Talofa lava, Kia Orana and Welcome
We are the Pacific Islands’ Presbyterian Church, comprising of Samoans, Tokelauans and Cook Islanders’. Ole Ekalesia Perepereane Samoa ma Tokelau, ma le atu Kuki.
is to teach that “Christ is the Head of the Church and we are servants to do His work” through our languages and cultures.
Samoan: O Iesu ole Ao ole Ekalesia, a’o tatou o ana auauna e galueina lona finagalo.
Cook Islands: Kia Apii – Ko Iesu Mesia te Upoko o te Ekalesia. Ko tatou te au tavini no te rave i tana au angaanga.
is that we continue to be a thriving and welcoming church for the community.
Samoan: Ia avea le PIPC Newtown o se Ekalesia ola ma fiafia mai iai tagata.
Cook Islands: Kia riro PIPC Newtown ei ngutuare ariki e Te umumumuanga no te ititangata.
In the early 1950s Pacific Islanders, including many Cook Islanders and Samoans, began to migrate to Wellington, and worshipped at different parishes. Some worshipped at the Terrace Congregational Church under the guidance of Rev. Lloyd Gammon and his assistant, Pastor Roro Rongotaua. Others worshipped at the Cambridge Terrace Congregational Church.
Rev. R. L. Challis who had been a missionary to the Cook Islands was able to bring the Pacific Islanders together in Wellington.
In 1953, Pacific Islanders were invited to unite at the Newtown Congregational Church. Rev. Tariu Teaia was ordained as the first Pacific Island parish minister. During that year, the church was renamed the Pacific Islanders’ Congregational Church (or PICC) – the first of its kind to be established in Wellington.
In 1957, with the increase of Pacific Islanders migrating to the Capital, Rev. Pepe Nokise was called to join Rev. Teaia in Newtown.
In 1963 Rev. Teaia passed away. Rev. Ta Upu Pere was called to Newtown to work together with Rev. Nokise in 1964.
Rev. Challis would regularly visit to discuss the feasibility of either remaining as a Congregational Church, or becoming part of the Presbyterian Order.
In 1969 the Pacific Islanders’ Congregational Church officially became part of the Presbyterian Order. It then became known as the Pacific Islanders’ Presbyterian Church (or PIPC).
The Niuean community was increasing in numbers. In 1970, Rev. Lagi Sipeli who was an ordained associate minister at PIC Auckland, was called to Newtown to minister.
In 1977 Rev. Sipeli and the Niuean side of PIPC joined the St James parish in Newtown, where he continues to serve as parish minister.
In 1978 Rev. Ta Upu Pere was called to Tokoroa PIC, where he ministered until his passing away in 2002.
Another Minister was now needed to work with Rev. Nokise. In 1980, Rev. Jimmy Kiriau was called.
After Rev. Nokise’s retirement in 1981, Rev. Kenape Faletoese accepted the call and joined Rev. Kiriau to become the parish Ministers in 1982.
In 1986 Rev. Faletoese was appointed as the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. In 1989, Rev. Kiriau resigned from the ministry.
In 1990 Rev. Va’alotu Solofa was called to the parish after serving as a minister in Pukerau. In 1997, Rev. Solofa left to become an associate minister at the St Johns Presbyterian Church in the heart of Wellington.
As the parish commenced their search for a new minister, the presbytery appointed Rev. Ron Bichan and Rev. Setu Masina to oversee the running of the church. Although both had recently retired, they willingly accepted the opportunity, and guided the church through that challenging period.
In 2000 Rev. Tauinaola Tofilau was called to Newtown after being appointed by the Maori Synod to serve the Maori people of the Presbyterian Church. He is presently our parish minister.
In 2001 Rev. Toko Ine from Auckland was called by the Wellington Presbytery Cook Island Ministry to serve the Cook Island members of Petone, Porirua and Newtown PIPC parishes.