A significant new appointment has been announced in Rome overnight for the Catholic Church in New Zealand.
The Pope has appointed the Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Paul Martin, as Coadjutor Archbishop of Wellington.
In this role, he will assist the Archbishop of Wellington, Cardinal John Dew - and in time, likely replace him.
"He is well known to clergy and many people of the diocese, and will be warmly welcomed by all," said Dew.
"I am fully confident that he will lead the diocese into the future with new vision and energy."
Martin said the appointment was a surprise.
"I will be sorry to leave the diocese of Christchurch and the work we have been doing. However it is a privilege to take up this role in the Church of Wellington and I look forward to being with the people in the Archdiocese again."
Martin was made the 10th Catholic Bishop of Christchurch in 2017, and will continue as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Christchurch until the Pope appoints a new bishop for the city.