Waikato's first female bishop

Last updated 11:16 24/02/2014

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The Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley was installed as the seventh Bishop of Waikato at a ceremony at Hamilton's St Peter's Cathedral on Saturday.

Dr Hartley is the first female to take the role and only the third woman in New Zealand to hold the post.

Saturday's service started with a procession up the hill to the cathedral before she and supporters were called into the church with a karanga. After entering the cathedral, Dr Hartley was presented with her mitre and cope, which was custom designed to reflect the Waikato diocese, in front of dozens of supporters.

A carver from Tokoroa, Lionel Matenga, made Dr Hartley's staff. A former religious adviser to the BBC, Dr Hartley was named the new bishop last year and moved to Hamilton from Auckland, where she had been Dean of Tikanga Pakeha students and St John's Theological College.

She is the first woman ordained a priest in the Church of England to become bishop anywhere in the world. Dr Hartley will lead the dual diocese of Waikato and Taranaki with Philip Richardson, the Bishop of Taranaki

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- Waikato

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