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 Aotearoa -
New Zealand

About New Zealand

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The islands were first settled by Māori peoples from Polynesia around the 13th century AD, who developed a distinct culture and language. European exploration began in 1642 when Dutch navigator Abel Tasman became the first European to sight the islands. Over a century later, British explorer James Cook circumnavigated and mapped New Zealand, leading to increased European settlement. An important event was the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 between the British Crown and Māori chiefs, which established British law in New Zealand while aiming to protect Māori rights and land ownership. However, differing interpretations of the treaty texts led to ongoing conflicts and debates over its fairness. Despite foreign occupations, the indigenous Māori culture has remained resilient, contributing to New Zealand's unique cultural identity.

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Capital

Wellington

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Main Religions

No religion 48.5%, Christianity 37% (approx. 12% Roman Catholic)

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Time Zone

UTC +12; Summer (DST)

UTC +13

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Languages

English, Maori,

Sign Language

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Population

5.1 million

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Area

268,021 km²

Arrival of Marists

1838

Number of Marist Brothers Communities  

11 Communities

Number of Brothers

53

Marist Schools  

4

The Marist Brothers in New Zealand: An enduring legacy of Catholic Education

History

The first Marist Brother arrived in New Zealand in 1838, as part of the mission led by Bishop Pompallier. While the Brothers continue to support the mission in Oceania, they established their first school in New Zealand in 1876. From there, the Brothers took Catholic education to broad areas across both the North and South Islands.

 

A Nationwide Presence

Today, there are 11 communities of Brothers in New Zealand. Most Brothers have spent some years offshore in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, and elsewhere, wherever they have been called to serve.

 

Fostering the Marist Spirit

The Marist Brothers have two partnership groups that meet regularly in Kaikohe and Lower Hutt, while a mixed community exists in Christchurch. These groups foster the Marist spirit and mission among lay partners and Brothers.

 

Commitment to Education

The Marist Brothers' commitment to education, which began in 1876, grew after WW II with the opening of secondary schools throughout the country. All Catholic Schools integrated with the state between 1979-1984. The Marist Brothers own four schools in Auckland, including the Marist Alternative Education Centre, established in 1999 to cater for up to 20 teenagers struggling with mainstream education.

 

Formation Programs

Annual formation programs are offered to staff and senior student leaders. Future programs are being developed to support the growth within the Marist school network and provide support for those beyond the school gates.
 

Marist Presence in Aotearoa-
New Zealand 

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