So said a great slogan many years ago, aiming to boost internal tourism.
I am not exactly the world's greatest globetrotter but I have lived overseas twice, travelled a little bit at other times to Australia, South Pacific, Asia, Britain and Europe. But only this year have I visited two of the most beautiful parts of the Blessed Isles for the first time ever.
In January it was the Bay of Islands. This past Labour weekend Teresa and I visited Coromandel for my first time ever. Just lovely - bush, green dairy pastures, sandy beaches, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove, Pauanui, Hahei, Tairua, Cook's Beach, and, wonderfully because of a splendid market, Thames. We live in an amazingly diverse country, blessed with beauty and cows. Lots of them!
This brilliant weekend followed a fascinating four days in Auckland - two at a meeting of the Tikanga Pakeha Ministry Council (TPMC - a policy making body re education and training) and two at a St. John's College Colloquium celebrating 25 years of being a Three Tikanga church.
Being Anglican in the Blessed Isles is a curious thing. On the one hand, factually, we are a church in steady numerical decline. On the other hand, experientially, we are a church working on change, seeking leaders with adaptability, flexibility and creativity. (TPMC's themes were along these lines)
The latter means we are recognising the challenge before us, recognising that we cannot do everything as it once was done and recognising that in a changing world the shape of the future church is not yet known. I sense, for instance, that the biggest change coming - perhaps a decade from now - is the end of parishes as we know them. If so, that will be because we recognise that in a world of connection possible through cars and computers, our gatherings will be determined by factors other than geography.
But our changing world is also a changing world driven by patterns of migration and of upheaval in respect of cultural hegemonies.
The Colloquium was a sharp reminder - not least to me as one of the presenters, of whom some sharp questions were asked - that in a Three Tikanga church, that is, a church determined to end Pakeha domination, it is very difficult for one or other culture not to be dominant!
But woven through the Colloquium was a reminder that the situation of our church is different to 1992: a figure of some 213 different cultures in Aotearoa NZ was mentioned, 198 of which fall under the term "Pakeha". (Apparently 14 cultures make up Pasefika and Maori is the one Tikanga with a single (though diverse) culture.) What recent migratory patterns is confronting us with is that to be Pakeha is no longer a question of what old settler families and new migrants from Britain think it means. Tikanga Pakeha is old and new European, African, and Asian: exciting and challenging!
In other words, relating the two events of last week, the future shape of our church includes the future shape of a multi-cultural church.
And yet ... a raw reality of Pakeha life is that we have a large number of congregations in which - my estimate - 98% of the faces are white and 85% of those faces belong to faithful Anglicans who will not be alive when we celebrate the bicentenary of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The sands of time are running out on us ...
Through our pleasant weekend in Coromandel, filled as it was with happy holiday makers, I reflected on what the gospel might mean in a land filled with milk and honey - the good life here is so good few seem bothered to connect with God as source of the goodness. What is our "good news" in a land already filled with goodness?
I will try to offer some semblance of an answer in a future post later this - yes, another busy - week.