Opening Events

Cornerstone – Whare Karakia o Manako

was Blessed at Dawn and Opened to the Community

on 17 December 2016

“ko Ihu Karaiti anō hei tino kāmaka mō te kokonga”

“With Jesus Christ as the cornerstone”

Ephesians 2:20


was led by Nau Epiha and Sid Kingi.

Māori Wardens based in Kaikohe, supported by the team from Whangaroa, guided people in the darkness to parking places and Tata Morgan kept the through road from the Heritage Bypass and Hone Heke Road to Kerikeri Road with signage and traffic control.   Prior to 5am Matua Nau explained proceedings to those gathered at the gate and then led us in with his strong voice of karakia tāwhito.  We stopped alongside the wall where the building name is located at which point he asked the question: he aha te ingoa o te whare?  What is the name of the building.  The answer came in response from the minister: Whare Karakia o Manako.  At which moment the covering was removed from the sign – and from the sign at the gate – and all the lights in the building came on.

The procession of people then moved into the building and around all the rooms before returning to the Worship Area to the awaiting seats.  

After opening mihi from Nau and Matua Hohepa Epiha, Ecumenical Prayers of Blessings were offered.  Keita Hotere and Sonny Livingston of Te Haahi Weteriana (Te Taha Māori of the Methodist 

Church) led the way; Revs Kiwi Herewini and Margaret Williams for Te Haahi Mihinare (Anglican); Eljon Fitzgerald and Pa Ralph Barcelo for Te Haahi Katorika (Catholic); Andrew McNaugton, with Pru Schuller and her daughter Cassidy in support for the Baha’i’ Faith, and the Rev Amiria Te Whiu for Te Aka Puaho (Māori Presbyterian).  Mihi/greetings then continued, with songs, until word came from the kitchen that breakfast was ready.  

The first test of the new kitchen – and a different kind of menu for the cooks – was a great success.  

Thank you team.  And thanks to all of our supporters and friends.


The congregation of Kerikeri Union Church invited the whole community and friends from beyond the district to join us for the Grand Opening of our new Church and Community Facility.  It is to be Community Space with a Spiritual Heart and we wanted to really warm this heart on our opening day.

The schedule from 10.30am was:

  • Celebration Service – bringing together church and community in one spirit
  • Unveiling of the plaque
  • A dance set by DDF Dance
  • And finally lunch, with grace said together by young people from the DDF Dance group.

There were many highlights in the service.  After Pa Kakarana on the pūtatara and Wiremu Hoppi Kakarana on the pūmoana heralded the opening of the service, the cross from on top of the old church building and items from regular worship during the sojourn at the Ted Robinson Chapel were brought in.  Opening karakia/prayer (Churches Together in Northland Co-Presidents the Rev Mary Nicholas and Alex McEwing) followed and then we talked to one another about the reasons and the links that brought each person to the gathering.  That is, we made connections – whakawhanaungatanga – and it took the ringing of the bell to quieten us down.  After the President of the Methodist Church the Rev Prince Devanandan read the ideal Bible text Phiippians 4:4-9 as introduction to the theme, Toi TeRito Maihi spoke about her design for the feature window in an address she entitled “Gift”.  What a gift!  

We listened to, and joined in with, the song Beneath the Southern Cross (check out the video here).  The cross featured in the video was on site in pieces and, while the Presbyterian Moderator the Rt Rev Richard Dawson told its story, a team of young people worked with the Assembly Executive Secretary the Rev Wayne Matheson to re-construct it.  Ellen Callister whose grandparents are part of the local congregation sang the lovely Italian song Nella Fantasia, accompanied by her mother Claire Craigie.  Prayers for the Community followed – all of us focussing in silence on our hopes and longings, Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes sharing her prayer for churches and faiths in Kerikeri, Property Planning Convener Brian Stewart praying for community leaders, and Cornerstone Management Convener Michelle Tupou praying for community volunteers and groups.  After the closing blessing, in word (Northern Presbytery Moderator the Rev Margaret Anne Low and Northland Area Superintendent Rowan Smiley) and song (Mā te mārie a te Atua), we took a moment to receive greetings from absent friends and a number of people present who wished to honour of the occasion. 

With that concluded, piper Grant Robertson led us outside for the tree planting and then the unveiling of the plaque by Mikael Webster and Henry Driver.

These photos tell the story.   Click Albums and browse for more.

We really made a day of it, enjoying the beautiful location and the excellent company!