The Archbishop of York, the Most Rev Dr John Sentamu,
highlights the need to fight against poverty, during a
symposium yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
To overcome poverty, we must first ''overcome our poverty
of vision'', the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev Dr John
Sentamu urged in Dunedin yesterday.
In a hard-hitting address to a University of Otago symposium
on poverty, Archbishop Sentamu, the second-highest ranked
bishop in the Church of England, warned poverty was growing
in parts of the developed world, including Britain.
And poor people in some developing countries were being
''robbed twice'', he said.
Some big multinational corporations were not paying fair tax
rates in those countries, he said, and some corrupt officials
were also lining their own pockets at the expense of the
Such manipulative tax practices and other abuses were
reducing the funding which the poor should be receiving for
healthcare, education and other services, as well as to
support local jobs and a more sustainable economy, he said.
''To overcome poverty, we've got to overcome poverty of
''Every person matters and none is expendable.''
Archbishop Sentamu's keynote address began a one-day
symposium, titled ''Poverty, Global and Local'', at the
University of Otago yesterday morning.
And he gave his talk, titled ''Tackling Poverty: How can
Churches have a long-term impact?'' to about 50 people at St
Margaret's College, a university college of residence.
Poverty was a major worldwide issue, and in Britain he urged
a return to the vision of inclusive social justice that had
inspired the founders of the British welfare state.
Although British residents were in real terms now four times
better off than they were in 1948, many people were
nevertheless experiencing poverty and social exclusion.
He emphasised the importance of the Church of England acting
locally, as well as internationally, and also highlighted the
importance of the campaign for a living wage in Britain,
including in his home city of York.
It was the first city in Britain to adopt a living wage
policy and he noted the living wage campaign was being
promoted in New Zealand.
Despite the size and complexity of poverty issues, he
remained optimistic about promoting the ''wonderful message
of Jesus'' and the Church's role in giving a voice for those
made ''invisible and voiceless'' by poverty.
The world was ''so beautiful and wonderful that everyone
should be enjoying it''.
He has been made a Fellow of St Margaret's College, and is
spending two weeks in Dunedin as the Harold Turner Visiting
Fellow at the university's Centre for Theology and Public
• Archbishop Sentamu also took part in a public discussion at
All Saints' Church, Dunedin, at 4.30pm yesterday.