News Story

New Communication Director Will Support Congregations and Communities in New Zealand and Pacific Islands

Tania Torea, from Porirua, New Zealand, starts work next week as the Assistant Area Communication Director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pacific Area.

Tania Torea.
Tania Torea.© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

She will work closely with Richard Hunter, Area Communication Director, and Church volunteers from across the region.

Mrs Torea has a strong background in understanding Church and community issues, then bringing people together to find solutions that bless everyone involved.

Her service as a volunteer communication director for the lower half of the North Island of New Zealand, and South Island, for the last seven years has seen her make friends with many individuals in Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Jewish and other faith communities.

She has also contributed to important conversations around helping New Zealanders draw strength from each other, respecting differences, and highlighting those things that unite us.

Her volunteer work with government officials and other groups—especially around projects such as stream beautifications, tree-plantings, public area clean-ups, school renovations, and foodbank collections—have been unifying and edifying for participants.

One effort that is particularly close to her heart is the buttons project, with members and friends of the Wellington Jewish community. That long-term initiative saw participants come together regularly to clean and polish over one million buttons for an exhibit remembering and honouring the more than one million children who died in the Holocaust during World War 2.

Her new work role will expand her scope as she will be supporting leaders, members and missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific.

Mrs Torea’s focus will be helping local leaders and members identify the greatest challenges faced by the Church and our wider societies, and then to find communication-based approaches to improving individual lives and blessing families and communities.

Much of this will involve partnering with governments, other faiths and community groups to achieve positive outcomes for everyone.

Mrs Torea says she is looking forward to the challenge and hopes to have Heaven’s help to understand needs, make friends wherever she goes, and work collaboratively to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Keys in this process, she says, will be to “listen to understand, and to seek the voice of the Lord to guide us in our work.”

Hon Tim Macindoe, Member of Parliament for Hamilton West and National Party Spokesperson for Seniors, ACC and Civil Defence, said, "Tania is a listener, a thinker and a doer. What's more, she kindly brings others along with her so more good can be accomplished for the benefit of those in need and our communities."

Paul Morris, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, said, "Tania has been an important stalwart of bilateral and multilateral inter-religious relationships in the capital for a number of years. I am sure that she will bring this experience, her professionalism and committment to her new role."

Vicki Wihongi, from Hamilton, said, “Tania has a great ability to work alongside a team in a way that both builds and inspires them.”

"Tania's proactive and loving approach to the communications work in Wellington made a real difference for the Church and those she connected with," said Peter Thomson, president of the Church’s Wellington New Zealand Stake.

"We are excited to see her influence and contribution expanding to the whole of New Zealand and the Pacific."

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.