Anglican staff returns to Maori

The Anglican Church is returning a crozier to Maori 200 years after the relationship between Maori and the church began in NZ.

A bishop's crozier, or pastoral staff, discovered in a cupboard in New Zealand is being returned to Maori by the Anglican Church.

The carved crozier was presented to the then Anglican Bishop of Auckland, Bishop Averill, in 1914 by four northern Maori tribes.

It marked 100 years since Samuel Marsden and other Anglican missionaries set up a permanent European settlement with Maori in the Bay of Islands and it is now being returned 200 years later.

Anglican Bishop of Auckland, Ross Bay, found the crozier in a strong room in the Auckland Diocesan Offices earlier his year and very little is known about it.

It will be presented to Kito Pikaahu, Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau, during a service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Khyber Pass on Sunday.

"The crozier is a strong symbol of the bicultural relationship that has existed between Maori and Pakeha since the missionaries arrived at Oihi in 1814," Bishop Bay said.

"I'm glad as we mark 200 years of that relationship to be able to return it those who gifted it to Bishop Averill one hundred years ago," he said.

A crozier is carried by bishops in the Anglican Church as a sign of office and is shaped like a shepherd's crook.

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