East Takaka Church

East Takaka Road, East Takaka

  • East Takaka Church. From: http://nelsonsoldchurches.homestead.com/main.html.
    Copyright: Adrienne Besle. Taken By: Adrienne Besley.
  • East Takaka Church. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl. Taken By: Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl. Date: 21/08/2014.
  • East Takaka Church. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl. Taken By: Shellie Evans - flyingkiwigirl. Date: 21/08/2014.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5113 Date Entered 13th December 1990 Date of Effect 13th December 1990


City/District Council

Tasman District


Tasman Region

Legal description

Pt Sec 27 Square 11 Blk III Takaka SD



A public meeting was held at Upper Takaka in 1866 to consider the building of a church for the district and in 1868 a deed of trust was concluded providing for the land on which a church could be built, and to carry out the resolution to build the church. It is thought that the first service was held in the church in November 1868. The deed of trust provided that the church should be used for weekly worship in accordance with the ritual of the Church of England, and that it also be available to other protestants for worship with the agreement of the trustees.

There is a memorial tablet in the church to the memory of William Laurence Handcock, a lay reader and original trustee of the church, whose family had made the free gift of the land on which the church was built. The church is no longer used for regular services.

The early records of the church were destroyed in a fire and consequently much of the early history of the church cannot be verified.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The East Takaka Church has served the protestant community of East Takaka and the surrounding area for over 120 years.


A fine example of the small Gothic Revival churches built in timber throughout New Zealand in the second half of last century, East Takaka Church is also one of the oldest churches in Golden Bay.


East Takaka church and cemetery sit quietly in a mature garden setting and are not prominent in the surrounding rural landscape.


Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The East Takaka church is a small wooden Gothic Revival building, with east-west orientation. It has a pitched roof with short simple finials and sprockets which form projecting eaves. Each side wall has two buttresses, and there are angle buttresses at each of the four corners.

The double doors on the west facade are in the shape of a pointed arch, and have a decorative hood-mould. On the east end, above the altar, are three lancet windows with green stained glass in a decorative pattern. Each of these is now protected by an aluminium- framed window fitted on the outside. The north facade has a single lancet window between each adjacent pair of buttresses. The south facade also has a lancet window between the first two pairs of buttresses, while a gabled vestry is located in the third bay on that side. The vertical wooden battens of the vestry are slightly wider than those elsewhere, and the vestry window has plain glass while lead-light windows are used elsewhere. All windows have simple decorative hood-moulds. There are three circular vents on each of the north and south walls, a triangular one on the east end and a rectangular one on the west wall, all high up at the level of the eave.

The interior has exposed wall framing and rafters. Every third pair of rafters has scissor-bracing. There is no distinction between nave and chancel.


No major modifications.

c.1985 - Aluminium framed windows fixed to outside of east windows.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1868 -

Construction Details

Timber piles, timber frame with vertical board and batten cladding. Corrugated galvanised iron roof.

Information Sources

Alexander Turnbull Library

Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

TL 3/1/2, 2 June 1972

Ault, 1958

H. Ault, The Nelson Narrative; The Story of the Church of England in the Diocese of Nelson, New Zealand, Nelson, 1958

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Land Information New Zealand

CT 69/64


The Colonist

12 July 1867; 11 August 1868; 14 January 1868; 22 September 1868; 2 October 1868; 3 November 1868; 8 December 1868; 15 January 1868; 24 December 1874



6 October 1868

Motueka - Golden Bay News

Motueka - Golden Bay News

'Place in History for Quiet Country Church', 16 November 1988

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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.