Hiona St Stephen’s Church

Church in Opotiki

St Stephen's (1862) is a white wooden Anglican church with a timber-lined interior and tukutuku (woven flax) panels in the sanctuary. Reverend Carl Völkner, known by the local Whakatōhea tribe to have acted as a government spy during the New Zealand Wars, was executed by Māori here in 1865. In 1992 the governor-general granted Mokomoko, the man the government in turn hanged for his 'murder', a full pardon, which is displayed in the lobby.

The church is usually locked unless a parishioner is present, but the lobby (with the pardon) is kept open most of the day – you can peer through the glass doors into the church.