Wednesday 12 July 2017

Kutarere Church - 1861


One of those rainy bleak miserable days we had recently we decided to go for a drive and on the way through the countryside I spotted this old church near Opotiki. Looking very old and neglected the Kutarere Church made around 1861 is apparently in the process of being restored by local residents.

A bit of background I found says this:
Opotiki was originally the most populous of several Maori settlements in the vicinity of Opotiki Harbour and was known as Pakowhai. It was a main settlement of the Whakatohea tribe. In August 1861 the Rev. Carl Sylvius Volkner arrived at Pakowhai to establish a mission station and, with Maori help, built a church. When the Whakatohea allied themselves with the Maori “King” movement in 1864, Volkner took his wife to Auckland for safety. During his absence Hauhau emissaries converted most of their tribe to the cause and, subsequently, the mission station was sacked. Volkner was brutally murdered when he returned in March 1865. A punitive expedition arrived by sea on 8 September 1865 and landed at the present town site. Fighting ensued and the hostile inhabitants fled. Intermittent skirmishing with the Hauhaus continued in the immediate district until about the middle of 1868. Most of the original Opotiki settlers were members of the 1st Waikato Regiment who were allotted sections.

An identical one was built which is currently being used in another town but it's nice to know this one will hopefully be looking nice and tidy again soon. 

10 comments:

William Kendall said...

It seems desolate, though that can also just be the day's weather.

Wayne said...

That's a fascinating story.I think it looks remarkably good for being built in 1861.

Sharon said...

What an interesting history for this place. It's such a tiny little church.

betty-NZ said...

I photographed that little church a couple of years ago. I'm so glad to know that it is going to be restored.

Graham Edwards said...

When I used to go 'on safari' with Pauline we used to go into an photograph churches all over the place. I've just been going through my photos (uncatalogued of course) of churches and so far as I can see I've not photographed this one but so many of those very old churches are similar (and many in a pretty dire condition).

Yorkshire Pudding said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yorkshire Pudding said...

Co-incidentally, I also took a photo of this church back in January 2012. See https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/65664476
I like the lettering on the name sign above the window. I believe that somebody used it to create a new computer font.

Angelique Jurd said...

I grew up in Kutarere and my Dad's family helped build this church. When I was a little girl we would go to Church here until they had trouble getting a minister. At that point we started going to church in Opotiki but the church was maintained and used on occasion for weddings and things.

Anonymous said...

Sadly still not restored. Some of the interior pews were donated to the Opotiki museum for one of their current displays.

Unknown said...

Stopped for a few photos on 23th July 2020. Honestly looks like it is circa 1861 rather than 1861. Do love the etched butterfly window glass.

Orange

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