Project Canterbury

Colonial Church Histories: New Zealand

Containing the Dioceses of Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Nelson, Waiapu, Wellington, and Melanesia.

By Henry Jacobs

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1887.

Part IV. The Seven Dioceses.



Mission Board--Native Church Boards--Maori Church Statistics:--I. North Island--II. South Island--Educational Institutions:--A. Training College at Gisborne--B. Native College at Te Aute--C. Native Girls' School at Napier.

Mission Board.--The direction of the New Zealand Mission, originally established, as related in the first part of this work, by the C.M.S., is now in the hands of a resident Mission Board, constituted by the Society in 1882. The following are the main features of the constitution of this Board. It is to consist of a body of nine persons--the three bishops of the northern island as ex-officio members, three missionaries of the Society, and three laymen, all six appointed in the first instance by the Home Committee. 2. Five members, including one bishop, one missionary, and one layman, form a quorum. 3. When any vacancy occurs, other than among the ex-officio members, a new member is to be appointed by the Board at its next meeting, subject to the approval of the Home Committee. 4. Minutes of the proceedings of the Board are to be sent to the Home Committee as soon as possible after each meeting. 5. Provision is made for the diminution of the Society's annual grant at the rate of £50 per [469/470] annum, and for the cessation of the whole grant, with certain exceptions, after the expiry of twenty years from the date of the constitution of the Board. 6. The continuance of the annual grant is made conditional on the Board complying with such directions as the Home Committee may from time to time forward to them. 7. The Home Committee has power to remove any member of the Board. 8. The missionaries must conform to the decisions of the Board, but may lay complaints before the Home Committee, forwarding them through the Board's secretary. 9. The Board is to select its own chairman at each meeting, but the Home Committee appoints the secretary, who, if not already a member of the Board, becomes one ex officio, and is eligible to act as chairman. 10. The Home Committee will carefully consider any plan that may be proposed to them for permanently transferring to the Mission Board the proprietorship of the land and land fund in New Zealand now belonging to the Society. Until such transfer the income of the land and land fund will be administered by the Mission Board, in addition to (and subject to the same conditions and otherwise as) the annual grant.

First Members of the Board.--These were the Bishops of Auckland, Wellington, and Waiapu, ex-officio members; the Ven. Archdeacon Clarke, the Rev. R. Burrows, the Rev. S. Williams; F. Larkins, Esq., H. T. Clarke, Esq., T. Tanner, Esq. The Ven. Archdeacon Williams was appointed secretary. The first meeting of the Board was held at Napier on the 5th February, 1883.

[471] Native Church Boards.--In the course of the session of the General Synod held at Auckland in 1868, as has been related in the fifth chapter of the third part of the preceding History, a plan which had been devised by Sir W. Martin was embodied in a statute (now Title B, Canon III.), to provide for the establishment in convenient districts of Native Church Boards. Every such Board is subordinate to the Synod of the diocese, and is authorised to exercise in respect of the native population only of the district such of the powers of the Diocesan Synod as may from time to time be prescribed by the bishop or his commissary. The first meeting of a Native Church Board was held on the 31st October, 1870, at Turanganui, just across the river from Gisborne, and was presided over by Bishop Williams. It consisted of the bishop, six clergy, and nine laymen. Neither Hawke's Bay nor the Bay of Plenty was represented in it, but Hawke's Bay was afterwards provided with a Board of its own. The Turanganui, or Poverty Bay, Board has held annual meetings regularly since 1870. In a paper on "The Progress of Maori Mission Work in the Archdeaconry of Waiapu," read at a church meeting at Napier on the 28th September, 1885, the Ven. Archdeacon Williams gave the following testimony to the value of these Boards. Speaking in particular of the Turanganui Board, he says:--"This institution has been found to work very well in this and in other districts, stirring up a lively interest in everything connected with the welf of the Church, binding the different congregations together as members of one [471/472] body, and provoking a healthy emulation in good works. At every annual meeting the state of the Church in each parochial district is brought under review, and the attention of those who may be concerned is pointedly directed to blemishes which need to be rectified. The annual recurrence of these inquiries, and of the comments on the result of them, has no doubt tended in its degree to overcome the excessive apathy of a few years ago, and to form a sound public opinion on the externals of Church work, the influence of which is very generally felt. Another matter in which the Native Church Board has been helpful is the promotion of brotherly sympathy with the people of the neighbouring district in the eastern portion of the Bay of Plenty, between Opotiki and Cape Runaway. These people a few years ago seemed to be in a state of utter indifference in religious matters. Through God's blessing, a change has since come over them, and their present circumstances are regarded by the people south of the East Cape with a lively interest. A remarkable proof of this was afforded at the last meeting of the Board. The question under discussion was the place at which the next meeting should be held, and it was decided that, should the people of the Bay of Plenty desire it, the Board should hold its next meeting among them at Te Kaha, with the view of fostering the healthy movement which is now taking place there, and of paving the way for the organisation of a distinct Native Church Board for that district."



A. In the Diocese of Auckland.--For the year 1886, out of a native population, according to the last census, of 18,872, the number of the baptized was computed to be 6,025; of baptisms during the year, 311; of communicants, 1,270; of English clergy ministering to the native population, 4; of native clergy, 13; of native lay agents, unpaid, 151; the amount of contributions for Church purposes, £534. l0s. 2d.

B. In the Diocese of Waiapu.--For 1886, native population, 16,269; the number of baptized persons, 8,816; baptisms in the course of the year, 311; number of persons confirmed in the year, 53; of communicants, 740; of English clergy ministering to natives, 6; of native clergy, 10; native voluntary agents, 188; contributions for Church purposes, £318. 4s.

C. In the Diocese of Wellington.--For the same year, native population, 4,435; number of the baptized, 3,400; baptisms during the year, 311; communicants, 552; English clergy ministering to natives, 2; native clergy, 4; native voluntary agents, 41; contributions for Church purposes, £618. 12s. 7d.

II--SOUTH ISLAND.--In the whole of this island the native population is very small, scattered in detached villages. In the Diocese of Nelson the natives do not exceed 500 in number; in Canterbury there [473/474] about 650; in Westland, about 100; in Otago and Southland, comprising the Diocese of Dunedin, about 800.

In the Diocese of Christchurch, including Canterbury and Westland, there is a Maori mission, supported partly by contributions from the Maories themselves, and partly by offerings made in every church in the diocese on the first Sunday after Epiphany in every year. The Rev. James W. Stack, son of one of the earliest missionaries of the C.M.S. has been in charge of the mission for the last twenty-seven years, having been ordained deacon by the Bishop of Christchurch in December, 1860; priest in December, 1862. He is assisted by a Maori deacon, the Rev. George Peter Mutu, ordained on Trinity Sunday, 1872, and residing at St. Stephen's, Kaiapoi, where there is a native church and school. In the Diocese of Dunedin, there is no native mission, the Maories being ministered to by the clergymen of the parishes in which their Kaingas are situated, according to the best of their ability, and by native lay agents.

Educational Institutions:--Namely,

A. Training College for the Native Ministry.

With regard to this excellent and thriving Institution, situate at Gisborne, the Ven. Archdeacon Williams writes as follows on the 25th June, 1887:--"Our Maori Training College was established in 1883, under my charge as Principal, with the assistance of the Rev. A. O. Williams as tutor. Up to the present time we have had twenty students, of whom eleven are now here. Two of the twenty were deacons preparing for priests' orders. Three have been ordained deacons, and one of the two deacons has been ordained priest, the other having died. Four of the unordained have left, owing to ill health and other causes. We have no rule about length of course, but those who have been ordained deacons have been studying either three or four years. The subjects of study are (1) Holy Scripture, both Old and New Testaments; (2) Church History, General and English; (3) the Thirty-nine Articles; (4) the Prayer-book; (5) Elementary subjects, as required; (6) Singing. Four of the whole number are married. Of these two have been ordained, and the other two are with us still. The wives attend to household matters, and have instruction as well. The hours are--Prayers, 7.30 to 8 a.m.; Lectures, &c., 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., and from 4.30 to 6 p.m.; Evening Prayers, 6 p.m. Two of our students received their previous education at St. Stephen's, Parnell, and two at Te Aute. We hope in time to have none but such as these, but, at present, we are obliged to take others. None as yet are able to study Latin or Greek. The students are housed and fed by means of our Trust Funds, but have to find clothing, &c., for themselves."

B. Native College at Te Aute.

The editor is indebted to the Principal, the Rev. Samuel Williams, for the following account of this Institution, so well known by name and high repute throughout New Zealand:--

[476] "The conditions of mission work in New Zealand have, of late years, operated against the establishment of anything like a system of Native Christian Village Schools. The unsettled state of the country, the nomadic habits of the Maories themselves, their frequent changes of abode, both individual and collective, may probably be assigned as some of the causes which led to the establishment of boarding schools, both for boys and girls, in the chief centres of work. There can be no doubt that these schools have done, and are doing, excellent work amongst the Maories. Of existing institutions of this description, that at Te Aute has gained for itself the first place. Both in reference to its standard of work and the ages of the students it may deservedly be termed a native college. It is an endowed institution, and consists of a handsome and thoroughly well-appointed block of buildings. The endowment, amounting to 7,000 acres of pastoral land, was formed in 1853, during the Governorship of Sir George Grey, 4,000 acres having been granted by the Government, and 3,000 given by the natives, both gifts being about equal in value. The property has been converted from a tract of fern land into a valuable estate, yielding an income of £1,800 per annum, an amount nearly sufficient for the support of an efficient staff, and between fifty and sixty boarders. During the last few years the school has made great strides and now ranks, according to the reports of the Government Inspector, amongst the best secondary schools of New Zealand. It works up to the standard of the matriculation examination of the New Zealand University, and in this [476/477] connection, as showing what Maori lads are capable of, it may be mentioned that in February, 1884, a matriculation class was formed, the pupils of which, though fairly advanced in other subjects, had until then never opened a Latin book. They commenced its study then, and in the following December two of them were successful in the examination. To master sufficient Latin grammar and translation, in less than nine months, to enable them to pass such a test, may be described as a scholastic feat, and proves that the Maori is capable of sustained application to study. The institution is under Government inspection, and year by year is very highly reported of by the inspector. A suitable workshop, built entirely by the boys themselves, and well provided with tools and appliances in constant use, proves that technical education receives due attention, while the well-earned reputation of the college football team, which holds its own against the best clubs in the province, as well as its records at the annual athletic sports, are sufficient evidence that physical educationis not neglected. At the present time, the Institution boards and educates fifty-two pupils, of whom more than half are over fifteen years of age, and have entered Te Aute, after completing the village school course as prescribed by the Government. A goodly number of young men who have passed through the Institution have entered upon various pursuits and promise to become useful members of society some as students, some as clerks, some as lawyers while others, who have returned to their homes, are, it is hoped, exerting an influence for good amongst [477/478] their own people. The general tone of the school is described as excellent, while the manners and behaviour of the boys, as witnessed to by their opponents in the fields of sport, are extremely courteous and gentlemanly. The staff consists of a head master, an assistant master, and a pupil teacher. The following is the outline of the time-table:--

7.0 A.M.--7.15 Morning Prayers.

9.30 "--12.0 School.

1.30 P.M.--3.30 School.

6.15 "--7.30 Evening Work and Preparation.

8.0 "--Evening Prayers.

The Holidays are:--Three days at Easter. Three weeks at Midwinter. Six weeks at Midsummer.

No fees are charged, but the parents provide clothing.

C. Native Girls' School at Napier.

The following account of this interesting institution has been kindly contributed, at the request of the editor, by Miss A. M. Williams, daughter of the late bishop:--"The Hukarere Boarding School for Maori and halfcaste girls was established in 1875 by the late Bishop Williams, near his own residence, and is under the management and supervision of his daughters. The funds for building were raised in England by the bishop's sister, Mrs. Heathcote, and by the C.M.S., [478/479] who opened a special subscription for native schools in the Diocese of Waiapu. The C.M.S. also paid the salaries of the teacher and matron till April, 1880. The working expenses are met by grants from the New Zealand Government, and from the Waerengahika Native School Trust, aided by a few local subscriptions. Part of the present building, with accommodation for twenty-five girls, was opened in June, 1875, with three scholars, but the numbers increased steadily, so that it soon became necessary to make considerable additions, and since 1877 there has been an average of between forty and fifty scholars, who came from various parts of the island, some of the more advanced pupils in the village school being sent to Hukarere by the Government for a term of two years. From four-and-a-half to five hours daily are devoted to lessons and needlework, besides an evening Bible class three times a week. The teaching staff consists of an English mistress and two assistant teachers both old scholars, having been amongst the first pupils admitted in 1875. The girls are taught English, reading, writing, arithmetic, needlework, singing, drawing, and drill, as well as all kinds of household work, including cooking and laundry-work, the domestic work of the establishment being done by the pupils under the able direction of the matron, who also teaches the elder ones to make and mend their own clothes. The children are always very anxious to give satisfaction to the Government inspector, who institutes a strict examination into the details of every department. He shows such a fatherly interest in them that they look upon him [479/480] quite as one of their best friends. On Sundays the children attend English service with their teachers in the morning, have Sunday School in the afternoon, and in the evening have a Maori service in the schoolroom. An hour after Sunday School is spent in singing Maori hymns to well-known English tunes, which they thoroughly enjoy. Care is taken that those who do not understand much English should have religious instruction in their own language. They have holidays for a fortnight in winter, when all remain at the school excepting those whose homes are within easy reach; and seven weeks in summer, but it generally happens that about a dozen girls whose parents find a difficulty in paying their travelling expenses, are obliged to stay at the school all through the summer holidays. Happily they do not appear to find the time irksome, but amuse themselves with all sorts of English games.

In a private letter Miss Williams says:--"Perhaps I should have added that though we have had some disappointments, we hear very good accounts of many of our old scholars, who, we have reason to believe, are exercising a Christian and civilising influence among their own people."



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