Congratulations to Rina Rakuraku who will be installed as the spiritual leader, the Moderator of Te Aka Puaho, the Maori Synod of the Presbyterian Church on Friday 3 February at Te Maungarongo Marae, Ohope.
Rina (Marina) Rakuraku is of Tuhoe and Ngati Porou and Kahungungu descent, and has Scottish, English and Spanish roots. She was raised in Waimana and has been a Maori resource teacher at Paroa School in Whakatane.
Her uncle, former Moderator, the Very Rev Tame Takao, had a hand in her decision to take the role of Moderator on.
“I believe in the Lord moving in strange ways,” says Rina. “Things kept happening that seemed to turn me towards it. I felt pulled this way. I spoke with my uncle, and he said, ‘You know what to do.’ I do know the job I have taken on is hard.”
Rina went on a mission to America with her uncle for two years from 1999, mainly looking at churches in indigenous communities. She studied at Cook’s Theological Hall in Phoenix, Arizona while there.
Rina Rakuraku will be the 28th Moderator of Te Aka Puaho, the third Maori woman and the fourth non-minister to lead the Synod.
She has five children, grandchildren, and four great-granddaughters.
Outgoing Moderator, the Rev Wayne Te Kaawa, is heading to Otago University to study for a PhD.
For further information on the Moderator’s installation on 3 Feb, contact Te Aka Puaho, http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/abou…/contact-us/te-aka-puaho