In its former glory, the 100-year-old Hato Hohepa Church was the pillar of Kakahi society.
“The whānau use it to sleep in it, because the wharetipuna is so small,” says Alan Taumata, a kaumatua of Kakahi, by Taumarunui, “They ask me if they can sleep in the wharekarakia. I said they don’t have to ask for permission. It’s God’s house. God is our refuge.”
This year the church will celebrate 100 years. The church was completed in 1918, near the close of WW1.
It wasn't opened until a year later as the government had prohibited public gatherings on the marae through the height of the flu epidemic.
The community used their land money and it was built with local rimu.