A masquerade ball will be held in Sydney on 13 September, to assist with the restoration of the historic and picturesque Toko Toru Tapu Anglican Church at Manutuke, Gisborne. The evening will include auctions, raffles and door prizes and authenticated Ngāi Tahu Pounamu carver, Paul Graham of Manutuke has donated some of his beautiful pounamu carvings for the Sydney auction.
The Sydney event is being held to ensure the historic and beautiful Toko Toru Tapu Anglican Church at Manutuke, will continue to be the centre of our wider community and the Anglican Pihopatanga for another 100 years. The project has been a work in progress for approximately 4 years and is now in the final stages of completion.
Stage one of the restoration project began in 2009 under the guidance of architect, James Blackburne from the Historic Places Trust. The project is now 80% complete with the final stage expected to cost approximately $350,000.
Built in 1913, this church is arguably the most historically-significant Maori church in New Zealand. Toko Toru Tapu Church combines the external look of a colonial church with a Maori carved timber interior. But what makes it truly unique is the nature of those carvings, which are quite distinct from others of the era. They are the result of a clash between the patriarch of Christianity in this district, Anglican missionary William Williams, and the patriarch of local carving, Rahuruhi Rukupo of Rongowhakaata, now regarded as the most famous of the great carvers of the 19th century.
The church has had little maintenance since the 1960′s and it was in desperate need of attention. The project has involved general maintenance along with earthquake strengthening. Key elements such as the windows have been fully restored and the old roof tiles have been replaced with a new diamond shape tile imported from the USA. The original bell tower – removed due to rot during the early 1960s – was also reinstated.
Further information pertaining to this project can be found at: