News and Events



By Sr Anne Powell rc


Recently (on 31 May 2017), Dr Rebecca Miller, Programme Manager, for People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons, Immigration New Zealand, met for an evening with the members of ANZRATH.


This is the Wellington based group of Religious and friends who work against human trafficking and exploitation.


Our conversation was very informative and inspiring. Dr Miller made several points which made us realise increasingly the extent of labour exploitation in NZ and the intimidation and coercion which often accompany this. With immigration being an issue for the General Election in September, we wanted to hand on some of the points made by Dr Miller.


  • Up until 2009, the NZ Government position on trafficking was largely one of denial about it happening here.

  • Trafficking is part of a continuum of exploitation. For example, people experiencing substandard conditions in labour exploitation compared with people in circumstances of human trafficking. This involves manipulation of the victim resulting in the serious undermining of the victim’s personal freedom and ability to make choices for themselves through forms of coercion or deception.

  • Most trafficking and exploitation cases detected to date have involved migrants from the Asia-Pacific region travelling to New Zealand willingly in order to work and have a better life.

  • There is a strong trend noticeable in which migrants are deceived by a promised pathway to residency. There are numerous cases of migrants being exploited within their own ethnic communities.  Deception, coercion and intimidation are achieved through debt bondage, withholding passports, intimidation or manipulation of immigration status. The offending community can be very threatening.

  • Some migrants are prepared to “do anything” on the promise of residency, citizenship or the promise of a new life for their families.

  • Victims often fear coming forward and speaking out because it may worsen the intimidation.

  • Initially, Immigration NZ worked more closely with NGO’s and faith based groups. Now, the private sector is more engaged. EG Transparency International Survey will be published 14 June 2017.


Dr. Miller remarked that immigration will be a significant issue in our coming General Election. Therefore, we need to ask ourselves: “what kind of country do we want?”


In response to the question what can groups /people like us do regarding trafficking and exploitation in New Zealand, she said: “Don’t underestimate the power of educating ourselves and building awareness more widely in New Zealand.”




We encourage you to try to get to this coming event on

Monday 25 September, at 7 30 pm.  Hosted by ANZRATH.


Dr Rebecca Miller and Peter Devoy, Immigration NZ will be the speakers.

The venue is the Anglican Church Annex, the corner of Main Road and Lyndhurst Street, Tawa.



Preparing for the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola  – 2017

Here is an invitation to participate in 31 Days of inspiration and reflection ending on the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola on 31 July.


If you sign up for this, you’ll receive 31 days of prayer centred messages in your inbox, one each day. Go to


Let’s anticipate good fruit from this opportunity to nourish our souls and transform the world.





“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter letting him encounter them;

I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.”

Pope Francis –The Joy of the Gospel

The Cenacle Retreat in Daily Life Team gathered at the Cenacle in Waikanae at the end of November to reflect on their ministry of the year and to prepare for 2017.

We were aware of the many uncertainties and vulnerabilities which people face: earthquakes, floods and their consequences regarding buildings, dislocation of communities, jobs, insurance costs, health concerns and limitations, social and spiritual loss and global uncertainties.

As we considered 2016 from the perspective of the Retreats in Daily Life, we felt gratitude for the participants who committed themselves to a week of guided prayer. As one person expressed it “wrinkles fell away”, there was the “thrill of discovering the person of Jesus in a new way”, and for others, issues resolved by praying the Gospel in the midst of everyday life. “I was aware of changes in myself as I went to work as the retreat progressed; I became less protective of my own time and more generous to others at my work”. These retreats which are an adaption of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola continue to be a powerful experience in people’s lives.

It is a privilege for the Team to enter into the faith community of a parish, be warmly welcomed there, and accompany people in a retreat.


The Team is offering some shorter events in 2017 and are available for:

In your parish area or school- A Day or Evening of Reflection focussed on a particular theme

(e.g. Lent, Advent, Creation Day, World Day of Prayer for Peace)

A day or evening focussed on Being Human in a Time of Uncertainty

Members of the Team are:

Margaret Butler OP, Merle Hiscock RNDM, Graham Millar, Cenacle Companions Mrs Ronnie Parton and Mrs Merle Whiteman

& Cenacle Sisters Mary J Kay, Clare O’Connor and Anne Powell.

Contact Sr Clare O’Connor for further information email: