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St Joseph's Pāuatahanui is a part of St Theresa's Parish. It is used

for weddings, funerals, baptisms and Christmas Carols in December.




St Joseph’s Catholic Church is a church and graveyard with spiritual, heritage, and cultural significance to the St Theresa’s Plimmerton Parish, the Pāuatahanui district and the Wellington region.

The church was established in 1878, has a Category One Heritage NZ status and is the first Catholic Church built in the Porirua Basin and the second in the greater Wellington area.  A graveyard surrounds the church, which includes graves of early settlers and their descendants.

As part of the Catholic Parish of Plimmerton, whilst no longer used for regular parish worship, St. Joseph’s is available for parish activities including weddings, funerals, baptisms, and the annual Christmas Carols in December.  The church also welcomes public hire for personal, non-denominational and community events.



We ask those hiring the venue to respect the spiritual and historical nature of St Joseph’s.


The church may be hired for weddings with a valid marriage license.  Ceremonies are to be conducted by a recognised Catholic celebrant for Catholic liturgies, and a recognised religious or civil celebrant for other ceremonies.

Confirmation of bookings is at the discretion of the Parish.


Other services

The church may be hired for funerals and baptisms.  It is expected as with weddings these ceremonies will be conducted by appropriate celebrants, and again with the permission of the Parish.

Community Hire

The venue can be hired for filming, concerts, and other community events.  It is expected this will be of a nature that respects St. Joseph’s in keeping with the guidelines above.

Viewing or a tour

If you are interested, you are welcome to make an appointment to look around, please see contact details to arrange a time.

Cost to hire

Weddings $600
Funeral and baptisms $500
Community events $300 (negotiable)

To book:



We are a small group of stewards overseeing the care and upkeep of St Joseph’s.  We maintain the property, plan the future care needs, and monitor the property’s historical context. Our mission is to care for, preserve and resource St Joseph’s and its churchyard, acknowledging the tangata whenua and early pioneer history, the church’s stakeholders and donors, while ensuring its future as a place for celebration and worship for all to enjoy.

Everyone is welcome at St Joseph’s. We invite those who have an interest in local history or caring for sacred places and would like to be involved in the events held at the church, to join with us as we develop a vibrant presence in the community.

Please enquire with us if you would like to be part of the team.

Contact details

Phone: 04 233 1279

Stewardship Committee:



As the 150-year anniversary of the church’s establishment approaches, plans are underway for how this could be celebrated. With the increased visibility of the church from SH1, we are expecting a surge in interest.

Most immediately, we are calling for archival material and memories. Collection of this material is being coordinated by Susan Bieleski. Please contact Susan on 0212974445, the St Joseph’s email, or the parish office.



We acknowledge the support of these sponsors of St Joseph’s Church:



Photos by Brian Harmer

Our History


St Joseph's Catholic Church is situated on State Highway 58 between Pauatahanui Village and Judgeford, opposite Bradey Road.

Land was bought by four local farmers for £20.
The church was designed by Thomas Turnbull and built by Blackie and Foster for £200 from timber milled locally by Woodman and Jones. Construction was completed in 1878 and the church was consecrated by Bishop Francis Redwood on Sunday 28 April 1878 as the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The porch and confessional at the west end were built and lining the interior in tongue and groove boards was completed.
The church was formally reopened and appears to have been called St. Joseph's from this time. The windows are unique in New Zealand made of transfer pictures on glass, faded but still visible with names of donor families from 1895.
The grave yard is almost full, it has graves from 1800s to present day, and now has room for small plots for cremated ashes only. The church is small and very historic. It has a small organ and bell, electricity but no water or toilets. Everyone welcome, to see inside the church please phone the Parish Office to arrange a time and key