Pukekaraka Presbytery

Convent Rd, Otaki

  • Pukekaraka Presbytery.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: V Morrell. Date: 18/11/2011.
  • .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: V Morrell. Date: 18/11/2011.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4100 Date Entered 5th September 1985


City/District Council

Kapiti Coast District


Wellington Region

Legal description

Pukekaraka No.5 Lot 1 Pt Lot 2 DP 1660 & Lot 1 DP 44700


This is the third Pukekaraka presbytery to be built on this site, since the arrival of Catholic Missionaries to the Kapiti District in 1844. The first presbytery was a simple whare built about 1846 on the hilltop at Pukekaraka for Father Jean Baptiste Comte. Services were held in another raupo structure. When the latter was destroyed by fire in 1856, the community built the existing St Mary's (registered Category I by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust/Pouhere Taonga). By then a large Maori kainga (settlement) had grown around the mission. This kainga was noted for its success with European-style agriculture. It supplied the Wellington market with produce and had its own mill. It was also noted for its support of the Kingitanga movement. The original presbytery was not replaced until 1870 when a timber house was built behind the church. The present presbytery was constructed in 1897during the ministry of Father Francis Melu.

Although this building has been repaired and extended, its appearance is substantially unaltered from when it was first built. It is a large wooden, two-storey building, with a hipped corrugated iron roof. It has an unusual verandah on the front facade, with a triple sunburst motif under the first floor balcony.

The presbytery is situated in a complex of historic structures including St Mary's Church, meeting houses, way of the cross, shrines etc. Today Pukekaraka retains its close connection to the Maori community, although the parish it serves has expanded to include others from the wider community.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1897 -

Completion Date

22nd November 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Information Sources

Historic Places in New Zealand

Historic Places in New Zealand

Patricia Adams, 'Otaki's French Tipuna, the Pukekaraka Mission', March 1986, No.12

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.