St Stephens

Christianity has been an important aspect of life at Tuahiwi since the 1850s when it became incorporated into Ngāi Tahu belief systems.

The white steeple of St Stephen’s Church rises up amid tall trees surrounding St Stephen’s Church on Tuahiwi Rd. St Stephens has been part of the landscape since 1867, built under the guidance of Reverend James Stack.

The foundation for the church was laid by, Governor George Grey on 9 February 1867. The entrance to Tuahiwi and route to the church were decorated with flags and arches of evergreen and Ngāi Tūāhuriri people lined the road, giving cheers and haka of welcome. When St Stephen’s Church was officially opened seven months later, Māori from all over the province attended the celebrations.

This information has been sourced from the Ngāi Tūāhuriri: Tuahiwi and Takiwā booklet produced by the Ngāi Tūāhuriri Education Committee, 2014 and the Christchurch City Libraries website.