Te Hāhi is a partnership between the Police and a group of local Churches in Gisborne city. This partnership came about when it was realised by the Church that Gisborne has the highest rate of family violence in New Zealand and that New Zealand has the highest rate of Family violence on a per capita basis for any OECD nation.
The question for the Christian Community was,
how can we facilitate change for good in our city and help support the Police in their work as they daily face dealing with families in crisis?
To that end, we now have a group of trained believers who carry a Police phone. When the Police team identify a family that needs prayer, love and some type of practical support the Te Hāhi team goes into action.
On most call-outs, we take a gift of food and we are welcomed into homes carrying some practical love that opens the door for prayer and ongoing spiritual help.
Pastor Guthrie Boyd: Te Hāhi Church Co-ordinator
The story behind Te Hāhi – how it started
This initiative was initiated by a former Policewoman, Tui Keenan – who was moved with compassion as she fulfilled her role in the Police. She saw the need for Christian ministry, aroha & support for the Police & community especially in the area of family harm.
In due course of time, she was able to share her vision with Commander Sam Aberahama who placed his support behind Tui to bring the vision to a reality.
On Sunday evening 27th September 2016, the Gisborne Churches gathered for a Combined Church Service – ‘Prayer For The Police’, which was jam-packed with around 250 attending.
Police Area Commander, Sam Aberahama, called on Churches to partner with the Police as we launched the ‘Te Hahi’ ‘ (The Church) initiative.
An absolutely unique occasion made even more memorable when Commander Sam closed with an impromptu ‘Lords Prayer’ sung in his Cook Island tongue.
Pastor Lance Rickard of the local House of Beakthrough Church had a starring role as a Policeman, much to the delight of his fellowship and many locals.
A FILM about gang violence, revenge and redemption that was shot in Gisborne and Anaura Bay premiered at the local Odeon Multiplex in Gisborne.
The movie Broken is based on a true story and marks City Impact Church Pastor Tarry Mortlock’s filmmaking debut.
More than 25 Gisborne people feature in scripted roles in the film. Many locals helped behind the scenes too with scenery, stage crew, accommodation and technical support.
Mr Mortlock was inspired to make the film by New Zealand author Joy Cowley’s story Tarore and Her Book. Tarore was the daughter of a chief from a small marae near Matamata in the 1830s. A top student at a mission school, she was killed when a warring tribe came into the area and forced her tribe to relocate.
In mid-2017 a fresh approach was given to ‘TeamGisborne’ with the emphasis being moved from Church leaders to Secular leaders who have been elected to positions of influence within our local community.
At the same time, a small group of prayer intercessors was formed to pray for these leaders of the community whenever the need may be required.
The Bible teaches that we are to pray for those in authority and it had become obvious that many times leaders within the community – once tasked with their role – often come under stress and daily pressure with little support or thanks. Even though they are simply doing the best they can in sharing their various expertise. It can be a thankless job.
This new approach has created the opportunity to build relationship with various city leaders – and whenever specific Christian motivational encouragement can be shared with them – the opportunity is offered.
One such specific occasion during 2017 was the visit by International Evangelist Mark Banyard from Japan – who along with NZ’s Jono Turner spent time sharing and encouraging them – as he has had much experience previously in Japan and Canada speaking to Business leadership groups.
Ray Sheldrake: TeamGisborne Admin.