Our Stories

Caring for our Awa: Kaitiakitanga

We have adopted a little creek that runs next to our church and have initiated a creek restoration project. We think caring for earth starts in our own backyard.

Caring for Creation is one of the Presbyterian Church’s five faces of mission.

In mid-2017 a workday held to tidy the church grounds led to the discovery of a potential restoration project on adjacent Dunedin City Council land, through which School Creek runs. It was noticed that space left behind after pines were removed from the council land was rapidly filling with native plants.

We decided to create a public track through both the council and church land, so people could appreciate the beauty of the creek and bush environments.

We formed a group to tackle the necessary planning and funding applications and to access expert help in native planting. The local primary school environmental group joined in helping with stream care, rubbish removal and pest control. Native plants are planted during Matariki celebrations each year.

This little creek is showing signs of life and is breathing again. Some native birds and kōura (crayfish) are showing up, and rare native fish was spotted.


During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world, we learn about those who came before us, our history and our family. Matariki signals growth, it’s a time of change, a time to prepare, a time to celebrate the future, a time of action and a time to acknowledge what we have and what we have to give. Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year.

We celebrate Matariki with lots of fun events and activities for the whole whānau including a Matariki service of worship. Events include Waiata Workshop, School Creek Native Tree Planting, Concert and Devonshire Tea, Lounge Concert and kapa haka performance from a local school group.

We partner with Puaka Matariki Dunedin City Council.

‘Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.’ Psalm 145

Remembering Parihaka - Maungārongo Ki Te Whenua

On 5 November 1881, government troops invaded the settlement of Parihaka to arrest its leaders and many of its men. Homes and cultivations were burned, and livestock destroyed and some women were hurt. The New Zealand Parliament passed special laws to enable the ploughmen of Parihaka to be imprisoned without charge. No trials were held. Many were sent on ships to Dunedin to undertake hard labour. Evidence of their prison labour can still be seen in places like Dunedin.

Leaders Te Whiti o Rongomai, Tohu Kākahi and the people of Parihaka found a peaceful way to strongly resist and protest the injustices they faced. The bible was a source of hope and inspiration during a time of great injustice.

The message of Parihaka is a message of peace.

Each year we host a Season of Peace here in Otēpoti Dunedin which includes acknowledging the people, story and memory of Parihaka. Events vary from year to year and include a Dawn Commemoration Service at the Rongo Stone, Peace Art Exhibition showcasing art items reflecting the theme of peace, Hīkoi around key land sites where Māori prisoners worked and planting and upkeep of the Parihaka Memorial at the North Cemetery.

We consult a wide range of people including the University of Otago, Ngāi Tahu, Christian groups and work closely with both the Parihaka Network and the Parihaka Papakāinga Trust.

Being Presbyterian

We are a member church of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, and we share the core values of Presbyterianism.
We believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to and through God’s people.
We believe that we are always growing in our faith and our love of God.
We believe that we are members of the Body of Christ.


Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
Southern Presbyterians
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership