Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
272:  A Māori Reflection on LDS Church Culture and Discipline:  Mahuika, Rangiwai, Hikairo

272: A Māori Reflection on LDS Church Culture and Discipline: Mahuika, Rangiwai, Hikairo

Moderm Maori Art – Waitangi Day Celebration or Protest Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Art Gallery

Without any effort to contextualize or indigenize the LDS Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Māori are often asked to accept ways of being that get imported from Utah.  This ‘Utah’ worldview is  presented to LDS Māori as the way Jesus Christ would do things.  This is called the ‘Gospel Culture.’   

But the effect of the ‘Gospel Culture’ is to alienate Māori from those ways of being that support Māori well-being.   This lack of interest in Māori ways of being Mormon bears all of the hallmarks of religious and spiritual colonization.

Dr. Byron Rangiwai, Dr. Nepia Mahuika and TeRata Hikairo discuss LDS Church practices, policies and discipline through the lens of Tikanga Māori.  


  1. Very good korero, thank you to you four people for your fine contribution. I am sure there will be Mormons out there listening to this podcast who will be challenged and enlightened but what each of you have shared. This critique of the Mormon Church from a Maori Mormon (Gina) and post Maori Mormon position (Nepia, Te Rata and Byron) is a good start. Perhaps in the future it would be good to hear from this same panel on what a Treaty based bi-cultural Mormon Church could/should look like in generations to come. Gina, I also appreciated Te Rata’s closing comment to you, knowing what you will be facing next week in that disciplinary court on the 20th. You will be facing a “Utah LDS based group-think as opposed to what the Saviour would do, cos we know how the Saviour related to Mary Magdalene”. Ironically Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of the state of Utah. Next week, don’t go alone into that den of lions – be sure to take someone with you.

  2. For your next panel discussion which i thoroughly enjoyed, I would be interested in what a Treaty based bicultural Mormon Church in Aotearoa would look like. Is such a thing possible or even worth the effort? To you Gina, I appreciated the closing remark made by Te Rata concerning your impending disciplinary action taken against you. This action by the Mormon Church is in my opinion theologically shallow, cultish, clannish and based on an outdated patriarchy for purposes of control and retaining the status quo, or as Te Rata said so succinctly, “a Utah based LDS group think” that is in reality in direct opposition to the liberating gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ who embraced Mary Magdalene and not condemned her. It is ironic that Mary Magadalene is the patron saint of Utah. You Gina continue to be yourself because we should always be in a state of aspostacy. How do you think Xnty began?

  3. Lisa

    I really enjoyed listening to this podcast. The discussion really opened my eyes about Maori culture and colonialism hense, the unconformity of Utah Mormon subculture being ignorantly superimposed onto such a Ric Maori culture. Thank you Gina and the other partcipants. Wishing you the best.

  4. Sean McKee

    Sister Colvin,

    Last night I finished watching your conversation with John Dehlin on Mormon Stories. Toward the end John asked you about the date of your bishop’s council. You said the 20th. I realized it was too late to reach out to your ward. This morning (December 21st) I searched your name on the internet. The first thing that came up was an article by Peggy Fletcher Stack in these Salt Lake Tribune saying ‘no action’ was taken. Hallelujah!

    Your work with A Thoughtful Faith has expanded my spiritual practice by helping me make connections in my own community, over 7400 miles away from New Zealand.

    If you are ever in Seattle, drop me a line and we can get together for a cup of Postum.


    Sean McKee

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