The Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand

When New Zealand was declared a colony in 1840, there were no more than 500 Catholics in the country. Now there are close to 500,000. Many key people, political moments, Church developments and social changes make up the story of the Catholic Church in New Zealand, one which continues to evolve as it tells Christ’s story.

History Pre 1840

In the early 1800s Christianity was introduced to New Zealand by European settlers and the arrival of Protestant missionaries in 1814.

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History Post 1840

Increasing numbers of settlers had begun to put pressure on mission stations resulting in New Zealand being made an independent vicariate by Rome in 1842.

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The Church Today

When New Zealand was declared a colony in 1840, there were no more than 500 Roman Catholic colonists.

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Bishop Pompallier

He was respected by Maori, British and European people alike because of the way he viewed and dealt with cultural and spiritual difference.

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Mother Aubert

Suzanne Aubert founded the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion, New Zealand's only surviving indigenous religious congregation.

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St Mary MacKillop

Her dream was for all children, particularly those disadvantaged by poverty or isolation, to have the opportunity for education.

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Image Credits:
Suzanne Aubert - Sisters of Compassion Archives