJWG webpage.

  • · A worship resource from Faith & Order Committee (several language translations intended)
  • · A list of practical activities for the rest of the day such as river/beach clean-up, tree planting, etc.

10 year project plan

See attached paper and suggested decisions for Conference. Your feedback is invited.

Sustainable Building activity

The working group is pleased to report on significant work going on around the Connexion in relation to sustainability. The Housing Action Plan being developed by the Board of Administration, Te Taha Maori and the Methodist Alliance includes a theological reflection on the whenua and a sustainability focus. Land Story Guidelines have recently been revised and include sustainability of the whenua. Grafton Downs Ltd will be reporting on their sustainable building practices. We will publish stories received from these and other entities within the church on the Climate Justice webpage. www.methodist.org.nz/mahi/climatejustice

If you have stories to share on sustainability please send them to our webmaster, Peter Lane at [E-Mail not displayed]

Climate Refugee Policy

Research work has commenced to write a Climate Refugee policy for consideration by Te Hāhi. The research lead is Dr Elisapesi Havea who is being supported by two professional research advisors.

Methodist Church of New Zealand Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG)

“Rekindle the vā of Papatūānuku”


“Climate Change and inequality represent the principal challenges facing humanity in our day…. We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one social and environmental crisis…. … to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” 1

Climate change is an existential threat to the movement of life on earth. Climate change is a justice issue as it aggravates disproportionately the vulnerability and disaster-risk of historically marginalized communities. Oceania is at the forefront of climate injustice and people with almost zero carbon footprint are facing relocation due to the capitalist colonization of the atmosphere, moana, and whenua.

Our Vision

For Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa, our mission is “to reflect and proclaim the transforming love of God.” It entails the vocation of taking care of the wellbeing of the people and the planet. To this end, Te Hāhi has established the Climate Justice Working Group, and over the years, the CJWG has initiated several programmes and projects to inspire and equip the parishes/rohe to engage in relevant forms of eco-justice ministries. The Climate Justice Policy, approved by the Conference in 2018, The Climate Justice Lenten Reflections, and The Climate Justice Calendar are some of the recent initiatives of the CJWG. The CJWG organized a workshop on climate justice during the 2021 Conference and as an outcome of the workshop we propose to observe a decade for climate justice from 2023-32, focusing on the theme, “Rekindle the vā of Papatūānuku.” Over the next ten years we will observe the Decade at Connexional and parish/rohe levels with creative and innovative programmes.

“As the Conference of the Methodist Church of New Zealand Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa, we affirm God’s love for the whole of creation and our common home with its capacity for healing, renewal and flourishing as one sacred community. We affirm our deep regard for the diversity of all forms of life and refresh our guardianship responsibilities for Papatūānuku (earth) as our common home.” 2

Rekindle the va of Papatūānuku (Rekindle the wellbeing of creation)

We are a planetary community, created by God—relational God and relational beings. Climate change has disrupted this relationality. Climate justice is therefore a work of healing. To address climate change positively our relationships with each other, and with our other-than-human whanaunga (relations) require healing. The Decade is envisioned to enable us to engage in the work of rekindling the wellbeing of creation.


As Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa we will:

  • Inspire our people to care for creation and to commit to working with their families and local communities to address the impact of climate change.
  • Embed a climate justice lens across all activities of Te Hāhi
  • Reflect Te Hāhi’s bi-cultural journey in our programme.

How will this work?

Because Climate Justice is such a broad topic, we will divide the 10-year period into key themes of about 1 or 2 years each in duration.

For each key theme, there will be an education component with theological, biblical and missional perspectives as well as a practical component. Parishes/Rohe and other community-facing church units will be invited to participate at each level of activity. We will provide literature and on-line opportunities for education and training.

What will happen in 2023?

1. The key theme for 2023 will be “Zero Waste: Rekindling the vā of Papatūānuku. In the mainstream climate change discourses and initiatives, waste is generally perceived as a technological challenge which can be addressed through appropriate management approaches. “Recycle, Reuse, Reduce” is the prominent approach to waste management. From a climate justice perspective, we need an alternative problematization. “Whose Waste?” and “Whose Problem?” are questions that can offer us new perspectives. Zero waste is a community ethics and worldview which is central to the ethos of indigenous communities. The wellbeing of creation is more than technical fix. It calls for developing an economy of life based on sufficiency, equity, and sustainability.

2. This theme is suggested as there are already many community resources available; it is easily understood and implemented and makes a significant contribution to the environment across several metrics, including carbon emission reduction and biodiversity enhancement.

3. We will form a group of experts to develop an education programme that will underpin all future key themes. Their role will be to provide appropriate education resources to parishes/rohe.

Further activity will be shared with the Connexion as plans develop. While key themes will be published well in advance, CJWG wishes to reserve the right to alter themes based on ongoing consultation, parish/rohe community needs and emerging circumstances.


CJWG will develop a communication and consultation plan to ensure all parts of Te Hāhi are well informed about the programme.

In particular, we will collaborate with Te Taha Māori and Cultural Synods in ways relevant to their respective cultures, Trinity College on education, Faith and Order Committee on worship resources, Methodist Church Property Committee on sustainable buildings, the PAC Grants Committee on funding and The Methodist Alliance on climate justice issues (e.g. Climate Refugee needs and access to social services).

How will we monitor our programme?

We will develop an ongoing mechanism for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on our progress. We will encourage storytelling.


  1. That The Methodist Church of New Zealand Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa adopt the Climate Justice Working Group proposal for observing a decade for Climate Justice - “Rekindle the vā of Papatūānuku”, commencing from 2023.
  2. That The Methodist Church of New Zealand Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa requests Council of Conference to provide regular updates on the progress of the Climate Justice decade, including lessons learned.
  3. That the PAC Grants committee be requested to prioritise funding to parishes/rohe and community-facing groups for the Climate Justice decade