Supporting our people and community spiritually, culturally and by way of fellowship is of utmost importance to us
More than 10 years ago, it was a cluster of worshipers in the Auckland region with small member groups coming together to worship in their own language and respective homes. The group began to collect offerings each Sunday they met. These offerings were put away safely in a bank account to accumulate for church purposes.
As the years swiftly passed by, more and more began joining the small group and the number began to multiply. This group became the foundation of worship that existed for these worshipers to get together to share and aspire their beliefs spiritually and culturally.
The New Zealand Immigration Pacific Access Category (PAC) scheme is one of the main avenues whereby KUC members, or those planning to be KUC members, come to New Zealand to seek jobs and become residents.
Seventy five families from Kiribati come to New Zealand every year via the PAC scheme, and when balloted, families come to search for jobs to fulfill the scheme’s requirements.
They would stay with families or friends already living in New Zealand. In most cases, this means overcrowding among members’ households. The incumbents assist new members with seeking job offers, completing medical requirements, attending appointments, submitting paperwork/documents to New Zealand Immigration, as well as in most cases, contributing to required legal and immigration costs or fees.
Upon obtaining permanent residence, the new members would move to their own place to stay. From there on, the new members would work towards permanent residency. It is at this stage that members would be regarded as permanent contributors to the church fundraising scheme.
Governance & Structure
With its main headquarters based in Kiribati, the Kiribati Uniting Church in New Zealand has a board of directors consisting of:
- Six executive members
- Currently four Pastors or Ministers
- Thirteen representatives from each parish, women and youth organisations.
The Annual General Meeting, being the highest authority (usually held during Easter holiday camps), monitors the progress during the year. Whilst the board meets every second month during the year to resolve operational and administrative matters.
The General Assembly
The General Assembly (GA) is held every two years in Kiribati. The KUCNZ attends and has membership in this GA and is represented by 4 people, one each from the Executive, the Ministers’ group, the Womens’ group, and Youth group.
The Assembly covers a wide range of matters pertaining to the development and smooth operation of the whole church.
Representatives to the Assembly are expected to inform and report to their parishes the minutes and decisions of the GA upon return.
Depending on the agenda and the discussions around the matters raised during the meeting, the GA may convene for up to a week or two.