Sir Anand speaks as the synod presidents look on.
Synod members hear Sir Anand Satyanand's perspective on the Ma Whea Commission
The idea of the Ma Whea Commission took on flesh and blood this afternoon – with its chairman, Sir Anand Satyanand, telling the synod about his hopes for the commission.
He traced his own life’s journey – his parents were from Fiji – to becoming “a contemporary New Zealander.”
He then sketched profiles of the other members of the commission – Justice Judith Potter, Mele Tailai, Sir Tamati Reedy – and the commission secretary, Elizabeth Smaal, and described them as a “team of generalists, led by a generalist.”
He then indicated why he felt a small group in the South Pacific might be able to help resolve some “really difficult and seemingly intractable problems.”
He gave three reasons for his hope:
“First, the countries of the South Pacific have operated as neighbours for much longer than living memory can trace.
“People from this country and other Pacific territories have migrated to New Zealand and have become part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s life present way of life.
“Secondly, in New Zealand in the last part of the 20th Century we have developed a number of mechanisms to resolve long held grievances and to reach both understanding and completion.
“An example is the Waitangi Tribunal methodology, which by listening and hearing, has time and again been able to point towards resolution of long held injustice and being deprived.
“Thirdly, in the Pacific more generally there is the practice of talking things out in a fashion that can provide resolution in what has come to be called ‘the Pacific way’.
In short, the experiences of our part of the world may help us to discuss what is involved with our remit, in a way that will enable helpful pathways to emerge.’
Sir Anand anticipated “two stones that can be thrown.”
Doubts about how a group “without long term connections with the upper levels of the Anglican Church” would fare.
But any difficulties there, he felt, would be overcome by having “regular recourse” to the reference group which has been appointed.
“The second stone is that none of us has any public connection with the advancement of same gender issues.
“That is also true. But I submit that our combined experience as members of the community will enable a satisfactory process to occur.”
NB: To watch and listen to Sir Anand describing how the Ma Whea commission intends to go about its work, click here .
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