New Zealand is made up of 4 islands, totaling the size of Colorado. It ranges from a sub-tropical climate in the north, to a temperate climate in the south. Situated on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the countryside varies from volcanic thermal activity, to temperate native bush & pasturelands, rugged beaches, snow-capped mountains and glaciers. Agriculture, tourism and forestry are our major industries, with many tourists coming to enjoy extreme adventure sports. Sport is a major focus for many New Zealanders (Kiwis), with the national sport being Rugby Union.
Population: 4 million
Language: English, Maori
Ethnic Groups: European, Maori, Asian and Pacific Island
Religions: Roman Catholic (11%), Anglican (10%), Presbyterian (7%), Other Christian (15%), Hindu (2%), Buddhist (1%), No Religion (39%)
Government: Parliamentary representative democratic monarchy
History: The indigenous people of NZ are the Moriori, their few remaining descendants mostly live on Chatham Island. The Maori people emigrated by canoe from possibly either Hawaii or the Cook Islands and trace their ancestry by which canoe they arrived in NZ. In 1769 Captain James Cook mapped the coastline of NZ. On 6 February, 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by the British Crown and Maori Chiefs from around the North Island. This document gave Britain sovereignty and the right to govern in NZ. This date is celebrated as our national day, but in recent years the ramifications of the Treaty document has been hotly debated. In 1850 the first European settlers began arriving from Britain by ship. They initially settled in Canterbury, Dunedin and Wellington. Many years of civil war followed, between the Maori people and the British settlers. In recent years, NZ has become increasingly multicultural due to immigration.
On Christmas Day, 1814, Anglican missionary Rev. Samuel Marsden preached the first gospel message in NZ to the Maori people in Oihi, Bay of Islands. During the following years, many Maori people converted to Christianity from animism. Although Christianity has been stated as the dominant religion in NZ, currently only 15% of the population attend church regularly, while 39% state they do not adhere to any religion – the dominant belief in NZ currently is secular humanism.
CCI’s ministry here: CCI began ministry here in 2005 and now the training has spread among various Bible believing churches in the North and South Islands. As of March 2017, we had 14 BTCP classes, 134 students and 41 graduates.
In 2013 John Redshaw was appointed CCI Regional Director for the South Pacific. Part of his role is to network amongst churches in NZ to increase the awareness of leadership training opportunities available to them through CCI. For more information and project needs, please contact us.