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of the Hibiscus Coast Parish

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Mission Statement

Karere o Te Rongo Pai.
To be messengers of the Gospel through our Faith, Love and Service.
Whakapono, Aroha, Awhina.

Geographically the Hibiscus Coast Catholic Parish covers a very wide area. It is a northern part of the Auckland Council.

The purpose of this website is to introduce you to the parish community and to help new arrivals to settle in.

There is always something going on in this parish. We have something for everyone with a great many opportunities for social and spiritual sustenance. Please feel free to contact anyone listed if you require any information about the various groups and activities mentioned in this site.

If you are new to the parish, the Hibiscus Coast and Rodney County, please visit www.rodney.govt.nz for more information on this wonderful part of New Zealand.

Our churches

Click to enlarge the photo

St. John the Evangelist

The original church was built on the present site in 1966. It had to be built to a strict budget and was still part of the Puhoi Parish until 1980 when the Hibiscus Coast Parish was formed. In 2001 the wonderful new church was built and the old church building became the Parish Hall.
Click here to locate St John's in Orewa.

Click to enlarge the photo

St. Francis by the Sea

In 1984 the church of St. Francis by the Sea was built. This was needed to cater for the growing congregation on the Peninsula. Prior to the builing of St Francis parishioners worshipped in the Stanmore Bay Community Hall, or during the summer holidays, Whangaparaoa Hall due to the influx of holiday makers.
Click here to locate St Francis in Manly.

Mass times are here.


The Hibiscus Coast Parish has its roots firmly set in the old Puhoi Parish of days gone by, so to give its history we must mention the origins of Puhoi.

This country district some fifteen kilometres north of Orewa was settled by a group of Europeans from Bohemia in 1863. They were Catholics and their faith was very strong. Initially they were given a nikau whare to live in and they set aside a small part of this for worship. Bishop Pompallier could not see his way clear to send them a priest immediately but in 1865 Father D'Acherman was appointed priest and his parish extended from Auckland's North Shore to Whangarei. As can be imagined he was only able to visit and say Mass about every six months.

In 1877 Father Adelaar became Puhoi's first resident priest but he also had 15 districts in his widespread parish and they were only able to have Mass once or twice a month. On no-Mass Sundays the people came together and said the Rosary as they had through the long months when no priest could reach them.

The Puhoi Church as it is today was built in 1881 and this was the centre of the Puhoi Parish. Smaller churches were built later at Aharoa and Silverdale.

When the little church was built at Silverdale that village was the business centre of what we now call the Hibiscus Coast. Whangaparaoa peninsula was very sparsely populated, as was Orewa.

In 1934 Father Francis Skinner came to Puhoi and over the years he came to be identified with Puhoi. He was a man of great knowledge and great charity - he gave away almost everything he had.

In 1966 the Church of St John was built in Orewa on four-and-a-half acres of land at a cost of just 6000. Father Theodore van Leishout, who was curate at the time, organised the building of the Church. It was still part of Puhoi Parish and remained that way until 1980 when Hibiscus Coast Parish was born.

Originally Whangaparaoa parishioners went to Silverdale Church for Sunday Mass. The little Catholic church there held only 30 people and had a mud floor, so some parishioners brought a sack to kneel on.

Then Sunday Mass was begun at Stanmore Bay Community Hall where numbers had built up to about 30 people in the winter of 1955, but holiday crowds made it necessary to hire Whangaparaoa Hall over the summer six week period.

Over many years parishioners saved, hoped and prayed to have a church on Whangaparaoa Peninsula, and in August 1984 Bishop Denis Browne gave permission for the building of St Francis by the Sea.

In 2001 a new church was built at Orewa to serve the needs of the area. The old church is now the parish hall and the complex at Orewa serves an estimated population 37 000; and only God knows how many of them are Catholics!

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