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

Nine go forward for +Polynesia

The Diocese of Polynesia has confirmed a list of nine candidates who have accepted the call to discernment as the next Bishop of Polynesia – and therefore as Archbishop and Primate of this Church.

Taonga News  |  14 Nov 2022  |

Anglicans from across Polynesia will gather in Nadi later this week to select a successor to the late Archbishop Fereimi Cama as Bishop of Polynesia and Primate of this Church. The Diocese of Polynesia electoral college will select one of nine candidates as their bishop, who will also serve as one of the three primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

The Arrangements Committee for the Diocese of Polynesia electoral college – which will be held in Nadi, this Friday-Saturday 18-19 November has confirmed the list of candidates.

They include:

Rev Dr Eseta Mateiviti-Tulavu (50), who is a senior lecturer at St John's College in Auckland, and a Tokoni, or learning support person, and also lectures at St John’s Theological College in Suva;

Rt Rev Gabriel Sharma (60), who is the Bishop in Viti Levu West and is also priest in charge of St Christopher's Nadi and St Peter’s Lautoka;

Rev Henry Rogo (54), who is priest in charge of Lotu Vaka Viti, a Fijian worship centre in Auckland. Rev Henry is a former Olympic sprinter, now coach, and runs an Auckland construction company;

Ven Dr Lyndon Drake (44), who is the Archdeacon of Tāmaki-makaurau in the Pīhopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau and has a PhD in computer science. He worked in the UK banking industry and the Baptist Church before becoming an Anglican priest;

Ven Leatuao Tupa’i-Lavea (51), who is the Auckland-based Archdeacon of the Episcopal Unit of the Diocese of Polynesia in Aotearoa New Zealand and is a Pasifika business leader in the energy and retail sectors;

Rev Sepiuta Hala’api’api (43), who is the Diocesan Secretary and Registrar of the Diocese of Polynesia and Asst. Priest at St Christopher’s Naulu. Rev Sepiuta also has a background in youth ministry and marine science;

Rev Sione Ulu’ilakepa (56), who is the Principal of St John the Baptist College, the Diocese of Polynesia theological college in Suva and Common Life Liturgical Commissioner,

Venerable Orisi Vuki (62), who is the Vicar General of the Diocese of Polynesia, Archdeacon of Suva and Ovalau, and Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva;

Very Rev Tomu Asioli (63), who is a lecturer at St John the Baptist Theological College Suva, a translator and training facilitator.

Once the electors of the Diocese of Polynesia have made their choice at the end of this week, Archbishop Don Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson – who are the commissaries and presiders for that election – will then contact all the Anglican bishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia who, by canon law, must agree to the nomination for it to go forward. The bishops can decline assent on the grounds aspects of doctrine, character or health that would prevent a nominee serving in the role. 

Assuming the bishops’ assent is a formality, the members of General Synod Te Hīnota Whānui will then be polled to see whether they assent to the nomination – and if the candidate is affirmed in both these rounds, Archbishops Don and Philip will declare that person elected, and an announcement will be made. 

The Diocese of Polynesia has commended the following prayer,

Loving God

To whom all the saints in heaven and earth adore and bend knee:

Pour out your Holy Spirit on the Electoral College of The Diocese of Polynesia,

upon Bishops, Clergy and Laity in the Diocese of Polynesia

as they gather to elect their new Diocesan Bishop.

We give you thanks, Lord God, for the leadership, gifts and talents offered by your servants who have put their names forward for consideration by the Electoral College of the Diocese of Polynesia.

We pray especially for Eseta and Moape, Gabriel, Henry and Julie, Leatuao and Helen, Lyndon and Miriam, Orisi and Esita, Sepiuta and Patemosi, Sione and Taina, Tomu and Ema.

In your mercy, give your Church a shepherd after your own heart,

who will walk in your ways, and with loving care, watch over your people.

Give us a leader of vision and a teacher of truth.

So may your Church be built up and your name glorified; through

Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.