First Wāhine Māori Archdeacon of Muriwhenua

March 10, 2020, 2:17 p.m.

The first Māori woman has been appointed Archdeacon of the Parengarenga, Ahipara, Pēria (PAP) parish since its establishment in 1834.

Fran Hokianga was collated as Archdeacon of Te Hāhi Mihingare the PAP parish in front of her whānau, iwi and congregation by Te Taitokerau Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu on Sunday.

The whare tupuna Wikitoria at Waimanoni marae was full of worship and well-wishers as the investiture took place in front of almost 200 people who had come to bear witness to the special event.

Ms Hokianga was previously priest-in-charge of the parish and said she was following in the footsteps of her whānau.

“I’m the first wahine Māori to be admitted to the role. My father was also a priest, as was my grandfather. So whilst this is new to me, it’s built on some very old foundations. They were also ordained here at Waimanoni too”, said Ms Hokianga.

The selection process for Archdeacon begins with a nomination from the Diocese Bishop which goes before the senior leadership of the ministry to work through and decide. Bishop Pikaahu said it was an easy decision to make.

“Fran embodies what our faith is about. She was the perfect candidate and she comes from a family of priests. They were ordained here too, so it’s fitting we bring the kaupapa back here to Waimanoni. Ngāi Takoto is a strong-hold for our Hāhi,” said Bishop Pikaahu.

Fran added “It’s a big job. No one person can do it. But I have God.”

Tags: Human Interest

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