The Catholic Diocese of Auckland is one of two original dioceses in New Zealand. Established on 20 June, 1848, the original territory of the Diocese was divided on 6 March 1980, forming the additional Diocese of Hamilton.
The Bishops’ Conference website describes the history of Catholicism in New Zealand:
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. The rest of the area was named Central Oceania.
Father Philip Viard SM arrived in Sydney in 1845. Bishop Viard was ordained as Pompallier’s coadjutor the following year and shortly after returned to New Zealand with Pompallier.
In 1846 Pompallier left for Europe and following his report to Pope Pius IX it was decreed in 1848 that New Zealand would be divided into two dioceses – Auckland and Wellington, with Wellington comprising all areas outside of Auckland.
When Pompallier returned to New Zealand in 1850 he brought French and Irish missionaries and the first Sisters of Mercy with him to work in the Diocese of Auckland.
Read more at www.catholic.org.nz/our-story/.