Appointment of Tikanga Māori advisor

The Catholic Women’s League of Aotearoa New Zealand recognises the role of Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa and the importance of whānau, hapu, and Iwi within Aotearoa.

As a national board the goal of CWLANZ is to establish collaborative relationships with Māori as Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa and to align our organisation to reflect aspirations and equity within it, working together in a bi-cultural partnership.

The role of the Tikanga Māori adviser is to provide support, guidance, resources and leadership within CWLANZ, on Tikanga Māori, as it relates to any procedures or protocols within the organisation.

Enhancing our bicultural practices with tangata whenua can support our engagement and growth in multicultural settings. – It is important to note that within our changing world we now have much pleasure in welcoming into CWLANZ, women from the Pacific regions, the Philippines and other parts of the world, who already are bringing a multi-cultural dimension to CWLANZ and a new strength to our organisation.

The Board has approached Dr Colleen McMurchy, of Auckland, to fulfil the role of Tikanga Māori adviser and we are delighted to report that she has accepted the appointment.

Colleen is of Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Rongomai descent. She is a trustee at her local marae in Rotoiti. Colleen spent 20 years working in Teacher Education at the University of Auckland, retiring after three years as Head of the School of Māori Studies at the Faculty.

Colleen’s strong links to CWL are significant as a Māori and as a Leaguer. She earned her PhD in 2004. She has papers in Māori theology, (BTheol) and was an executive member of the Māori CWL (a group of Māori women leaguers), for over 12 years. She is a council member of the Auckland Diocese, and is presently CWLANZ international officer. Colleen is also a Justice of the Peace.

With such an impressive CV, Colleen easily meets all attributes and requirements of the position of Tikanga Māori Adviser as defined by the ‘terms of reference’ set out by the CWLANZ board. Colleen believes the purpose of a Tikanga Māori adviser is a mentoring, advisory and support role so that as an organisation we are better able to manage our relationships with the indigenous people of Aotearoa. She says “ ‘Best Practice’ ought to be inclusive of having a Māori perspective on what we do”.

As our Tikanga Māori Adviser, Colleen will be totally supported by the CWLANZ Board and members and we thank her sincerely, for accepting this role.

  • Sylvia Mellish – Christchurch Diocesan President CWLANZ