St Andrew's Church (Anglican)

23 Mokena Kohere Street, Manakau

  • St Andrew's Church (Anglican). From:
    Copyright: Rachel Hamilton-Williams. Taken By: Rachel Hamilton-Williams. Date: 4/06/2007.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4070 Date Entered 5th September 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Sec 38 DP 420 (CT WN54/115), Wellington Land District, and the building known as St Andrew’s Church (Anglican) thereon.

City/District Council

Horowhenua District


Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Sec 38 DP 420 (CT WN54/115), Wellington Land District


Built in 1894, St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Manakau was designed by renowned New Zealand architect Frederick de Jersey Clere (1856-1952) and has continued to serve the Manakau community since. This church is of historical, architectural, social, and spiritual significance. It has played an important role in the community’s social and religious milestones including baptisms, weddings, and funerals since its establishment, not long after the founding of the township of Manakau in the late 1880s.

After the Wellington-Manawatu Railway’s completion in 1886, the township of Manakau was established. With the growth in the town’s population there were three practicing religions. The Anglican, Methodist, and Brethren congregations held services in different buildings throughout the town, with St Andrew’s Anglican Church being the first purpose-built church in this township. The land for St Andrew’s Church was donated by Rev. James McWilliam, a CMS missionary in Otaki. The church was erected by voluntary contributions aided with a loan from the Diocesan Pension Fund Trustees, and was opened on December 23 1894 and consecrated on Palm Sunday, April 7 1895.

St Andrew’s Church was designed in Neo-Gothic style by Frederick de Jersey Clere and is one of the smallest and simplest churches he designed, among over a hundred others of his in the province of Wellington. The church was built to seat 80 people by local builder Charles Nees, who also built the neighbouring Manakau School. The timber church has a narrow nave, a separate chancel at the east end with a lean-to for the vestry, and steeply pitched roof originally with a distinctive bell tower. The church also features decorative crosses at the west end, lancet windows, and a porch on the western aspect that moves away from the traditional Gothic style to suit New Zealand weather conditions.

St Andrew’s has been well maintained over the years. It has been repainted several times and underwent a considerable amount of repairing and strengthening in 1952. The minutes from the church vestry meetings reveals that St Andrew’s acquired a Gospel Hall previously used by the Plymouth Brethren in 1909, and moved this hall to St Andrew’s in either in 1910 or 1911, but it was blown down in a spectacular gale in February 1936. In 1913, the original church bell was given to Te Horo after a new one was donated to St Andrew’s. In 1995 the old bell belonging to St Andrew’s was rediscovered and a new belfry based on the original belfry on the roof was built and installed outside on the lawn near the church doors.

With the establishment of the Parish of Otaki, outlying vestries collapsed into one in Otaki and St Andrew’s lost a large number of its congregation. St Andrew’s today is still a functioning church and is part of the Anglican Parish of Otaki.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Clere, Frederick De Jersey

Clere (1856-1952) was born in Lancashire, the son of an Anglican clergyman, and was articled to Edmund Scott, an ecclesiastical architect of Brighton. He then became chief assistant to R J Withers, a London architect. Clere came to New Zealand in 1877, practising first in Feilding and then in Wanganui. He later came to Wellington and practised there for 58 years.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1886 and held office for 50 years as one of four honorary secretaries in the Empire. In 1883 he was appointed Diocesan Architect of the Anglican Church; he designed more than 100 churches while he held this position. Clere was a pioneer in reinforced concrete construction; the outstanding example of his work with this material is the Church of St Mary of the Angels (1922), Wellington.

As well as being pre-eminent in church design, Clere was responsible for many domestic and commercial buildings including Wellington's Harbour Board Offices and Bond Store (1891) and Overton in Marton. Clere was also involved in the design of large woolsheds in Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.

He was active in the formation of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and served on their council for many years. He was a member of the Wellington City Council until 1895, and from 1900 a member of the Wellington Diocesan Synod and the General Synod. He was also a member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.

Charlie Nees

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1884 -

Belfry removed from roof

Structural upgrade
1952 -
Extensive repair and strengthening work done

1995 -
Return of original church bell and construction of replica belfry

Completion Date

29th September 2016

Report Written By

Nicola Bowden

Information Sources

Hammond, 1994

Hammond, Sheila, 'St Andrew's Manakau 1894-1994: A Centenary Booklet', The Church, Manakau, 1994.

Rolston, 1956

Rolston, W. H., Sixty-six Years of Assembly in Southern Manawatu, W. H. Rolston, Levin, 1956.

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Central Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.