In March this year, Covid 19 restrictions across the Pacific caused the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to postpone its two-yearly General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui, which had been scheduled to meet from 9 – 14 May in Nelson.
The General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui gathers around 130 Anglican clergy and lay representatives, provincial staff, and members of provincial commissions from around the Pacific, to report on the three-Tikanga Church’s ministry and mission, set directions and priorities for province-wide work and pass church legislation.
While each of this Church’s countries remain in ‘response mode’ to Covid-19 public health needs, including with borders closed, the General Synod Standing Committee has agreed to schedule a one-day General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui to address urgent Synod matters in an online forum.
The one-day virtual General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui has been set for 9am - 4.30pm on Saturday 25 July 2020 and will include all members of the General Synod Te Hīnota Whanui connected through a Zoom webinar.
The July virtual meeting of Te Hīnota Whānui will consider the most pressing business of General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui 2020, including:
• Confirming the Church’s Provincial budget
• Electing three-Tikanga representatives for Provincial Commissions and Boards
• Considering a motion on changes to the Church’s Ministry Standards Canon (Title D, Canon I) in light of the Royal Commission into abuse in institutional care
• If time permits, moving ahead on bills introduced at Te Hīnota 2018
In addition to the one-day meeting on 25 July, General Synod Standing Committee have agreed to hold a face to face special General Synod Hīnota Whānui later in the year – as the Covid-19 Alert Level limits shift to make cross-border meetings of over 100 possible once more.
The envisaged in-person late 2020 Synod meeting will revisit all remaining deferred business of the 2020 General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui not considered in July, and will consider any new business that emerges post Covid-19.