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Samuel Marsden Memorial Church

When we first came up to the far north on holiday in April 2018 we drove through Matauri Bay and just before the road to the beach and campground there is this small church with a Maori urupa attached to it.

It's named after Samuel Marsden, the first missionary to New Zealand who came here in 1814 to minister to the Maori people. Accompanying Marsden were missionaries Thomas Kendall, William Hall and John King and their families; John Liddiard Nicholas (author of Narrative of a Voyage to New Zealand”) and Ruatara, Hongi Hika, Korokoro, Te Nganga, Tui and Maui.

The great Ngapuhi war chief, Hongi Hika welcomed Marsden and his colleagues with haka (war dances), inviting them to a feast. They spent the night with Hongi Hika and his people at Putataua Bay before continuing to Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands to establish the first mission station.

The small Anglican church beside the road, some 400 metres before the beach, is the Samuel Marsden Memorial Church, named in honour of the miss…

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