Friday, December 21, 2001

Maori Anglican bishop had
ties to native Hawaiians

Manuhuia A. Bennett / 1916-2001


By Treena Shapiro

The Right Rev. Manuhuia A. Bennett, the former Anglican bishop of Aotearoa, New Zealand, was a respected Maori leader, but he also was a friend to native Hawaiians, whom he advocated for within the Anglican community.

Bennett, 85, died yesterday at his home in Rotorua, New Zealand, after battling ill health for a number of years.

"I am very sad," said Rev. Darrow K. Aiona of St. Mark's Church. "We have lost a great Christian leader of indigenous peoples. I had the joy of being an acolyte when Manu came to celebrate Mass. We will miss his wisdom and statesmanship."

Bennett's ties to Hawaii began during the three years he spent in Hawaii in the 1950s, serving at Holy Nativity and St. Mark's churches in Honolulu.

The son of the first Maori bishop of Aotearoa, Bennett studied at a mission boarding school for Maori boys, Te Aute College, the University of New Zealand and the University of Hawaii. He was ordained in 1939 and became the third Maori bishop in 1968.

During World War II he served as chaplain to the 28th Maori Battalion in Italy.

He is survived by his wife, Katerina.

Funeral services were scheduled for Monday at Tamatekapua Marae, the traditional meeting house on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Condolences can be sent in care of the Bishopric Office, Te Pihopatanga O Aotearoa, P.O. Box 146, Rotorua, Aotearoa; or immediate condolences can be sent by fax to 7-348-6091.

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