St Josephs Church

Te Hiri Marae, Kakariki, Feilding

  • St Josephs Church. February 2012.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: A Dangerfield.
  • February 2012.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: A Dangerfield.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7188 Date Entered 23rd June 1994


City/District Council

Manawatu District


Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Reu Reu 2 G1B, Block VIII Rangitoto S.D.


This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Proposal for Classification report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

This building is historically significant locally to the Ngatirangataki people as the place which symbolises the tribes conversion and continued adherence to Catholicism. The church also has associations with the French Marist Missionary Father Delach, noted for his zeal in church building and for the preservation of Maori cultural life. A further association is with the Maori Chieftainess of the locality, Riria Tiwa, i who donated funds for the cost of the building.

The church was built in 1914 towards the end of the Marist Missionary era, and was designed by architect John Swan. Although the front porch and original decorative exterior battens have been removed, enough original fabric remains to retain modest architectural quality The interior of the church features decorative Kowhaiwhai patterns in the nave representing the hammerhead shark.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Swan, John Sydney

Swan (1874-1936) practised architecture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He formed part of the last group of architects to follow the traditional Gothic and Classical styles. He was articled to Frederick de Jersey Clere, working with Clere on many major designs such as the Wellington Rowing Club building (then known as the Naval Artillery Boat Shed, 1894) as well as smaller provincial buildings such as the Church of the Good Shepherd, Tinui. The firm was known as Clere, Fitzgerald and Richmond and was one of the most prominent architectural practices in Wellington. From 1901 to 1906 Swan was in partnership with Clere, practising on his own account from 1907. The first major design produced by Swan in this new practice was the Karori Crematorium (1907) which served to establish his architectural identity separate from Clere.

During his long and varied career Swan produced a large and wide range of work, including a number of banks for the National Bank such as the head office building in Wellington (1907), educational buildings for the Wellington Technical College with William Gray Young (1922), and a number of major buildings for the Catholic Church including St Gerard's Church, Mt Victoria (1910), Sacred Heart Convent (later Erskine College), Island Bay (1909), and Wanganui Convent (1912). He was an architect of imagination as evidenced by the design of his own house 'The Moorings', Glenbervie Terrace (1905).

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1914 -

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central region office

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.