Taonga Tuku Iho — Pompallier Heritage Centre & Archives
The Archives of the Catholic Church in New Zealand since the inception of the mission with the appointment as Vicar Apostolic of Western Oceania of J. B. F Pompallier in 1836; Apostolic Administrator of Auckland 1848; Bishop in 1860. By then the diocese consisted of the Auckland province only.
The Diocesan Archive is constituted under Canon Law and is responsible for ensuring that all records generated by the Bishop and his administration, as well as those of his predecessors, are preserved, boxed and listed. Every diocese is obliged by Canon Law and by the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, to create and maintain an archive.
This is to ensure that all records generated by the Bishop and his administration, as well as those of his predecessors, are “preserved [boxed and listed], transmitted, renewed and appreciated because they represent the most direct connection with the heritage of the Church Community.
Digital Exhibition - Historic photos of Totara Point
Totara Point is where the first official Mass was celebrated on 13 January 1838. Please join us for the 183rd anniversary of the first Mass at Totara Point, North Hokianga on Sunday 10 January 2021 at 11am. All are welcome to join and to participate in a shared lunch, following the celebration of Mass.
We hope you enjoy these historic photos of Totara Point.
The Heritage Centre and Archives hold a wide range of records
Research for genealogical purposes, is confined to records prior to 1900. If a person is looking for his/her own records, the Archives staff will search any time period. Microfiche is available to buy from the Archive for seventeen parishes in the Auckland area.
Contains official documents, biographical material, correspondence, and reports of the Bishop of Auckland (1838 – present day). These are arranged in groups by the names of the bishops ie Pompallier (1836 – 69), Croke (1870 – 75), Steins (1879 – 81) etc.
- Large collection of historic photographs from the 19th century onwards.
- There are photographs and other pictorial records of church occasions in various parts of the diocese, photographs of bishops, clergy, religious, and Laity.
- Photographic prints of documents and letters copied from the Archives of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in the Vatican relating to the Auckland Diocese 1836 – 1870.
Drawings of Churches, schools, and other diocesan buildings. Included in these are Pugin and Pugin plans for the Bishop’s Palace, Auckland dated 1892.
Records are both internal and external.
The Month, Zealandia, New Zealandia, NZ Catholic, The Tablet, Freeman’s Journal, NZ Catholic Schools Journal. The collection consists of New Zealand Catholic newspapers. Its use is not restricted. There is also a collection of photographs that were published in the Zealandia. Copies of photographs from this collection are available for the cost of the reproduction if the Archives has copyright to it. There are also obituaries for priests and other religious and laity.
The collection contains booklets commissioned by parishes in commemoration of significant events in a parish’s history (building dedications, anniversaries, etc.). They range from pictures and advertisements to detailed histories of the parishes. Some books mention early and/or important parishioners in their history.
Contains files pertaining to various groups, such as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Hibernians, Holy Name Society and the Catholic Women’s League.
- Metal objects such as Chalices, Bells, Monstrances, sick call outfits, candle holders.
- Pectoral crosses and Episcopal rings.
- Paintings and engravings
- Personal effects of Bishop Pompallier (1st Catholic Bishop Of Auckland) and other Bishops of Auckland.
The earliest is a Medieval Graduale dated at 1427 from North East Italy.
Services provided by Pompallier Heritage Centre and Archives
Researchers will be able to access archival material pre-dating 1930 (unless the material is restricted for reasons of privacy or fragility). Access to post-1930 material may be granted. Applications to view post-1930 material must be made through the Archive Manager.
A4 B/W $0.20/page, A3 B/W $0.50/page
A4 Colour $0.50/page, A3 Colour $1/page
Reproduction for publication of photographic images and textual records is assessed as follows: $20 per image or document for non-profit use; for trade use, by negotiation.
Acknowledgement of the source (ACDA) is required
For researchers attending the Archive, the yearly registration fee is $30.
Researchers using materials from the Archives are asked to donate a copy of their work (books, articles, class papers, documentary, etc.)
We have an annual Fee of $30 for Genealogy research. This enables you to come in and sit at the computer, write down as much information as you wish over a period of 1 hour.
It also entitles you to come in again any time over the following 12 months with a charge of only $5 each time and again you can write down as much information as you wish.
If you require printouts these are $10.50/ea, but if purchasing 5–9 we discount to $9/ea, 10–19 are $8/ea and 20 or more are $7/ea.
Certificates: Range from $10.50 to $30.00.
All price quoted above are in NZ$’s
Before the “official missionaries” came, the Catholic Church existed in this diocese as a group of people united by a common bond of belief and practice, in the persons of seamen, sawyers and settlers and their Maori converts. It was at their request that Rome appointed a French priest attached to the Marist order, Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier, Vicar Apostolic of Western Oceania. He arrived in New Zealand in January 1838 with two companions and landed in the Hokianga Harbour. His first Mass was celebrated at the home of Thomas and Mary Poynton at Totara Point on 13th January of that year.
He and his companions learned the Maori language and began by evangelising the Maori. Bishop Pompallier made several trips by ship back to Europe to bring out more missionaries and to raise more funds. He also made three voyages around the New Zealand coast establishing eight mission stations.
On 20 June 1848 the Auckland diocese came into official existence with Bishop Pompallier as its Apostolic Administrator. The settlers were demanding more time and the Maori missions suffered; Pompallier himself struggled with financial affairs and resigned in 1869 after allegations of mismanagement.
An Irishman, Thomas Croke was appointed bishop in 1870 and soon had the diocese in a healthy state, assisted by a levy on the goldfield parishes of Thames & Coromandel. After four years Bishop Croke resigned, and for five years there was no bishop, the diocese being administered by Henry Fynes parish priest of Parnell, with Fr James McDonald appointed to travel the whole diocese as Maori missioner.
Bishop Steins, a Dutch Jesuit (1879-1881) was followed by Bishop Luck, a Benedictine. He was a capable administrator who began the familiar complexes of school, convent, presbytery and church in the well established city parishes and brought more religious orders out to staff the schools and hospitals.
The first diocesan synod was held in 1884, the same year as the foundation stone for the cathedral was laid. George Lenihan, who had come out with Bishop Luck, and was a popular parish priest in Ponsonby and Parnell, succeeded him and the school system continued to burgeon. Bishop Cleary, former editor of the Catholic newspaper, “Tablet”, came to the diocese next. He spoke Maori and was a powerful charismatic spokesperson on social issues during the time of the first World war. There was a Catholic “ghetto” mentality which bred suspicion among other New Zealanders, but this was broken down during the flu epidemic of 1918, when Catholic schools and hospitals became public infirmaries.
Bishop James Liston was created Co-adjutor Bishop in 1920 with a mainly rural Catholic population of 40,000. He was born in New Zealand and was chalk to Cleary’s cheese, bookish and stilted in conversation. In a famous incident after he spoke on St Patrick’s Day of the “martyrs” of the Easter rising in Ireland, Bishop Liston was brought to trial for sedition, but found not guilty.
Fundraising through fairs, raffles, dances and card evenings got the Catholic community through the depression, but served again to isolate it. Bishop Liston established associations of lay people: – Knights of the Southern Cross, Catholic University students’ Association, Holy Name League, Catholic Women’s League and a correspondence school in religion. By the end of the Second World War he was sixty-five, and his total dedication to the church was recognised. His relationship with his clergy was autocratic, but on another level he sent personal notes to countless lay people to mark special occasions in their lives.
In 1958 Reginald Delargey became Auxiliary to the seventy-seven year old Bishop Liston and proved to be an inspiring and effective leader of lay people. He attended Second Vatican Council and on his return from Rome began to put its ideas and principles such as parish and diocesan pastoral councils into practice.
Bishop Liston (who later was given the title of Archbishop) resigned in 1969 and in 1970 Bishop Delargey inherited a Catholic population of 200,000 and set up a team to work with him – the forerunner of today’s diocesan departments. His four year impact on the diocese was brief but influential, before he was transferred to Wellington as its Archbishop, later to receive the cardinal’s hat.
He was followed by Bishop John Mackey, an academic with a gift for speaking and mediating. He successfully negotiated with the government to bring about the integration of Catholic schools with the state system of education in 1975.
Within the diocese Bishop Mackey emphasised the importance of ongoing spiritual growth and formation of priests and people in whatever groups they belonged to. He liked to be known as Bishop John, and gained Bishop Edward Gaines and retiring Bishop John Rodgers (from the Pacific) as his Auxiliaries.
In 1980 the Auckland diocese, with 105 parishes was divided into two, with Bishop Gaines going to Hamilton as its first bishop, the dividing line being a line close to the Bombay Hills, south of Auckland.
Bishop John Mackey resigned in 1982 because of ill-health and Bishop Denis Browne an Aucklander who had been appointed Bishop of Rarotonga in 1977, was recalled to take over as Bishop of Auckland. He visited every one of the sixty six parishes in the diocese in weekend meetings, mixing with the people, visiting the sick and encouraging the councils, and groups of lay people. Auckland had by then become a multi-cultural Pacific city and Bishop Denis’ Pacific experience made him aware of working towards the inclusivity of the diversity of cultures in the diocese of Auckland.
In 1989 Bishop Denis Browne held a diocesan synod, (the first to involve lay people as full members) after two years of preparation. Over the next three to four years such recommendations as commitment to a bi-cultural church and to evangelisation, youth, adult education and family were put into practice as priorities. Emphasis on social justice and small group work was also a synod feature. More and more lay people began to take leadership roles in the Auckland Diocese and its parishes.
Bishop Patrick Dunn was appointed auxiliary in 1994, and at the end of that year Bishop Denis Browne wastransferred to Hamilton as its bishop, to succeed Bishop Edward Gaines, leaving Bishop Patrick Dunn as the eleventh bishop of Auckland. He had to cope with a new wave of migrants, (mainly from Asia), an increasingly aging clergy, static Mass counts and bursting schools.
In 1998 Bishop Bob Leamy retired from the Cook Islands diocese and became Bishop Dunn’s assistant and Vicar General. Bishop Leamy retired from this role in 2013, and Monsignor Bernard Kiely was appointed Vicar General.
In 1998 Bishop Pat launched the pastoral planning process called “Shaping Our Future” where parishes and communities began to evaluate their position and look to a time when greater co-operation and collaboration of clergy and lay would be necessary. In 2003 he launched the Diocesan Pastoral Plan “That You May Have Life: Kia whai orange ai kootou.”, with an update in 2007-2009. The new diocesan pastoral plan Fit For Mission was launched at Pentecost 2014 urging people, parishes, schools and communities to look beyond themselves and reach out in witness and service.
By 2013 almost half the people in the congregations were relatively recent migrants, the first group being from the Pacific, (now into their 3rd generation) and the second group predominantly from Asia, some from South Africa. Half the priests are also from overseas. In addition more priests from religious orders and institutes are serving as parish clergy.
At the last census (2013) there were 187,959 Catholics in the diocese, although the Mass count was only 41,000. There are sixty seven parishes and fourteen ethnic communities in the diocese, forty one primary schools and sixteen secondary schools.
Shared responsibility and collaboration between clergy and laity are values which the diocese holds to. Parish Pastoral councils are mandated in the diocese to plan and work alongside parish priests, and pastoral workers or associates are employed in the larger parishes in various roles. [vc_separator]
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.
Do you have a photo, letter or story about a Catholic ancestor or friend who fought (in the forces), nursed, knitted, was manpowered, etc. that you would like to share with us. We would love to add copies of these memories (mementos) to our Catholic heritage online Archive Database. Click the Directory button to contact us.
At the age of only 17, on the 14th of August 1914 Stuart Henrys enlisted with the Expeditionary Force, being posted to D Battery, Wellington. Prior to enlisting, Mr Henrys was employed as a clerk with Dalgety & Co in Wellington. With his Battery, he served in Egypt, the Balkans (Gallipoli) and France. Following the Battle of the Somme he was sent to England to join the Officers’ Training corps. Upon completion of this training he secured his commission and returned to the Front – he was not yet 21 years of age. He was wounded in 1918 but was soon able to return to his company with whom he fought until the end of the war. He was discharged on 22 May 1919. Two years after Stuart’s return to New Zealand he took up farming in the Hunua area of Auckland and we understand he undertook this occupation with considerable success. He married Kathleen Ann Smith in 1924 at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, in the parish of Epsom. Unfortunately, he was killed in a truck accident on the 17th of March 1928, leaving Kathleen a widow with 2 small children, a girl and a boy.
Stuart Henrys, son of Joseph Edward & Nellie Henrys, was born in the Wellington District and had attended St. Patrick’s College, Wellington, where his record was “of the best”.
Are you thinking about donating items to our collection
We have always relied on donations of objects/items that help to explain/illustrate our experience of being Catholic. We are also interested in copies or originals of your photos of family faith journeys, which you are happy to share with us such as, Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Marriage, Burials, Catholic Solidarities, Clubs, Groups, Church activities such as fairs, processions etc.
Catholic Schools – first day in school uniform, class photos, fetes, sports etc
Church and school buildings
Please contact us to discuss before you send any items for donation.
Volunteers make a major contribution to heritage organisations and the lives of those who access these collections.
We are seeking volunteers who can assist with making heritage information more accessible creating finding aids, constructing models of church buildings for display purposes etc.
Digital Exhibition - Photos of Nativity Set created by children at Knock-Na-Gree
We thought you might enjoy these images from days gone by of children creating pieces for a nativity set.
Digital Exhibition - Bishop John Mackey
Bishop Mackey played a key role in the successful completion of the integration of Catholic schools into the state system in 1975. He travelled extensively around the world in his retirement.