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The Salvation Army and the Treaty of Waitangi

A Maori marae

The Salvation Army and the Treaty of Waitangi, issued in 2005.

The Salvation Army acknowledges:

  • The Treaty of Waitangi as the covenant establishing our nation on the basis of bi-cultural partnership
  • That on behalf of its multicultural membership, it has a responsibility to honouring the Treaty of Waitangi, and to establish and maintain a good bi-cultural relationship
  • This we believe can be achieved by recognising Christ as the head of the Church who through the power of the Holy Spirit, reconciles all peoples as one.

To achieve this we:

  • Provide a forum within The Salvation Army through which Māori voices and concerns can be expressed
  • Include appropriately in worship, buildings and signage, the unique bicultural basis of our nation
  • Work towards ensuring that Māori feel acceptance and safety within The Salvation Army.

Historical Background

The following statement was issued by the Territorial Coordinating Council of The Salvation Army in Aotearoa New Zealand in March 1997.

Preamble

In 1987, in a motivational paper ‘The Agenda for the Future’, General Eva Burrows called on all Salvationists:

  • to oppose all forms of man’s inhumanity to man, and to take even more seriously Christ’s call to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and shelter the homeless
  • to withstand every form of prejudice – racial, tribal, national, sexist, economic and social
  • to a new awareness of the interdependence of mankind and our responsibility for each other.

Statement

As a founder member of the Conference of Churches in Aotearoa-New Zealand, The Salvation Army has accepted the premise which ‘acknowledges Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the covenant establishing our nation on the basis of bi-cultural partnership’.

Maori, as tangata whenua, were the owners of the land at the time of Pakeha settlement under the British Crown. The descendants of those and subsequent settlers, and more recent immigrants, have a responsibility to honour the Treaty.

The Treaty signed in 1840 was a covenant between two independent peoples, and though it was regarded for many years as simply an historical document, its provisions are still relevant.

The continuing role of the Treaty in New Zealand, and the resolution of Maori grievances and claims are dependent on the political will of Government. While the Army is not in a position to comment on particular issues, it welcomes settlements already achieved, and is firmly of the opinion that the reconciliation process should be fair and honourable to all concerned.

The Salvation Army recognises that as an organisation operating in Aotearoa New Zealand, it has the responsibility to establish and maintain a good bicultural partnership. This we believe can be achieved by recognising Christ as the head of the Church who through the power of the Holy Spirit reconciles all people as one.

To achieve this we will:

  • affirm the importance of bi-cultural partnership
  • provide a forum within The Salvation Army through which Maori voices and concerns can be expressed
  • include appropriately in worship, building and signage, the unique bicultural nature of our nation
  • work towards ensuring Maori feel acceptance and safety within The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is committed to continuing with the outworking of these objectives.