At Rangihoua Heritage Park you can explore Aotearoa New Zealand’s first planned European settlement, a place where Māori and Europeans learned to live side by side.
Rangihoua Heritage Park – Marsden Cross – Our first Christmas story
This Christian mission was established on Christmas Day in 1814 by Reverend Marsden and Chief Ruatara, who could both see the benefits of co-habitation for their people.
Many hundreds of people lived here, both Māori and European. The two cultures lived peacefully together, and the people of Rangihoua Pā were the protectors of the settlement in its early days.
The Marsden Cross memorial marks the place where New Zealand’s very first Christmas Day service was held, led by Reverend Marsden in 1814.
In 1832, the settlement moved to more fertile land at Te Puna, a few kilometres to the west.
At Rangihoua Heritage Park you can walk in the footsteps of important historical personalities and find out more about the history of this important place.