Aotearoa New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy.
The settling of New Zealand by Europeans impacted heavily on the resident Māori population. Although the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, the full inclusion of Māori people within New Zealand society has happened only in recent decades. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
As one of the world's most stable and well-governed nations, New Zealand was rated in 2011 as first in government transparency and lack of corruption. It has a well developed market economy. Heavily dependent on international trade, it is vulnerable to global commodity prices and international economic slowdowns.
New Zealand was the first nation to give women the vote in modern times. A UN Committee in 2012 expressed concern at a number of challenges which continue to impede women’s equality, including violence against women, pay inequality and pay equity, the high level of unemployment, especially among young women and within ethnic minority groups.
New Zealand's spectacular landscape provides many opportunities for outdoor pursuits and is attractive to tourists.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1886. Four sisters were from Angers and two from Australia. They built a large residential facility for women and children suffering disadvantage. Over time they expanded their services to Wellington, Te Horo and Auckland, establishing re-education centres for girls and women.
Over the years, the Sisters were involved in the following ministries:
Residential care of girls and women; Industrial chaplaincy: Domiciliary Nursing.
Emergency housing in Lower Hutt and Palmerston North.
The care and support of young, pregnant, unmarried mothers.
Acted as “Friends at Court” for young offenders.
Alcohol and Drug Counselling; Prison Chaplaincy; Chaplaincy in Social Welfare Homes;
St. Vincent de Paul; Religious Education/Pastoral Work; Support of Asylum Seekers, refugees and Migrants.
Recognizing their increasing diminishment in leadership capacity, in 2008 the Sisters set up a new organization and named it: Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand. This reshaped the governance structure of the Province, enabling the sustainability and development of Good Shepherd ministries into the future, beyond the capacity of the Sisters to provide high level leadership.
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand is established for the sole purpose of providing a governance framework for the apostolic works of the province, as well as ensuring a strong and sustainable foundation for future initiatives.
It owns the major assets of the province and governs current Good Shepherd programmes in areas of welfare, education and financial inclusion.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd appoint the Directors of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.
In New Zealand, the Sisters are involved in: The Trading Circle, Spiritual Direction/Counselling, Pastoral Care.
In 2013 The Good Shepherd New Zealand Trust was established.
Although Good Shepherd Sisters no longer live in Christchurch, because of the Sisters’ deep and historic connections with the city, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand established a Project in Christchurch as the first for The Good Shepherd New Zealand Trust. It involves the Trust partnering with Aviva Family Violence Services (formerly the Christchurch Women’s Refuge) to develop and implement a No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) Programme, with the support of Good Shepherd Microfinance in Australia and Kiwi Bank.
Today, Good Shepherd New Zealand continues and builds upon the work established by the Sisters in 1886. The organisation has developed strong, values-based relationships with partners to meet emerging local needs and contribute in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Click here for Good Shepherd New Zealand website - http://goodshepherd.org.nz/