Story: Missions and missionaries

Death of Völkner

Death of Völkner

On 2 March 1865 the missionary Carl Völkner was killed outside his church at Ōpōtiki. Some of Völkner’s Māori congregation had become followers of the Pai Mārire religion and were angry at his support for the settler government’s campaign against the new faith. They told the government that Völkner had been killed 'in the same manner as has been ordained by the Parliament of England, that the guilty man be crucified.' In fact Völkner had been hanged, because he was spying for the government. This 1865 engraving shows a group surrounding the fallen Völkner. His church, on the left, still stands and has a memorial to him.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0033-1865-47-080-2

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 - Decline of missionary influence', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

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