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New Anglican Archbishop

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Anglican Church in these islands has a new Archbishop: Dr Winston Halapua, the new Bishop of Polynesia.

Dr Halapua, who is 64 and a Tongan-born, Fijian citizen living in New Zealand, was announced this morning as the new Bishop of Polynesia. As such, he automatically becomes one of the three Archbishops of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Dr Halapua's election was declared at the Anglican General Synod, which is meeting this week in Gisborne, and was greeted with a standing ovation and the presentation of gifts and garlands from Polynesia and gifts from Maori and Pakeha tikanga partners

He succeeds the late Bishop Jabez Bryce, who had led the Diocese of Polynesia for 35 years, and who died in February this year. Dr Halapua was elected as an assistant bishop in 2005. Archbishop Bryce had wanted to strengthen the diocese's outreach in the far-flung islands it serves - Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa - and Dr Halapua was one of three assistant bishops chosen at that time.

Bishop Winston's ministry has an academic focus. He has a doctorate in sociology from the University of the South Pacific, and he came to New Zealand in 1996 to take up a post as a lecturer at St John's College, the Auckland theological college where many Anglican priests are trained.

In 1997 he was appointed Principal of the College of the Diocese of Polynesia in New Zealand, which is one of the three constituent colleges at the greater St John's College campus. As such, he has been deeply involved in the formation of many Polynesian priests, and as a lecturer at Auckland University's School of Theology.

Bishop Winston is married to Sue, who is also an ordained priest (in the Diocese of Auckland) and they have two adult sons.

The new diocesan Bishop of Polynesia - and therefore Archbishop of this province of the Anglican church - will be ordained and installed at Suva's Holy Trinity Cathedral on August 1 this year.

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