Futuna Chapel is an architecturally award-winning chapel showcasing Māori and Pākehā influences. Located in Karori, Wellington, it is one of the country’s most striking examples of 1960s architecture.
  • Location

    67 Futuna Close, Karori, Wellington

  • Location ID

    70

One of the country’s most striking examples of 1960s architecture, Futuna Chapel is in Karori, Wellington. Commissioned by the Society of Mary as a chapel for their spiritual retreat, it opened in 1981.

The building is notable for how it incorporates Māori and Pākehā architectural elements and influences. Internal artwork by Jim Allen is original to Futuna Chapel and has significant aesthetic and cultural value. 

The chapel was designed by John Scott, the first Māori student at the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture. It was built by seven of the Marist brothers, with the only employed tradesman being an electrician. The 8-metre-high walls, coloured acrylic sheet windows, and mosaics made for challenging work.

In 2000, developers bought the site, but following concerns about the chapel’s future, it was sold again. The Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust bought the chapel in 2003, with help from Wellington City Council. 

Its name has tragic origins, relating to the 1841 murder on Futuna Island of Father Pierre Chanel, a Marist proto-martyr of Polynesia who was later canonised. The non-profit organisation continues to care for the historic building.

Location details

Jurisdiction Wellington City Council
Permits required Private location, contact Screen Wellington
Location descriptors Churches, places of worship, historic, public buildings, stone, suburban, landmarks, chapels, suburban church.