The spirit of God has long dwelt in this land

Prayer at Matariki in Aotearoa

Peace be with you
And also with you.
He maungārongo ki te tangata
Peacefulness to the people
He maungārongo ki te whenua
Peace to the land.

The spirit of God has long dwelled in this land
Wairua Tapu in the birthing, the whenua, in the creation and evolution of this place.

We have come from afar to be here
from Hawaiki and Polynesia
from Asia and Australasia
from Britain and Europe and America
from Africa and the Middle East.

We have come in search
of better lives and new meanings
of resources and independence
of refuge
bearing the legacy of our ancestors in our food, our music,
our cultural assumptions
in the triple helix of our DNA.

We have not always lived in peace together, or respected the birthright of others.
We have stripped the land of vegetation, carved farms into unsuitable landscapes, accelerated erosion and polluted our waterways.

We whose families came as colonists and missionaries
have not always honoured the Spirit of this land or our Treaty with its people:
we gave been well-meaning but complacent and benefitted from unjust systems,
yet still they are patient and gracious,
teaching us if we would learn.

The spirit of God has long dwelled in this land.
Wairua Tapu of heaven and earth, Rangatira and Papatūānuku,
Spirit of abundance and celebration,
in the rise of Puanga, in the cluster of Matariki.

May we be Spirit-filled people who honour
the promises made in our names
and the covenants we have inherited.
Amen