Dr Winston Halapua, Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia since 2010
With a doctorate in sociology from the University of the South Pacific, he came to New Zealand in 1996 to take up a post as a lecturer at St John’s College, the Auckland theological college. As such, he has been deeply involved in the formation and teaching of many Polynesian priests.
He has campaigned vigorously for climate justice and has seen first-hand the impact of climate change in his country, Tonga, where rising sea levels have led to the sinking of smaller islands sinking and increased salivation. Climate change has also caused unpredictable storms and flooding in the islands of Polynesia. He was present and singularly influential – as voice for Polynesia – at the Paris Climate Agreements, signed in 2016.
The seventh of 10 children, Winston’s father was the first Anglican Tongan priest. His church leadership has been characterised by his empowerment of women and young people, ensuring that both will take his vision forward for the future.
His emphasis on addressing the issue of gender-based violence in Polynesian communities, his dedicated efforts in supporting multi-ethnic education in Fiji, his participation in peacebuilding in Fiji, his longstanding commitment to highlighting the devastating nature of climate change in Oceania and his articulation of a theology of the ocean, ‘Moana’, are just some of the significant contributions Winston has made in his life of love and service.