The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams has announced the appointment of the Bishop Halapua as Chaplain for the Lambeth Conference 2008. Bishop Halapua says, 'it is an honour to be asked by the Archbishop to undertake this task and I look forward to the challenge. It will be good to work together on this level.'
Bishop Winston Halapua became the first Anglican Bishop for the Diocese of Polynesian in Aotearoa New Zealand when he was consecrated in April 2005. He was inducted by Bishop Jabez Bryce, the Suva-based Diocesan Bishop of Polynesia, supported by a number of local Anglican bishops and welcomed by a congregation of about 500. Being appointed to this position Bishop Halapua still remains the principal of the College of the Diocese of Polynesia at St John's College in Meadowbank, and as a lecturer in the School of Theology at the University of Auckland. Central to the essence of the mission in this three Tikanga Church is the corroborative working relationship with the seven Pakeha dioceses and five Amorangi of Tikanga Maori within New Zealand, and the Diocese of Polynesia. For the last six years, he has been a member of the Anglican Consultative Council.
Bishop Halapua is aware of the importance of culture and context in the task of Christian mission. A scholar in sociology, with a Tongan background and citizenship as a Fijian, Bishop Halapua sees himself as a 'multicultural person.' This being evident, having studied Christian mission and ministry in Tonga, Fiji, England, Israel and Aotearoa New Zealand.
As Bishop of the Polynesian Anglican community, Bishop Halapua has pastoral oversight for all the peoples of Polynesia including the oversight for existing Samoan, Tongan, Indo-Fijian and Fijian congregations. He has extensive experience in ecumenical theological education in Oceania and globally for over 30 years. Bishop Halapua has authored many books as well as chapters in books and journals.
Bishop Halapua states that what is needed now, is to make the mission of God more effective and relevant. Having second and third generation Pacific Islanders and others who have recently arrived and struggled to settle, the mission among them needs to respond to these different voices and needs. Suggesting, 'this is a great opportunity for us to hear the people clearly, and how we can together shape their identity as Pacific Islanders in Aotearoa.' The 'we' leadership is important to Bishop Halapua as it is his own personal style where it is believed that the whole community leads the mission of the Church. Bishop Halapua sees this as the Pacific way of doing a mission. He follows his father who was also a Bishop.