Popular Rotorua vicar Tom Poata has said he will apologise
after he admitted being drunk at a meeting with a grieving
The vicar has been slammed by the family after he discussed
funeral plans with them while intoxicated.
Rotorua real estate agent Dave Patterson told The Daily Post
his family were still trying to come terms with what happened
the day after his father John died on May 24.
Mr Patterson said his family's vicar was away and Reverend
Poata, the Anglican vicar at St Faith's Church in Ohinemutu,
At 5pm on May 25 the Pattersons arrived at Mr Poata's to
discuss funeral plans "and that's when all hell broke loose".
"It was obvious he was drunk, you could smell it on him."
Mr Patterson said Mr Poata couldn't sit still. When the
family mentioned they were Presbyterians Mr Poata blurted out
"bloody Scots" at least three times before grabbing his
mother's arm and saying "don't you let them bully you".
Mr Patterson said Mr Poata repeatedly asked the family who
was going to do the eulogy, if his father was being buried or
cremated, and talked about "going home for a drink" at least
three times. Mr Patterson said his family left feeling
disgusted and humiliated.
"We don't want his happening to any family again ... It was a
Mr Patterson said the family had contacted the Anglican
Church, saying Mr Poata needed help.
"All we asked for was an apology but we've heard nothing,
that's why we went to the press," Mr Patterson said.
Mr Poata was unable to be contacted yesterday. However, he
was reported on stuff.co.nz admitting he had been drinking
and was in the process of writing an apology.
"I had a meltdown. A very dear friend of mine, one of my
longest-lived friends, had died in Sydney ... I live alone,
so I took a drink - but one wasn't enough. I had another,
"Sadly, during that confusion and emotion, I think I somehow
lost myself in my glass. I was very upset. I was drunk and
emotional," Mr Poata told the Waikato Times.
Bishop of Te Manawa o Te Wheke, the Right Reverend Ngarahu
Katene, was out of town when called by The Daily Post.
Bishop Katene told The Waikato Times he had initiated
disciplinary proceedings and had asked Mr Poata to apologise
and was surprised he had not.
- Matthew Martin of The Daily Post