Becoming a three tikanga church : the Bi-cultural Commission on the Revision of the Constitution 1986-1992 : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University
In 1984 the General Synod of the Church of the Province of New Zealand established a Bi-cultural Commission on the Treaty of Waitangi. The Commission was required to study the Treaty and consider whether any principles of partnership and bi-cultural development were implied, and if so, how those principles could be embodied in the life of the Church. The Commission of three Maori and three Pakeha members consulted widely throughout the Church in both Maori and Pakeha settings, reporting back to General Synod in 1986 with 18 recommendations covering a wide range of issues, including land and the Maori language. The most significant of the recommendations established a further Bi-cultural Commission to revise the Church's constitution. The Commission's task was to be the revision of the constitution to ensure: that the preamble reflected the growth of the Church in New Zealand from 1814 to the present day; that the principles of partnership and bi-cultural development were expressed and entrenched; that the provisions of the Church of England Empowering Act 1928 were incorporated; and that Te Pihopa o Aotearoa and Te Runanga o Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa had equal status with Diocesan Bishops and Synods. The Commission was, 'to have regard to the Report and Recommendations of the Bi-cultural Commission on the Treaty of Waitangi; and in particular to consider the Commission's response to the submission from Te Runanga [o Te Pihopatanga].'
Bi-cultural Commission of the Anglican Church on the Treaty of Waitangi, Report of the Bi-Cultural Commission of the Anglican Church on the Treaty of Waitangi, te Kaupapa Tikanga Rua. [Christchurch]: Provincial Secretary of the Church of the Province of New Zealand,1986, p.26. Crucial factors in the development of the constitution were the Commission on the Treaty of Waitangi's definition of the terms partnership and bi-cultural development, and the structural model proposed to the Commission by Te Runanga o Te Pihopatanga.