Story: Missions and missionaries

Rangiātea church

Rangiātea church

The beautiful church of Rangiātea at Ōtaki, on the Kāpiti Coast, was built between 1844 and 1851. Ōtaki was the site of a Church Missionary Society mission headed by Octavius Hadfield. He had a close relationship with the Māori people, and the chief Te Rauparaha led the building of the church, although he had not converted to Christianity. Soil brought by the Tainui canoe from the sacred altar of Rangiātea in Polynesia was buried under the altar. The original church was burnt down by an arsonist in 1995, but a replica opened in 2003.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: D-010-002
Artwork by Charles Decimus Barraud

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Peter J. Lineham, 'Missions and missionaries - Māori converts', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 June 2024)

Story by Peter J. Lineham, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 8 Aug 2018