PO Box 68419,
The history of Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand began in 1989, following visits by Etienne de Jonghe in 1988 and Sr Mary Evelyn Jegen SND. Initially it was associated with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace but when that organisation was restructured in 1992, Pax Christi was formed to continue the work of the commission’s peace committee. Its initial base was in Auckland, but it has since developed a membership scattered throughout New Zealand and has active groups in several cities and towns. In 1993, Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand Trust was formed as the legal entity for the movement and in 1995, Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand was received as a full member organisation at the Pax Christi International 50th anniversary gathering in Assisi. We soon became engaged in East Timor’s struggle for liberation and were inaugural members of the Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor, later reformed as the Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition, active in regional struggles for peaceful conflict resolution. We now have a corresponding membership of about 180, of whom about one quarter would be actively engaged in action for peace and justice in Aotearoa-New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region
A major part of our work involves maintaining our links with a scattered membership, currently through a monthly newsletter, "Living Justly in Aotearoa" but soon to be via a shared website. Our second major task is to network with a range of peace and justice organisations throughout Aotearoa-New Zealand. In this way, our relatively small membership can be involved in and support a range of peace and justice projects and actions.
All our work is founded in the Prayer/Study/Action formula of Pax Christi sections everywhere. To maintain this focus, we hold periodic retreats and study days. We also co-sponsor public events with our partner agencies, make submissions to local and national government and intervene, when appropriate, in regional and international actions, often in solidarity with partners or other Pax Christi sections. Over recent years, we have helped establish "spin-off" trusts working in affordable housing (Just Housing Trust) and Christian-Muslim relations (Council for Christians and Muslims)
During the last year, we have become involved in two NZ government-sponsored agencies, the Council for International Development (CID) and Voluntary Agency Subsidy Scheme (VASS) which has enabled us to participate more actively in regional activities. Currently, we are working with Caritas Aotearoa-New Zealand to bring two Papuan students to New Zealand for English language and human rights advocacy training and in September, we assisted a West Papuan (Fr Neles Tebay) to be present at the Regional consultation in Pattaya, Thailand. We hope to extend our activities into the Pacific nations (Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands etc) with the help of VASS grants later this year. In anticipation of this, we assisted Columban Fr Tom Rouse to attend the Pattaya consultation.
To develop an active partnership with small Pacific nations with membership of the Federation of Bishops of Oceania whose territory extends from Papua and Solomon Islands to the Micronesian groups in the north and Tahiti to the east.
To consolidate and grow our membership in Aotearoa-New Zealand in order to provide a solid base for our growing body of work. To continue to work for the development of an active regional network of Pax Christi affiliated groups in the Asia-Pacific region arising out of the 2006 regional consultation.