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Wednesday, 22 May 2019 10:39 pm

Niuean congregation may be homeless

May 2nd, 2018 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, News, Top Picture

A Niuean church congregation in Kilbirnie may have to find a new home unless it gets more people involved.

The Presbyterian Church building built in 1904 needs earthquake strengthening.

The Niuean congregation was invited to use the premises in 2012 when the Presbyterian Church they were using in Newtown was closed in 2011.

However the regional authorities, The Presbytery Central, allowed the relocation with the promise that the church would work on their missions and activities within the community.

Church representative Fiona Hoang, right, says they have eight missions ranging from craft mornings to teaching Niuean song and dance.

Kaibosh food distribution and developing the space into an area for emergency preparedness are also being planned.

Ms Hoang says the church needs people to help.

“Once we get a handful then we can run one programme and then another. Once it is buzzing and people know, people will fight to keep the asset.”

She is not concerned on people joining the church and says that is up to them.

“All these things give life to the buildings and then give life to the communities.”

As tenants of the space, the church community is not allowed to fix the leaks or complete the painting of the exterior.

Hoang says that 99.9% of churches are gifted a church to maintain and look after but because there is no congregation owning it there is no one doing the repairs.

The Presbytery Central is aware of the repairs needed.

“They see all the negatives but they don’t see how in spite of that, the Kilbirnie and Niuean congregation are willing to make use of it and willing to develop it,” says Hoang.

Presbytery Central wants to close the church for earthquake strengthening, but says the decision hasn’t been made on what will be done on the building.

Reverend Peter McKenzie, executive office of Presbytery Central, says there are no committed plans.

“We are facing that problem with a number of churches within our region where the buildings simply can’t be used until they are fixed up,” says Reverend McKenzie.

“We are seeking to help them find a place where they can worship in the interim.”

Reverend McKenzie says there have been some churches that have offered to share their premises, but has no confirmation in these early stages.

Original church building which still stands


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is looking to change the shape of te ao Māori in mainstream media having previously studied at Massey University, completing a Bachelor of Communications.
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