To be an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit:
PIKAAHU, The Right Reverend Te Kītohi Wiremu
For services to the Anglican Church and Māori
The Right Reverend Te Kītohi Pikaahu is the Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau and the faith leader to Mihingare (Māori Anglicans) in Northland and Auckland. He has served as a priest within Te Tai Tokerau for more than 33 years, and as a bishop for 19 years.
When consecrated a bishop in 2002, he was recognised by the Archbishop of Canterbury as the youngest bishop in the global Anglican Communion at age 37.
Bishop Pikaahu is one of the highest ranking and longest serving indigenous bishops in the global Anglican community. The bishop has used his unique position to advocate for the wellbeing of Māori and indigenous communities, leading the promotion of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for religious leadership within the Anglican Communion.
He has chaired the Anglican Indigenous Network of the worldwide Anglican Communion since 2015. Bishop Pikaahu has been a member of the Common Life Liturgical Commission of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia since 1994, serving as its chair from 2010 to 2016.
As a leading Anglican Liturgist, Bishop Pikaahu has been a member of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation since 2007, also serving on its Standing Committee. He is also an active member of the International Ecumenical Liturgical Society – Societas Liturgica.
As an Ecumenist, the bishop is the Chair of Te Runanga Whakawhanaunga i nga Hahi (the Maori Ecumenical Council of Churches). He has represented the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia at successive International Councils of Churches Assemblies since 1984.
Bishop Pikaahu is a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic Commission of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and as a signatory to the Anglican-Methodist Covenant in 2009, is a member of the Anglican-Methodist Dialogue.
Bishop Pikaahu is a member of the board of the Bible Society of New Zealand. His passion is for a new translation of the Bible into contemporary Maori language. Bishop Pikaahu is a member, and sometime chair, of Te Kotahitanga - the St John’s College Board of Governors since 2000, and is a member of Te Kaunihera, the Governance Body of St John’s College, Meadowbank.
He has acted in the role of chaplain, and occasional kaumatua of the Māori Women’s Welfare League since 2007. He is the current Chairman of the St Stephen’s and Queen Victoria Schools Trust Board, and foundation chair of the kaupapa Māori-based provider Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri, which provides crisis support services for victims of abuse.
Bishop Pikaahu has been the Anglican Liaison Bishop for the New Zealand Defence Force, and a member of the Chaplain’s Defence Advisory Council since 2012. He has been a member of the Police Commissioner’s Maori Focus Forum since 2014.