Church (Presbyterian)

997 Wainui Road, Wainui

  • Church (Presbyterian). Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Nicki-G. Taken By: Nicki-G. Date: 27/12/2007.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 486 Date Entered 25th November 1982

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Pt Allot 54 Parish of Waiwera (CT NA764/84), North Auckland Land District, and the building known as Church (Presbyterian) thereon.

City/District Council

Auckland Council (Rodney District Council)

Region

Auckland Council

Legal description

Pt Allot 54 Parish of Waiwera (CT NA764/84), North Auckland Land District

Summaryopen/close

The small timber church at Wainui reflects the expansion of Presbyterianism in settlements north of Auckland in the 1860s. The building has social significance as it has been at the heart of the local community since construction in 1867. Its history illustrates the varied functions performed by church buildings in small rural communities. The church also has significance in its connections with cartoonist Trevor Lloyd (1863-1937), who popularised the kiwi as New Zealand’s national icon.

Prior to the early 1860s, the site formed part of a holding owned by the noted surveyor and explorer, Charles Heaphy (1822-81). In 1862, Heaphy sold 104 acres to William Lamont (c.1831-94), a brickmaker from Auckland who became a prominent citizen in the district. Lamont is said to have gifted some of his land for the construction of a small Presbyterian church, a transaction that was not formalised until after his death. A congregation was in existence at Wainui by 1866, when monthly services were conducted by the Rev. John Wallace. Wallace was responsible for a charge covering the North Shore, Wade and Wainui that had been created earlier in the same year to replace direct ministration from Auckland. During the 1860s, settlement immediately to the north of the city expanded steadily, in part due to the establishment of regular ferry services across the Waitemata Harbour.

In November 1866, it was reported that ‘a small church is to be erected at Wainui, Wade district, which, when finished, will be of great service to the congregation meeting there.’ The church was opened in 1867. It was designed as a small and simple rectangular structure with a gabled roof. The church is said to have been the first public building in the settlement, erected by a local carpenter, Mr Duncan, using pit-sawn timber and hand-made shingles. Its scale and materials can be seen to reflect the pioneering nature and limited means of the settler community, which was strongly involved in the timber industry at the time.

The building was the centre of community activities, and was used as a school until a purpose-built schoolroom was erected. Perhaps from as early as 1870, it was additionally employed as a post office, with supplies and mail for the district left inside an attached porch. Events associated with the building include the marriage of William Lamont to his second wife, Mary Taylor, in 1881. Shortly before Lamont’s death in 1894, his daughter Emily married the notable artist and cartoonist Trevor Lloyd at Wainui – this occurred at Lamont’s residence, possibly due to the latter’s infirmity. The church was also employed as a polling station, and after 1928 housed the local library, which was still there in the late 1970s. The building has been a meeting place for the local branch of the Women’s Division of the Federated Farmers. The church continues to be used for religious services and retains considerable aesthetic appeal enhanced by its pastoral, rural setting.

Linksopen/close

Construction Professionalsopen/close

Mr Duncan

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1867 -

Completion Date

25th May 2015

Report Written By

Martin Jones

Information Sources

Auckland Star

Auckland Star

Auckland Star, 25 Oct 1899, p.8.

Comrie, 1939

W. Comrie, Presbytery of Auckland; Early Days and Progress, Wellington, 1939

Daily Southern Cross

Daily Southern Cross

Daily Southern Cross, 27 Feb 1868, p.4.

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald, 12 July 1932, p. 6; 28 September 1933, p. 6.

New Zealand Herald, 29 Dec 1881, p.4.

Wainui School Centennial

Wainui School Centennial, 1879-1979, Wainui, 1979.

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 Northern Region Office of Heritage New Zealand