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Maunga Moria, Homewood

Church of the Seven Rules of Jehovah

The Church of the Seven Rules of Jehovah sits on a little hill beside the Homewood Road. at Okautete, Homewood.

It was built by the Church of the Seven Rules of Jehovah, a Māori Christian sect which was active in the Wairarapa between 1900 and 1930.

Opening of the church circa 1900
There are a number of flags flying in the foreground, including one that appears to be the Potangaroa flag.
Haimona Patete PAColl-5549-3

The church was founded by Haimona Patete of Ngata Kuia and Ngata Koata. In the 1890s he had a vision and founded the church to minister to the needs of Maori and unite all tribes in one flock.  The Church had strong links with the Church of England, and many of the services were similar, except for the Holy Communion, as they could not reconcile eating the body and blood with their idea of a divine figure.

The church had seven guiding principles: Life, Goodness, Love, Knowledge, Strength, Truth and Authority, together with sayings for each day of the week.

Monday: If the feet sin look to Life
Tuesday: If the hands sin look to Goodness
Wednesday: If the mouth sins look to Love
Thursday: If the eyes sin look to Knowledge
Friday: If the ears sin look to Strength
Saturday: If the heart sins look to Truth
Sunday: If the body sins look to Authority

The church reached its zenith in 1915, but declined in the 1920s, with the death of Haimona Patete and the rise of the Ratana Church, with many transferring to the Ratana Church in the 1920s.  The 1945 census recorded only 15 adherents, and the 1966 census, only one.

 A 1984 photo of the church by Ewen Belliss 05-39/P-C-6-1

A 1999 photo of the church 99-172

The church building was used for a time by the Anglican Parish of Tinui for services at Homewood, although it was in a very dilapidated condition. This 1999 photo by Gareth Winter shows the church prior to restoration in 2000.

The name 'maunga' is the Māori word for mountain or peak. 'Moria' appears to be a reference to the mount in the land of Moria where Isaac sacrifices his son (Genesis 22).

Sources: Gareth Winter, Wairarapa Archive
Te Ara Hou: the new society, John Mitchell and Hilary Mitchell, 1997
Alexander Turnbull Library
Te Ara


  1. His name was Haimona not Haimoana

    1. Thank you for pointing this out. I have now fixed it.


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