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Encyclopedia > Christian politics in New Zealand

This article examines (social conservative and evangelical) Christian politics in New Zealand. Although New Zealand's population is, at least nominally, predominantly Christian, debate can take place over the extent to which Christianity affects its politics. At one end of the spectrum many dismiss the effects of Christianity, saying that New Zealand society has always had a largely secular character. At the other end of the spectrum, however, many see Christianity as underlying New Zealand's entire political system. Note that church-oriented bodies sponsored and fostered several of the original European settlement ventures in the period 1840 - 1850, notably the settlements of Otago (1848, Free Church of Scotland) and Canterbury (1850, Church of England). On the other hand, a notable politician of the late 19th century, Sir Robert Stout, had a considerable reputation as a freethinker. Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... The Free Church of Scotland (1843-1900) was a Scottish denomination formed by the withdrawal of a large section of the established Church of Scotland in a schism known as the Disruption of 1843. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... Robert Stout (1844 - 1930) was Premier of New Zealand on two occasions in the late 19th century. ... Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logical principles and not be comprised by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. ...


Christianity has, as one might expect, had a role in both major contemporary political parties, although it has never (unlike in some European countries) formed an explicit part of them. Religious elements in these parties have taken varying forms, and cannot easily be classified as a single movement. One can much more readily examine the Christian conservative strand that arose in the 1970s and 1980s, mostly in reaction to the perceived decline of social standards. This movement contributed to the founding of Christian political parties such as Christian Heritage, the Christian Democrats, and the Christian Coalition. The political aspect of Māori Christianity, such as the Ratana movement, also merits attention. Political parties Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ... Christian Heritage New Zealand (formerly known as the Christian Heritage Party) was a New Zealand political party promoting evangelical Christian-based social conservatism. ... The Christian Democrat Party of New Zealand was a Christian political party established in 1995. ... Christian Coalition logo The Christian Coalition was a Christian political party operating in New Zealand. ... Languages Māori, English Religions Māori religion, Christianity Related ethnic groups other Polynesian peoples, Austronesian peoples The word Māori refers to the indigenous people of New Zealand and their language. ... Both a religion and a pan-tribal political force, the Ratana movement was founded by Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana (1873 - 1939) in early 20th century New Zealand. ...

Contents

Christianity in mainstream political parties

Neither the Labour Party nor the National Party, the two traditional mainstream political parties in New Zealand since the 1930s, express explicitly religious traditions. Nevertheless, both parties have occasionally contained people who saw their political mission in religious terms. A number of early politicians, both in Labour and in National, saw their respective political ideologies as an extension of "Christian values". The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... The New Zealand National Party (National or the Nats) currently forms the second-largest (in terms of seats) political party represented in the New Zealand Parliament, and thus functions as the core of the parliamentary Opposition. ...


The National Party, as the more conservative of the two major traditional parties, has generally attracted more religious support than the Labour Party. However, National never had a monopoly on mainstream religious politics, particularly historically. In the early Labour Party a significant sub-set of the party promoted what one might call "Christian socialism", claiming that "Christian kindness and charity" fitted socialism better than it did conservatism. Walter Nash, a Labour Prime Minister, saw his policies in this light. A number of early Labour politicians came from a religious background - Arnold Nordmeyer, who eventually led the party in Opposition, had served as a Presbyterian minister before entering politics. Also, one should not underestimate the influence of the Ratana movement (see Māori Christianity, below). Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two things as being interconnected. ... Sir Walter Nash, GCMG (12 February 1882–4 June 1968) served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1957 to 1960 and was also highly influential in his role as Minister of Finance. ... The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealands head of government and is the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand. ... The Honourable Sir Heinrich Arnold Nordmeyer, ONZ, KCMG, (1901 - 1989), often later known as Arnold Henry Nordmeyer, was a New Zealand politician. ... Parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system. ... Both a religion and a pan-tribal political force, the Ratana movement was founded by Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana (1873 - 1939) in early 20th century New Zealand. ...


In recent times, however, religion has not usually formed a major component of either Labour or National platforms. The current leaders of both major parties would be classified as agnostic by most definitions, although the deputy leader of the National Party Bill English is a Roman Catholic. Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and Gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) means unknowable, and is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding metaphysics, afterlife or the existence of God, god(s), or deities—is unknown or (possibly) inherently unknowable. ... Simon William Bill English is a New Zealand politician, and former leader of the National Party from October 2001 to October 2003. ...


Evangelical Christian political activism

Beginning in the 1970s a significant increase in activism by New Zealand Christian organisations occurred. Much of this opposed reforms undertaken by the government. In the 1970s the two most significant campaigns opposed the liberalisation of abortion rules and the legalisation of homosexual acts. Perhaps surprisingly, members of the generally-conservative National Party (George Gair and Venn Young, respectively) championed each of these legislative measures. Organizations such as the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC- now Voice for Life) and the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards (SPCS) served as a focus for Christian conservatism. Eventually, the conservatives won their initial battles against homosexual law reform, but lost their ongoing battle over abortion during the late seventies and early eighties. For more about the history of the New Zealand abortion debate, see abortion in New Zealand. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ... George Frederick Gair (13 October 1926) was a New Zealand politician. ... Venn Spearman Young (19 February 1929 - February 1993) was a New Zealand politician. ... SPUC or the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a pro-life organization in the United Kingdom and several other countries. ... Voice for Life is New Zealands oldest anti-abortion group, founded by pioneering New Zealand fetal surgeon Dr (Alfred) William Liley(1929-1983) in 1970, who became its first president. ... The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards (or SPCS) is a conservative Christian-dominated pro-censorship organisation in New Zealand. ... Abortion in New Zealand is currently legal when the pregnancy is for under 20 weeks gestation, or over 20 weeks in certain circumstances where it would harm the mother. ...


In March 1985, when Labour's Fran Wilde introduced a new homosexual law reform bill, a resurgence of Christian-based political activism occurred. Two National MPs, Graeme Lee and Norman Jones, organised a petition against the bill; and Labour MP Geoff Braybrooke joined them in their campaign. A number of activists from the United States provided advice. At about the same time, the Coalition of Concerned Citizens (CCC) formed, using the motto "For God, Family and Country". The campaign eventually failed, however, and the bill became law. 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fran Wilde QSO, is a New Zealand politician, and former Wellington Labour MP and 32nd Mayor of Wellington. ... Graeme Lee is a former New Zealand politician. ... Norman Jones (died 1987) was a New Zealand National Party politician who represented the seat of Invercargill from 1975 to 1987. ... Look up Petition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Geoffrey Bernard Braybrooke (4 April 1935 - ) is a former New Zealand politician. ... The Coalition of Concerned Citizens was a New Zealand conservative Christian pressure group, and one of several attempts to form pro-censorship, anti-abortion, anti-gay and sex education opponents into a comprehensive social conservative political coalition. ...


The increased Christian political activism did, however, set the stage for the emergence of the modern Christian political parties (see below).


Evangelical Christian parties

Three significant New Zealand Christian political parties emerged in recent times: the Christian Heritage Party and the Christian Democrat Party. Both have their origins in the increased political activism of the 1970s and 1980s. In 2003, controversial Māori Pentecostal minister and televangelist Brian Tamaki founded his own political vehicle, Destiny New Zealand. Christian Heritage New Zealand (formerly known as the Christian Heritage Party) was a New Zealand political party promoting evangelical Christian-based social conservatism. ... The Christian Democrat Party of New Zealand was a Christian political party established in 1995. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Current Destiny New Zealand logo Destiny New Zealand, a Christian political party in New Zealand, centres around the charismatic Destiny Church, founded and led by the televangelist Brian Tamaki. ...


Before the Christian Coalition

While it is commonly supposed that the Christian Heritage Party was based on the Christian Heritage Party of Canada, there may be another strand to its origins. Many members of the Reformed Churches of New Zealand were involved in founding the new party, and there had been a template in the Netherlands which had existed since 1922, the Political Reformed Party or SGP (Dutch). As Dirk Vanderpyl noted in his denominational history of the Reformed Churches, Trust and Obey (1994), the SGP, ChristenUnie and other Reformed fundamentalist-based political parties were involved in "testimonial party" politics within the Dutch Parliament, based more on principle than concrete political objectives. Reformed Churches of New Zealand is the New Zealand representation of the Reformed churches. ... The Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP, literally Constitutional Reformed Party) is a Dutch constitutional theocratic political party following conservative Christian principles, in the tradition of the Dutch Reformed Church. ... The ChristenUnie (Christians Union) is a relatively young political party in the Netherlands. ... In Dutch parliamentary politics, a testimonial party is a small purist political party that is based on particular political principles that do not command majority support. ...


The Christian Heritage Party formed in 1989. The driving force behind its creation, Bill van Rij, had previously been involved in the Coalition of Concerned Citizens. Van Rij took direct inspiration from the Christian Heritage Party of Canada, and believed that a similar party could have success in New Zealand. In January 1988, van Rij and several friends established a steering committee for a new political party based on the Canadian model. In February, a meeting in Christchurch confirmed the plan, and John Allen, a former National Party candidate, became de facto interim leader. By 20 July 1989, a sufficient number of people had gathered for the party to launch officially. The party took a strict biblical line, and strongly condemned things such as abortion, pornography, and the perceived erosion of marriage and the family. Shortly after the party's official launch, the Reverend Graham Capill gained appointment as leader, a position he would hold for the next fourteen years. 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bill van Rij was a significant figure in Christian politics in New Zealand. ... The Coalition of Concerned Citizens was a New Zealand conservative Christian pressure group, and one of several attempts to form pro-censorship, anti-abortion, anti-gay and sex education opponents into a comprehensive social conservative political coalition. ... The Christian Heritage Party of Canada is a federal political party that advocates the governance of Canada according to the inspired, inerrant written Word of God. [1] This socially and fiscally conservative party held its founding convention in Hamilton, Ontario in November 1987, where Ed Vanwoudenberg was elected its first... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Christchurch (disambiguation). ... July 20 is the 201st day (202nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 164 days remaining. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library of Congress. ... Pornographic movies Pornography (Porn) (from Greek πόρνη (porne) prostitute and γραφή (grafe) writing), more informally referred to as porn or porno, is the explicit representation of the human body or sexual activity with the goal of sexual arousal. ... “Matrimony” redirects here. ... A family in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by analogous or comparable relationships — including domestic partnership, cohabitation, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the... Graham Capill (born 1959) is a former New Zealand Christian leader and politician. ... The word leadership can refer to: the process of leading. ...


Religious conservatives gave a mixed reaction to the formation of the Christian Heritage Party. Some groups, such as SPUC, welcomed the party. Others, however, believed that an independent Christian conservative party would not succeed, or worse, would split the conservative vote. Graeme Lee, a National MP who had fought against homosexual law reform, did not support the new party, seeing fighting for Christian values within the National Party as more effective. Critics also noted that the party (like its Canadian counterpart) drew heavily on the Reformed Churches of New Zealand - two thirds of the delegates at its first convention came from this denomination, with the remainder mostly unaffiliated. Yet another criticism saw the party as too extreme. SPUC or the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is a pro-life organization in the United Kingdom and several other countries. ... Graeme Lee is a former New Zealand politician. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... Reformed Churches of New Zealand is the New Zealand representation of the Reformed churches. ...


One controversial issue associated the Christian Heritage Party centred on the party's rigidly "confessional" nature. Under this policy, all members of the party had to declare themselves as Christians. The Christian Heritage Party saw this requirement as only natural, and a guarantee of the party's ideological purity. Other Christian activists, however, particularly those with more moderate views, believed that confessionalism unnecessarily restricted the support base of the party. Instead, they advocated a party "based on Christian values", rather than a "Christians Only" party. The non-confessionalists claimed that anyone, even if not actually followers of the Christian religion, could see the benefits of Christian values to society. Confessionalism, in a religious (and particularly Christian) sense, is a belief in the importance of full and unambiguous assent to the whole of a religious teaching. ...


As for the Christian Democrats, they were relatively more broadly based. In New Zealand, Christchurch's New Life Churches (or New Life Centres, as they were then known) had a history of recent anti-abortion, anti-feminist and anti-gay activism, from the mid-seventies onward. Like Lee, many had joined the National Party, only to become disillusioned as it rejected social conservatism in favour of a more pluralist model as it sought to reach out to urban liberals. Brett Knowles chronicled the New Life Churches and their denominational history in 1999. New Life Churches International is a Pentecostal Christian church denomination that was formally established in New Zealand in the 1960s. ...


Graeme Lee, the National MP, opposed confessionalism, believing that a party which followed this doctrine would never gain sufficient support. For this reason, among others, Lee, when invited, refused to join the new Christian Heritage Party. Lee had initially disliked the idea of having a separate Christian or Christian-based party at all, believing that remaining with National could prove more effective. In 1993, however, Lee had fallen out with the National Party's leadership, mainly due to losing his ministerial role in a Cabinet reshuffle. Lee's demotion, combined with his belief that National had started to become gradually more and more liberal, had prompted him to plan a departure. At this point Christian Heritage contacted Lee and invited him to join the party. According to some accounts, Lee actually received an offer of leadership. 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... The word leadership can refer to: the process of leading. ... The New Zealand Cabinet functions as the policy and decision-making body of New Zealand governments executive branch. ...


The negotiations between Lee and Christian Heritage eventually broke down, however. The issue of Confessionalism, which Lee continued to oppose, remained a major sticking point. Lee eventually pulled out of the talks, and in 1994, established his own group, known as the United Progressive Party. The prospect of two competing Christian parties alarmed many Christian conservative activists, and repeated attempts took place to get the two sides talking once again, but the issue of confessionalism (as well as several other policy differences that had emerged) made this difficult. In November, however, talks re-opened, partly at the urging of Bill van Rij. 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ...


It seemed obvious to both sides that cooperation would bring mutual benefits - Lee had the advantage of a current Parliamentary seat, while the Christian Heritage Party had the advantage of superior organisation and a "grass-roots" network. Policy issues once again proved difficult, but on 20 December 1994 a proposed agreement finally emerged. The proposal, which needed ratification by both Christian Heritage and the United Progressives, would have seen both parties dissolved, with a new united, non-confessional party set up in their place. Lee reportedly endorsed the plan, and believed that it would succeed. Graham Capill, of Christian Heritage, showed less enthusiasm. Later, a Christian Heritage Party convention rejected the proposal, although it did offer an alliance which would have seen the parties contest the election together. Lee, deeply disappointed at the rejection, refused the alliance. Van Rij also expressed disappointment with the decision. December 20 is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by United Nations. ...


On 17 May 1995, Lee re-launched his party, calling it the Christian Democrat Party. (The Christian Heritage Party complained to the Electoral Commission that the name too closely resembled their own, but the commission rejected this complaint). The launch of the party went well and generated considerable media attention. Lee also received considerable publicity for his attacks on the "Death with Dignity" bill, an attempt by dissident National MP Michael Laws to legalise euthanasia. May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Christian Democrat Party of New Zealand was a Christian political party established in 1995. ... The Electoral Commission of New Zealand is a governmental body responsible for administering certain aspects of the countrys electoral system. ... Michael Laws (born 1957) is a New Zealand politician, broadcaster and columnist. ... Euthanasia (from Greek: ευθανασία -ευ, eu, good, θάνατος, thanatos, death) is the practice of terminating the life of a person or animal in a presumably painless or minimally painful way. ...


The Christian Coalition

Occasional attempts at talks between Christian Heritage and the Christian Democrats continued during the early part of 1995, but these proved generally ineffectual. Towards the end of 1995, however, pressure for a united front began to increase substantially. Bill van Rij became particularly prominent in this effort, as did a number of Christian associations which threatened to withhold their endorsement. At the instigation of Murray Smith, an Executive Member with Christian Democrats, more talks took place, and eventually decided an alliance possible, with everything split exactly equally between the two parties. The joint party list would alternate between the Christian Democrats and Christian Heritage, beginning with Lee (as a sitting MP) in first place and Capill in second. While the two parties would campaign together, they would function separately in Parliament. 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Murray Smith is a New Zealand politician. ...


The new Christian Coalition launched on 29 March 1996. It received considerable public attention, and prospered in opinion polls. The Coalition issued its manifesto in September, though -- due to an inability to resolve certain differences between the two parties -- the manifesto lacked a degree of detail. The Christian Heritage Party expressed a certain amount of dissatisfaction over the manifesto, which it considered "too moderate". Lee and the Christian Democrats, however, strongly believed moderation crucial to electoral success, and that Christian Heritage's more extreme policies would alienate many voters. Even with Lee's attempt at moderation, however, the party's more controversial views tended to receive the most media attention, and many criticised the Coalition as "extremist". Christian Coalition logo The Christian Coalition was a Christian political party operating in New Zealand. ... March 29 is the 88th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (89th in leap years). ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...


In the 1996 election itself, the Christian Coalition gained 4.33% of the vote. This fell short of the 5% necessary for proportional representation under MMP, and none of the party's electorate candidates won a seat. As many polls had once shown the Coalition as passing the 5% threshold, this result led to disappointment. Considerable acrimony ensued between Christian Heritage and the Christian Democrats, with both believing that the other had caused the loss. Christian Heritage generally believed that the Christian Democrats had "watered down" the Coalition's message in the name of political pragmatism, surrendering the moral high ground and giving up the party's clear focus. The Christian Democrats, on the other hand, said that Christian Heritage's extremism and unwillingness to compromise had led to the defeat. Each side essentially blamed the other for dragging the Coalition down. The 1996 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament. ... Proportional representation (sometimes referred to as full representation, or PR), is a category of electoral formula aiming at a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates (grouped by a certain measure) obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (usually in legislative assemblies). ... The Additional Member System (AMS) is a voting system where some representatives are elected from geographic constituencies and others are elected under proportional representation from party lists. ... The moral high ground, in ethical or political parlance, refers to the status of being respected for being in the right and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodnees. ...


In May 1997, the Christian Coalition dissolved, and its constituent parties went their own separate ways. Shortly afterwards, Bill van Rij left Christian Heritage and joined Christian Democrats, blaming Capill for the collapse of the Coalition. A number of other senior Christian Heritage members, led by a former Deputy Leader, Geoff Hounsell, also resigned or were expelled from the party and joined the Christian Democrats following their unsuccessful attempt to have Christian Heritage agree to a merger with Christian Democrats. 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Christian Heritage After the Christian Coalition

The Christian Heritage Party remained somewhat bitter about the collapse of the Christian Coalition. While considerable tension had existed between Christian Heritage and the Christian Democrats, Graham Capill apparently believed a resolution possible. After the Christian Democrats left, however, Christian Heritage re-affirmed all its traditional policies, including those that had seemed too extreme for the Coalition.


Christian Heritage stood Ewen McQueen as its candidate in the 1998 Taranaki-King Country byelection. McQueen outpolled candidates for the larger New Zealand First and Green parties. Ewan McQueen is the leader of Christian Heritage New Zealand, a religious political party in New Zealand. ...


Six months before the 1999 elections, Frank Grover, leader of the Liberal Party, a component of the Alliance, defected to Christian Heritage, giving it one seat in Parliament. Grover had been an Alliance list MP. High profile broadcaster Philip Sherry also joined the party in 1999 and stood in the number 2 position on the party list.


In the New Zealand general election 1999, Christian Heritage gained 2.4% of the vote, well short of the threshhold for entering Parliament, although enough to make it easily the largest party outside parliament. The 1999 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 46th session of the New Zealand Parliament. ...


In the New Zealand general election 2002, Australian Political consultant David Elliot, a prominent campaigner against Republicanism in Australia was appointed campaign manager. It was hoped that by focusing on a single electorate, Wairarapa, Christian Heritage could gain entry to parliament and bypass the 5% requirement. However, the result was disappointing - the party itself gained only 1.4% of the vote, and its Wairarapa candidate, deputy leader Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, came third. Christian Heritage's support defected to United Future New Zealand, a merger of Future New Zealand (a successor to the Christian Democrats) and Peter Dunne's United New Zealand, which had occurred in 2000. The 2002 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 47th New Zealand Parliament. ...


In 2003, Capill stepped down as party leader and Ewen McQueen succeeded him and the party renamed itself simply Christian Heritage New Zealand. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ewan McQueen is the leader of Christian Heritage New Zealand, a religious political party in New Zealand. ...


In 2005, Former Leader Capill was convicted for the repeated rape and sexual violation of a girl aged eight, and jailed for nine years [1]. Capill's conduct was condemned by the new Christian Heritage leadership[2] 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On October 3, 2006, ex-CHNZ Leader Ewen McQueen announced that Christian Heritage was disbanding [3] to allow "new things to arise in Christian politics in New Zealand". This may result in some of its members merging with Destiny New Zealand, whose leader, Richard Lewis, expressed interest in such a possibility. Former Christian Hertiage Leader, Ewen McQueen announced that the hypothetical new party would "make a strong and clear stand for the importance of family life, the primacy of marriage and the sanctity of human life." Ewan McQueen is the leader of Christian Heritage New Zealand, a religious political party in New Zealand. ...


(Currently, there is some debate over whether Christian Heritage was ever anything more than a "testimonial party." As noted above, this model of politics refers to a particular model of partisan 'politics of principle' that eschews pragmatic political objectives. If this is the case, then there are certain implications. As the Netherlands has a demographically based electoral system, this means that the testimonial party model could rely on Reformed fundamentalist constituencies in Zeeland, Veluwe and parts of Overijssel, the Dutch "Bible Belt." However, New Zealand's Mixed Member Proportional electoral system imposes a five percent threshold before a party that has no constituency seat representation can be represented within the New Zealand Parliament, as does its own German model. As CHNZ never cleared that threshold, it may therefore be seen as an imported 'testimonial party' that does not work in a foreign political context or electoral system. By contrast, the non-Christian United Future New Zealand has worked that same electoral system well. However Christian Heritage's constitution seems to rule out Christian Heritage being a purely "testimonial party." While allowing that an objective of the party it to "promote and uphold biblical principles" the constitution goes on to state that the party's goal is to "gain seats in parliament so that it can have a direct influence on legislation, policy, and the governing of New Zealand.") In Dutch parliamentary politics, a testimonial party is a small purist political party that is based on particular political principles that do not command majority support. ... Capital Middelburg Queens Commissioner drs. ... A forest on the Veluwe The Veluwe is a forest-rich ridge of hills in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. ... Flag of Overijssel Overijssel is a province of the Netherlands, located in the central eastern part of the country. ... A map showing where the Political Reformed Party received a significant amount of votes in 2003, and therefore shows the extent of the Dutch Bible Belt. ... The Additional Member System (AMS) is a voting system where some representatives are elected from geographic constituencies and others are elected under proportional representation from party lists. ... Current United Future logo United Future New Zealand is a political party in the New Zealand parliament with three MPs -- one electorate MP (leader Peter Dunne) and two list MPs (see MMP for the difference). ...


Christian Democrats / Future NZ After the Christian Coalition

The Christian Democrats, by contrast, took a considerably different path. Not long after the Christian Coalition fell apart, Graeme Lee announced that he would step down as leader of the party. He had contemplated retiring for some time, and had already determined that if the Coalition failed he would make his exit from politics. For some considerable period of time the party remained with Lee as temporary leader, as no satisfactory new candidate had emerged. Eventually Anthony Walton emerged as the new leader. Under Walton, the Christian Democrats went even further down the non-confessional path, removing all explicit references to Christianity from their party platform. The party adopted the name "Future New Zealand" ("Future Vision" was also proposed), and positioned itself as a "values-based" rather than a religion-based party. Anthony John Walton is a former New Zealand politician. ... This article is about the party formed out of the Christian Democrats. ...


Future New Zealand contested the 1999 General Election but gained only 1.1% of the party vote. Consideration was given as to whether the party should become an apolitical lobby group but led by its General Secretary, Murray Smith, who had instigated discussions with Peter Dunne, the leader of United New Zealand and the holder of a "safe" constituency seat, the party decided to explore a coalition with United New Zealand instead. Following further discussions with United, the two parties entered into a coalition to contest the 2002 General Election under the name United Future New Zealand. The group gained 6.7% of the party vote, giving it 8 seats. In 2003 the two parties formally merged. For a time there was debate as to whether to classify the resultant group as a Christian party, but the party's rejection of that label appears to have clarified matters. According to United Future, the party does indeed have a grounding in traditional values, but remains open to anyone who shares those values, not merely to Christians. Murray Smith is a New Zealand politician. ... Peter Dunne (born 17 March 1954 - ) leads New Zealands United Future political party. ... United New Zealand logo   This article is about the party founded in 1995. ... Current United Future logo United Future New Zealand is a political party in the New Zealand parliament with three MPs -- one electorate MP (leader Peter Dunne) and two list MPs (see MMP for the difference). ...


In the New Zealand general election 2005 United Future saw its support slump to 2.67% leaving it with only 3 MPs. The precise reasons for this are difficult to identify but it appears that many former Christian supporters of United Future cast their votes for the National Party in the 2005 election. The 2005 New Zealand general election will be a nation-wide election for the New Zealand Parliament, and is to be held on 17 September 2005. ...


Peter Dunne's decision in 2007 to vote in favour of a bill banning physical discipling of children has disappointed many former Christian supporters.


Destiny New Zealand

In 2003 another Christian party formed in New Zealand - Destiny New Zealand, based around the evangelical Destiny Church pastored by controversial pastor Brian Tamaki. It has not made a substantial impact on New Zealand party politics as yet, but has high hopes for the future. Tamaki has claimed that Destiny Church will rule New Zealand by 2008, but in the 2005 general election the party only polled 0.6% far short of the support required to enter Parliament. This was also far short of the over 2% support managed by even the Christian Heritage Party in 1993 and 1999. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Current Destiny New Zealand logo Destiny New Zealand, a Christian political party in New Zealand, centres around the charismatic Destiny Church, founded and led by the televangelist Brian Tamaki. ... Destiny Church is a charismatic Christian church with headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Māori Christianity

The first significant specifically Christian political party activity in New Zealand came at the behest of the Ratana movement. The Ratana Church, established by Māori spiritual leader Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana in 1925, gained particularly strong support from Māori of lower socio-economic status. The Ratana movement actively participated in the world of politics, and the first Ratana Member of Parliament gained election in a 1932 by-election. Both a religion and a pan-tribal political force, the Ratana movement was founded by Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana (1873 - 1939) in early 20th century New Zealand. ... Languages Māori, English Religions Māori religion, Christianity Related ethnic groups other Polynesian peoples, Austronesian peoples The word Māori refers to the indigenous people of New Zealand and their language. ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ...


In Parliament, the Ratana movement co-operated closely with the Labour Party, the rising force in New Zealand politics at the time. In the 1935 elections, Ratana won two of the four of the Māori seats, and shortly afterwards, allied itself with the Labour Party, which had won the election. The Labour Party and the Ratana movement have remained closely allied since this point, although the alliance has grown strained at times. The New Zealand Parliament is the legislative body of the New Zealand government. ... The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. ... The 1935 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliaments 25th term. ...


In recent years at least one independent attempt has occurred to bring the Ratana religion to politics - the Piri Wiri Tua party, although not part of the Ratana Church, has strong roots in Ratanadom. The Piri Wiri Tua Movement is a Maori political party based around the Ratana religion. ...


Bibliography

  • Brett Knowles: New Life: A History of the New Life Churches of New Zealand: 1942-1979: Dunedin: Third Millennium: 1999.

ISBN 1-877139-15-7


This book is now out of print. However, a hardback, footnoted, version is still available (under a different title) from Edwin Mellen Press, New York (:http://www.mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=1533&pc=9). Details are:

  • Brett Knowles: The History of a New Zealand Pentecostal Movement: The New Life Churches of New Zealand from 1946 to 1979:

Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press: 2000:ISBN 0-7734-7862-0

  • Dirk Vanderpyl (ed) Trust and Obey: The Reformed Churches of New Zealand: 1953-1993: Silverstream: Reformed Publishing Company: 1994:

ISBN 0-473-02459-4


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