From a Rich Source...
The Diocese of Waiapu is in the North Island of Aotearoa / New Zealand and is named after the river which runs from the Raukumara range down through the Waiapu Valley to the sea near East Cape. The Waiapu river was a rich source of life in this region of Tairawhiti and it was in this valley that the Gospel was first introduced.
The diocese stretches from the Parish of Omokoroa, just north of Tauranga, across the Bay of Plenty to East Cape. From Omokoroa it runs south through Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo to Turangi and across the Ruahine Ranges to Woodville and then out to the sea. It encompasses the East Coast region, down through Gisborne, Napier and Hastings to the land southwest of Dannevirke.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ was first brought to Maori in Waiapu through fellow Maori who had come to the Christian faith through contact with Christian Maori among Nga Puhi people of Northland.
Pita brought the new faith to Rotorua in the 1820's and Piripi Taumata a Kura, captured by the Nga Puhi and instructed in the Christian faith in Northland, brought the Gospel home to the Ngati Porou. A Waikato chief Ngakuku, the father of the murdered little girl, Tarore, on his baptism in 1839, took the name William Marsh, and became one of the early missionaries in the Opotiki Region.
In the Taupo District in 1847, two Maori evangelists, Manihira and Kereopa, converts in the Wanganui District, lost their lives preaching the Gospel.
Matenga Tukareaho is reputed to have been the first preacher of Christianity in the Wairoa District.
The first ordination of a Maori, Rota Waitoa of the Ngati Raukawa of Otaki, took place in 1853. He was stationed at Te Araroa until his death in 1866.
From the early 1820s, Church Missionary Society missionaries made significant journeys to Tauranga and Rotorua, Maketu and later to the East Coast to establish mission stations. The Rev Henry Williams had made five journeys to Tauranga by 1831. Mr W.T. Fairburn, one of the Church Missionary Society lay catechists, recorded a voyage to Tauranga in 1827. Mission Stations were established in Tauranga and Rotorua in 1834 and 1835, in Opotiki at the end of 1839, and at Turanga (Gisborne) in 1840.
With the arrival of Bishop Selwyn in 1842, the Rev William Williams was appointed the first Archdeacon of the Eastern District (all country east of the 176th parallel)
In 1843, the Rev A.N. Brown became the first Archdeacon of Tauranga which was subdivided off from the Archdeaconry of Waiapu.
On 27 September 1858, the Diocese of Waiapu was founded, and on 3 April 1859 the first consecration of a Bishop in New Zealand took place in Wellington when Bishop William Williams, was ordained as the first Bishop of Waiapu. Begun as a Maori Mission Diocese, the first synods were conducted in Te Reo Maori at Waerenga-a-hika outside Gisborne where the bishop was based.
After the fighting and siege at Waerenga-a-hika and the damage done to Mission Station, Bishop Williams moved his headquarters to Napier in January 1867. The Province of Hawke's Bay, which until then had been part of the Diocese of Wellington, was formally added to the Diocese of Waiapu on 14 June 1869. Subsequently, Napier became the cathedral city.
From this early evangelism by both Maori and missionary, the diocese increasingly became a settler church of parishes and archdeaconries, alongside a network of pastorates and rohe, united under the episcopal care of the Bishop of Waiapu, and the decision-making and fellowship of the annual synod.
Repeated calls for a Maori bishop went unheeded until 1928 when the first Bishop of Aotearoa Frederick Augustus Bennett was ordained and appointed as Suffragan or Assistant Bishop of Waiapu.
Full equality for Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa was finally achieved in 1978 and in 1992 the Anglican constitution was revised to created a three Tikanga church of equal partnership between Maori, Pakeha and Pacific cultures, each with their own synodical structures and bishops under the umbrella of General Synod/ Te Hinota Whanui.
On16 April 1988, a special synod of the diocese organized its mission and ministry into three geographical regions, Hawke's Bay, Eastland and Bay of Plenty, with a regional bishop based in the Bay of Plenty. The diocese reverted to a single diocesan bishop in 2005, supported by a network of regionally based Ministry Convenors.