Dioceses and Bishops

There are six dioceses in New Zealand. The Archdiocese of Wellington is the metropolitan diocese in New Zealand, and the other dioceses, are suffragen dioceses.

A diocese is a “portion of the people of God” which is entrusted to the pastoral care of a bishop. He carries out this pastoral care with the cooperation of the priests of the diocese. The smallest units of a diocese are parishes.
The bishop, priests and people of the diocese constitute a “particular church”, in which “the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ truly exists and functions”. As a rule, a diocese has a defined territory.
Neighbouring dioceses are grouped together as an “ecclesiastical province”, which is presided over by a bishop who is called the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan is an archbishop and his diocese is an archdiocese. The other dioceses in the province are called suffragan dioceses. In New Zealand the metropolitan diocese is the Archdiocese of Wellington, and the Metropolitan is Cardinal John Dew.
The Metropolitan receives a narrow band called the pallium from the Holy Father. It is made of white lamb’s wool and has six black crosses on it. The pallium is a symbol of the Metropolitan’s role and his connection with the Pope.

The Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand

Bishops are appointed by the Holy Father. The pastoral care of a diocese is entrusted to a diocesan bishop (sometimes referred to as the Ordinary of the diocese). 

An auxiliary bishop assists the diocesan bishop. A coadjutor bishop has the right to succeed the diocesan bishop as Ordinary of the diocese.

Several neighbouring dioceses may constitute an ecclesiastical province, which is presided over by a bishop who is called the metropolitan and is an archbishop. The others are called suffragan bishops.

Bishops normally offer their resignation to the Holy Father when they reach the age of 75. When their resignation is accepted they become an emeritus archbishop or bishop. There are currently six diocesan bishops, six emeritus bishops, and an emeritus archbishop in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Bishop Stephen Lowe

Most Reverend
Stephen Lowe

Bishop of Hamilton

PO Box 4353, Hamilton East 3247

Chanel Centre, 51 Grey Street

Hamilton 3216

07 859 6989

Biography

  • Born in Hokitika, the youngest child of Milly and Frank Lowe, with two older sisters Margaret and Dorothy.
  • Educated at Hokitika Primary School, then St Mary’s Primary School. There being no Catholic College in Hokitika, he completed his secondary schooling at Westland High School.
  • Following school he worked for the NZ Forest Service in Hokitika and Christchurch and the NZ Timberlands in Timaru. During this time he became involved in his local parish in Timaru North where he was involved in a young adults group and with youth in the parish.
  • In 1989 he discerned the call to priesthood and entered Holy Cross College seminary in Mosgiel in 1990.
  • He completed his final year of seminary study at St Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia during 1994-1995.
  • Bishop Stephen Lowe was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Christchurch in his home town at Hokitika in 1996.
  • He served as the assistant priest in Mairehau, Ashburton and Greymouth parishes before being appointed parish priest of Timaru North.
  • From 2005-2007 he completed a Licence in Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
  • He was appointed to Holy Cross Seminary in 2008 where he served as Formation Director until his appointment as Bishop of Hamilton.
  • Ordained a Bishop and Installed as Bishop of Hamilton, 13 February 2015.

Bishop Colin Campbell

Most Reverend
Colin Campbell

Bishop of Dunedin

Private Bag 1941, Dunedin 9054

Catholic Pastoral Centre, 300 Rattray Street

Dunedin 9016

03 474 5750

Biography

  • Born at Otautau, Southland on 22 September 1941
  • Educated at St Therese’s Convent School and Marist Brothers’ Primary and Marist Brothers’ High Schools, Invercargill; Holy Name Seminary, Christchurch; Holy Cross College, Mosgiel
  • Obtained a Diploma in Religious Education, Corpus Christi, London; Diploma in Liturgy, Liturgisches Institut, Trier, Germany; B.A. Massey University
  • Ordained in Dunedin by Bishop Kavanagh on 27 June 1966
  • Appointments held since ordination: Assistant Priest Cathedral and Tainui 1967, Mornington 1970-1972, Cathedral 1972, Invercargill 1973-1977, Georgetown 1977-1979; Parish Priest Bluff 1979-1986, Cathedral 1986-1992, Green Island 1992-1995, Waikiwi 1995-2000. Rector, Holy Cross Seminary, Auckland 2001-2004
  • Ordained Bishop for the Dunedin Diocese at Dunedin's Town Hall on 9 July 2004
  • NZCBC representative on the International Commission for the Preparation of an English Language Lectionary (ICPEL);
  • Member of the NZCBC Commission for the Church
  • Vice-President, New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference

Bishop John Dew

His Eminence
John Dew

Archbishop of Wellington

PO Box 1937, Wellington 6140

Catholic Centre, 22-30 Hill Street

Wellington 6011

04 496 1766

Biography

  • Born in Waipawa - 5 May 1948
  • Educated at St. Joseph's Primary school, Waipukurau; St. Joseph's (now Chanel) College, Masterton; Holy Name Seminary, Christchurch (Philosophy); Holy Cross College, Mosgiel (Theology)
  • Ordained priest at Waipukurarau by Cardinal Reginald Delargey in May 1976
  • Appointments held since ordination: St Joseph's Parish, Upper Hutt 1976 - 1979; Diocese of Rarotonga, Rarotonga 1980 - 1982; Archdiocesan Youth Ministry 1983 - 1987; Cook Islands Maori Community 1983 - 1987; Holy Cross College, Mosgiel 1988 - 1991; Study in Spirituality, Institute of St. Anselm, Kent, UK 1991 - 1992; St. Anne's Parish, Newtown 1993 - 1995
  • Ordained as Auxiliary Bishop for the Wellington Archdiocese 31 May, 1995
  • Appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Wellington 24 May, 2004
  • Succeeded Cardinal Williams as Archbishop of Wellington 21 March, 2005.
  • Appointed Military Ordinary for New Zealand 1 April 2005
  • Moderator of the Tribunal of the Catholic Church for New Zealand
  • Bishop member of NZCBC Finance Committee and National Professional Standards Committee; member of the NZCBC Commission for the Church
  • President, New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania
  • Announced as Cardinal-designate by Pope Francis on 4 January 2015.
  • Elevated to Cardinal at the consistory 14 February 2015. Appointed Cardinal-priest of Sant'Ippolito Church, Rome.

Bishop Patrick Dunn

Most Reverend
Patrick Dunn

Bishop of Auckland

Private Bag 47904, Ponsonby, Auckland 1144

Pompallier Diocesan Centre, 30 New Street, St Mary

Auckland 1011

09 360 3002

Biography

  • Born in 1950
  • Educated at St Michael's school, Remuera, Sacred Heart College, Glen Innes and the University of Auckland
  • Studied for priesthood at Holy Cross College, Mosgiel. Ordained at St Michael's Church, Remuera on 24 April 1976
  • 1988-1989: studied at Melbourne College of Divinity for Master Degree in Theology
  • Following ordination, pastoral work included work with the Catholic Maori Mission, and the parishes of Mangere East, Takapuna, Pakuranga and Northcote
  • 1986-1987: diocesan director of vocations
  • 1990: Book, 'Priesthood' published in New York
  • 1992: appointed personal assistant to Auckland's bishop, Denis Browne
  • 25 July 1994: ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland
  • 24 December 1994: appointed Bishop of Auckland to succeed Bishop Denis Browne. Formally installed in St Patrick's Cathedral on 29 March 1995
  • Conference Deputy for Holy Cross Seminary, NZCBC member of Good Shepherd College Senate; member of the NZCBC Commission for the Church in Society
  • General Secretary, New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference

Reverend Rick Loughnan square

Reverend
Father Rick Loughnan

Diocesan Administrator

PO Box 4544, Christchurch 8140

Cathedral House, 2/9 Washington Way

Sydenham

Christchurch 8011

03 366 9869

Bishop Charles Drennan

Most Reverend
Charles Drennan

Bishop of Palmerston North

Private Bag 11012, Palmerston North 4442

33 Amesbury Street

Palmerston North 4410

06 357 1980

Biography

  • Born in Christchurch in 1960
  • Educated at Ilam school, St Teresa’s School, Kirkwood Intermediate and Christ’s College, all in Christchurch
  • Studied for priesthood at Holy Cross Seminary, Mosgiel and Propaganda Fide College, Rome.
  • Ordained at St Teresa’s parish, Riccarton, Christchurch on 14 June 1996 and on 28 September 1997 was received as an Ascribed member of the Institute of Charity (Rosminians).
  • Returned to Rome for post-graduate studies at the Gregorian University
  • Appointments held since ordination: Parish appointments in Hoon Hay and Bryndwr in Christchurch and in Timaru North; Holy Cross Seminary and Good Shepherd College, Auckland; Vatican Secretariat of State; Administrator of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and Parish Priest of St Anne’s, Woolston; Chancellor of the Diocese of Christchurch
  • Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Palmerston North in February 2011
  • Ordained bishop at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Palmerston North on 11 June 2011
  • Installed as the second Ordinary of the Diocese of Palmerston North on 22 February 2012
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania
  • Bishop member of the Board of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office Ltd; member of the NZCBC Commission for the Church

Bishop Barry Jones passed away on 13 February 2016. Fr Rick Loughnan has been appointed Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of Christchurch.

Officers of the NZCBC

President: Bishop Patrick Dunn

General Secretary: Bishop Charles Drennan

Vice-President: Cardinal John Dew

Emeritus Archbishop and Bishops

His Eminence Thomas Williams
Archbishop Emeritus of Wellington

Most Reverend Owen Dolan
Emeritus Coadjutor Bishop of Palmerston North

Most Reverend Peter Cullinane
Emeritus Bishop of Palmerston North

Most Reverend Robin Leamy SM
Emeritus Bishop of Rarotonga

Most Reverend Basil Meeking
Emeritus Bishop of Christchurch

Most Reverend Denis Browne
Emeritus Bishop of Hamilton

Apostolic Nunciature

The Apostolic Nunciature is a top-level diplomatic mission of the Holy See in New Zealand. Loacted in Khandallah, Wellington, it is equivalent to an embassy, however, it does not issue visas nor does it have consulates.

The head of the Apostolic Nunciature is called a nuncio, an ecclesiastical diplomatic title. A papal nuncio (officially known as an Apostolic nuncio) is a permanent diplomatic representative (head of diplomatic mission) of the Holy See to a state with the rank of an ambassador, and the ecclesiastical rank of titular archbishop.

In addition, the nuncio serves as the liaison between the Holy See and the Church in that particular nation, supervising the diocesan episcopate . The nuncio has an important role in the selection of bishops.

Archbishop Martin Krebs

The Apostolic Nuncio
Archbishop Martin Krebs

PO Box 22-004, Wellington 6441

178 Onslow Rd

Wellington 6035

04 479 1044

Biography

Archbishop Martin Krebs is also Apostolic Nuncio to the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marhsall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, Vanuatu, Samoa and Apostolic Delegate to Pacific Oceania and Titular Archbishop of Taborenta.