Social Justice


Dr. John Kleinsman, Director of the The Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics

Dunedin Diocese Tour 16-20 September 2019

John will tour our diocese talking to teachers, students and parishioners about the Nathaniel Centre’s work and why it’s important as well as some of the current ethical issues on rights to life.

ABOUT JOHN KLEINSMAN: Dr John Kleinsman has worked at The Nathaniel Centre since 2001 and was appointed Director in May 2010. He brings a varied background of community experience to his work in bioethics as a result of previous employment in the disability support and drug and alcohol rehabilitation sectors.

His PhD research focuses on the potential contributions of contemporary 'thinkers of the gift' to a renewed theology of procreation and the implications of this for ethically evaluating the transmission of human life in an age of assisted reproductive technologies. John also holds a Master's degree in moral theology from the University of Otago.

John was previously a member of the Central Region Health Research Ethics committee and serves on a number of other ethics committees and advisory committees. He continues to teach part-time for The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand as a lecturer in moral theology and ethics.

John is married to Kerry and they have three children.

John’s Tour Schedule:

Monday 16th - Invercargill

·       Verdon College students 2:00 – 3:00pm

·       Verdon College, teachers only session 4:30-6:30pm

·       Parish session, St. Patrick’s Georgetown 7:30 - 8:30pm (koha)

Tuesday 17th - Gore and Alexandra

·      St Peter’s College students 8:15am

·      Alexandra Parish & St Gerard’s School: Combined Teachers and Parish session St Gerard’s 4:30-6:30pm

Wednesday 18th - Oamaru

·       St Kevin’s College students 12:00 – 3:00pm

·       St. Kevin’s College Combined Teachers and Parish session 4:00 - 600pm

Thursday 19th - Dunedin

·       Kavanagh College students  12:00 – 3:00pm

·     St. Bernadette's School, Teachers only session 4:30 – 6:30pm

·       Parish Session - Mercy Room, South Dunedin (40 Macandrew Rd) 7:30 - 8:30pm (koha)

Social Justice Hui - 23rd March 2019

Prayer, song and stories filled Burns Lodge at Holy Cross on Saturday March 23rd, as 60 people from around our Diocese gathered for a Social Justice Hui.  The hui was inspired by Oscar Romero’s first ever feast day that was celebrated the next day.  While our hearts were heavy with the terrorist events in Christchurch, it was a safe place to share our pain while focusing on hope.  Sr. Ann Gilroy gave us a session on Oscar Romero asking us how we can awaken to justice in our own time and place encouraged by his example.  Jo Bell gave a session to senior primary pupils on ‘being the change you want to see’ in our world.  We heard from the children and also some secondary pupils from Verdon, Logan Park, and Columba Colleges.  It was inspiring to see a how the love of justice is strong in our children and young adults and they all asked us to listen to their voice, which is not the voice of the future but of the now.  There were stories shared from around the diocese about important grass roots initiatives that are happening to bring about God’s Kingdom here in our patch of the world.  Prayer and singing were also a large part of the day, for to do this work of bringing about God’s justice, we must be rooted in our hearts of faith. 

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Volunteers - would you like to be part of the Manaakitanga Community Engagement Pōwhiri team welcoming people, including former refugees and migrants, to Dunedin?   

Tucked away, up a long drive in a suburban street in Kaikorai, Dunedin there is an amazing treasure- Araiteuru Marae, one of the first urban marae in New Zealand.

We are partnering with Araiteuru Marae, Dunedin Churches Welcome Refugees, Dunedin Multi Ethnic Council, Red Cross, Otago Muslim Association and other community groups and volunteers, to invite all people, but particularly those new to Dunedin, including former refugees and migrants, to participate in a uniquely New Zealand pōwhiri welcome. It’s also an opportunity to share time, food and cultural activities together-  celebrating  our ethnic,cultural and religious diversity. It’s about building our sense of belonging and community.

Kotahitanga, Mohiotanga me te Rangimarie mō ngā iwi katoa puta noa I te ao

Unity, Understanding and Peace for all the people of the world

The second year of the three year pilot programme is underway.Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive:

Beautiful, I can’t say much more than that.

What a marvellous and deeply spiritual experience. I would like to be part of the welcoming team in the future.

Thank you for making us feel welcome.

What’s involved for volunteers?

- A two hour initial training session which also includes joining in an exuberant waiata practice. It doesn’t matter if you can’t speak Māori- the main thing is a willingness to participate.

- Being welcomed onto the marae yourself if you haven’t previously participated in a pōwhiri at Araiteuru Marae

- Helping out at some of the pōwhiri - being part of the team offering manaakitanga. The pōwhiri are held  4 times a year, on a Saturday, with volunteers being present at the marae from 9:30am through until about 2pm .

If you would like to know more please contact Lynne Toomey ph 021 043 0536 or email

JustPeace Dunedin

 Doing justice, loving mercifully and walking humbly with God ( Micah 6:8)

There is a new Dunedin Justice and Peace Committee called JustPeace Dunedin starting up in our Diocese. Meetings are held at 7pm on the last Thursday of every month at the St. Patrick’s Community Centre, 42 Macandrew Rd.  Please come and join us or contact Lynne Toomey ( or Jeremy Simons ( for further details.



Catholic Social Teaching Resources

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development. We are working on behalf of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief. Click here

Pax Christi Aotearoa:

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Click here

Faith Doing Justice is a great website full of great resources on Catholic Social Teaching. Click here

 Eureka Street is a publication of the Australian Jesuits. It existed as a monthly, and briefly bi-monthly, print magazine for 16 years, commencing in March 1991. Today it exists as a vibrant online journal of analysis, commentary and reflection on current issues in the worlds of politics, religion and culture. It aims to participate in public discussion and influence public opinion regarding the Things That Matter in Australia and the world. Click here