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Naumai, haeremai. Tena koutou katoa.

Welcome to the website of the sacred site of Pukekaraka and the whanau of Hato Mere/St Mary’s Parish, Otaki.


It is from here that Catholicism spread  in the early 1840s within the Wellington Archdiocese, which at that time included what is now the diocese of Palmerston North. Pukekaraka is blessed to have the oldest, still in use Catholic church in New Zealand. This building serves as a weekday Mass centre, is often requested for baptisms, weddings and funerals and is recognised as a special place for prayer.

In 2014, the parish was amalgamated with St Joseph’s Levin, but, in order to acknowledge the mana of Ngati Kapu and their place in the history of the Archdiocese, Cardinal Dew on 28th February, 2021, promulgated St Mary’s as a separate entity once again. The Covenant made with Ngati Kapu when they permitted the Church to use their land for the Mission, was renewed in December, 2020. This Kawenata (Covenant) recognises Ngati Kapu as Kaitiaki of the Mission who offer and welcome non-Maori to work with them.


The land entrusted to the Church is located next to Tainui Marae, the Turangawaewae of many from Ngati Kapu. This land contains a marae dedicated to Our Lady, Hine Nui o te Ao Katoa (Queen of the World). The Mission House is the home of Marist priests, who have cared for St Mary’s since its foundation. They now pastor Maori wherever called within the diocese. The parish is administered by a priest under the authority of the Bishop of Wellington.


The new Church was built in 1992 and incorporated the old Church which had become too small for a growing congregation.  The year 2021 is a new beginning. The parish is entrusted to a Leadership Team made up of Ngati Kapu and other parishioners. The renewed Kawenata has helped all to understand the special nature of Pukekaraka and in the future it will be promoted as the place of pilgrimage it already is.


     Alex Hakaria (Trustee)

     Mike & Debbie McAsey

     Oriwia & Wawata Raureti

     Fr Alan Roberts, Fr Phil Cody, sm. 

Mission House

4 Convent Road, Otaki, 5512

Fr Phil Cody SM

     Ph 021747998

Fr Peter Healey SM

     Ph 0273086037

Parish Priest: Fr Alan Roberts

     41 Koromiko St Otaki

     Phone 021 0822 8926


Office Manager: Stephanie Stevens

     4 Convent Rd.




Mon:          10 am Liturgy of the Word & Communion.

Tue:            10 am Mass

Wed:          10 am Mass

Thur:          10 am Mass

Fri:              10 am Mass

Sunday:     10 am Mass (for St. Stephen Kuku, 8:30 am has been canceled.)


Miha Maori on 1st Sundays of each month.


Reconciliation:      Any time by request (Communal                                                    Reconciliation each Lent and Advent)


Holy Thursday:    7.00 pm Mass of the Last Supper

Good Friday:         3.00 pm  Celebration of the Passion of                                           Jesus.

Holy Saturday:     7.00 p.m. Vigil service of the                                                             Resurrection.

Easter Sunday:    10.00 a.m.  Mass of the Resurrection.


Christmas Eve:    5:00 p.m.

Christmas Day:   9:00 a.m. (Even if it falls on a Sunday)


About Pukekaraka

A place dedicated to Mary; a place of peace, a place of pilgrimage, a place of miracles.

He Kawenata

This Kawenata (Covenant) expresses the special Relationship between Ngāti Kapu and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wellington. It outlines the mutual Responsibilities those parties have.  It renews the Kawenata first made in 1844.

Pukekaraka celebrating the history of St

For the history of St. Mary's Otaki from 1944, please click the title above.

Women Holding Hands

The Covenant in Te Reo Maori

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