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January 1838, Michel Colombon was the first Marist brother to set foot on New Zealand soil

09/05/2004: New Zealand

New Zealand has an area of 103,736 sq mi. and a population of about 3,800,000. Our Marist Province of the same name has 120 brothers in 21 communities. 90 of them work within the country and 30 on the islands of Fiji (area of 7055 sq. mi., population 831,000), Kiribati (277 sq. mi., population 86,000), Samoa (1209 sq. mi., population 160,000), and Tonga (270 sq. mi., population 100,000). All these places form part of the same Administrative Unit. The Province is organized into two regions, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Brother Barry Burns is Provincial; Brother Henry Spinks, Regional Superior of New Zealand; and Brother Iulio Suaesi, Regional Superior of the Pacific Islands.

This Province is home to wide variety of languages and cultures, and answering the challenging call to provide a Christian education to all the children and young people in its care.
Brother Edward Clisby, who has taught in schools throughout New Zealand, Tonga, and Kiribati, researched and translated the correspondence of the pioneering brothers in Oceania, and is currently the archivist and historian for the New Zealand Province, has highlighted many interesting aspects of our Marist brothers’ presence in these countries (Refer to Marist Bulletin 123).

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