Waitohiariki Quayle is the world's first Māori woman bishop

6:24 pm on 3 May 2019

The Archbishops of the Anglican Church in New Zealand have announced the world's first Māori woman Bishop.

Archdeacon Waitohiariki Quayle

Archdeacon Waitohiariki Quayle. Photo: Supplied / The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Archdeacon Waitohiariki Quayle has been appointed Bishop of Te Ūpoko o Te Ika.

She was ordained deacon in 2013 and priest in 2014 by Bishop Muru Walters at the Church of Te Hepara Pai in Masterton.

Archbishop Don Tamihere admitted the Church waited far too long to elect a Māori woman as Bishop.

"Archdeacon Wai's election is a very significant moment for our Church, and I believe for Māoridom as a whole," he said.

"She becomes not only the first Māori woman to be elected bishop, but the first Aotearoa New Zealand-born woman to be chosen to serve as bishop in any Tikanga.

"Waitohiariki Quayle is humble, compassionate, wise and a person of great faith, and she comes with a long track record of grassroots service. I have no doubt that she will be a great shepherd of our people".

Ms Quayle said she was committed to addressing the major issues affecting whānau in her region, including housing and youth suicide rates.

"A lot of kids are lost, they don't have a friend or someone to turn to. The church could be there for them, and by the church I mean people, we could be there," she said.

"The image I use is of the tamariki on the waka. The family can be the stabilising influence on one side of the canoe and the church can be on the other.

"We talk about putting on the armour of Christ, and I do that at times. But I like to say we can put on the 'ama' of Christ."

Ms Quayle affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu and Whakatohea.

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