Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Archbishops release St John's review

The Archbishops of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have released the full report of the independent review into the culture of the College of St John the Evangelist.

Taonga News  |  11 Aug 2021  |

Archbishop Don Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson have released the full report from an independent review into the culture of the College of St John the Evangelist, this Church's three-tikanga theological college based in Meadowbank, Tamaki makaurau - Auckland.

In a letter to the Anglican Church today, the Archbishops and the Chairs of Te Kotahitanga (this Church's theological education advisory group), Te Kaunihera (the College Board) and the St John's College Trust Board have committed to full implementation of the Reports' recommendations, with the oversight of a working group to be mandated by the General Synod Standing Committee.

The letter from the Archbishops and the Board Chairs follows in full below.

*                *                *                *                *

The Archbishops and Primates of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Te Hāhi Mihinare ki Aotearoa, ki Niu Tīreni, ki Ngā Moutere o te Moana Nui a Kiwa



Tēnā tātou e te whānau a Te Karaiti i runga i ngā tini ahuatanga o te wā. Tangihia o tātou mate huhua. Kia maumahara tonu ki tō tātou Ātipīhopa a Fereimi Cama mōna kua wehea nei, ā, ki a rātou katoa mā kua rūpeketia ki tua i te arai. Tuia rātou ki a rātou i runga i te rangimārie. Tuia hoki ko tātou ngā waihotanga ki muri nei i runga i te tika, te pono, me te aroha.**

We have received and are now making public the report of the Independent Review of the Culture of St John’s Theological College. The report is thorough, well-founded and reasoned, and is a clarion call for change.

We are deeply grateful to Miriam Dean QC and Doug Martin, together with support from Nura Taefi, for the extraordinary work, care, fairness, and clarity that this Report represents.

We also want to acknowledge with gratitude the large number of people who participated so positively in this review process and particularly those who brought forward their concerns and painful experiences. We know this has been very costly for some of you. E mihi ana ki a koutou katoa i runga i te aroha.

The Report speaks for itself. We believe that the full implementation of this Report’s recommendations is critical and that such implementation needs to be subject to independent monitoring. We accept therefore the recommendation that a “small working group” be established to “monitor implementation of the plan to ensure the meaningful change required is brought about both in policy and practice.” General Synod Standing Committee will be asked to immediately consider mandating this group which will then be established in consultation with all parties. 

The well-being and safety of students and staff has to be our highest priority. The Report also asks that we deal as a matter of urgency with issues of governance, including conflicts-of-interest both real and perceived, proper separation of powers, and clarity about where responsibility lies.

The Archbishops have agreed together with the Chairs of Te Kotahitanga, Te Kaunihera, and the St John's College Trust Board, that the recommendations of this Report must be taken seriously, and have committed to taking immediate and decisive steps to implement them.

Finally, we reiterate that we are committed to ensuring that the challenging learnings and insights contained in this Review are fully incorporated into the life of a College that has enormous inter-generational potential for good across our whole Church, to the glory of God and in the service of all people.

The Most Reverend Donald Tamihere Te Pihopa o Aotearoa
The Most Reverend Philip Richardson Senior Bishop of the New Zealand Dioceses
Ms Susan Wallace Chair, Te Kotahitanga
The Venerable Maui Tangohau Chair, St John’s College Trust Board
The Venerable Dr Lyndon Drake Chair, Te Kaunihera

**Translation: In the name of Christ, greetings. We mourn the many we have lost, remembering still our dearly departed Archbishop, Fereimi Cama and all who have entered into glory. May we who remain be woven together in righteousness, truth and love.

The 40-page independent review into the culture at St John's Theological College review is available through the following link.