St Joseph’s Church was opened on January 1st, 1900. It was built by Hone Bidois and Werahiko Borrell, and was constructed from timber milled in Whakamarama. The first parish priest was Mill Hill Father Holierhoek, a renowned church builder. He and long-time Parish Priest Father Dolphyn MHM are buried in the cemetery in Pitua Rd.
St Joseph’s Church was refurbished in preparation for the church’s centenary in 2000, and is surely one of the most beautiful churches in the Diocese. St Joseph’s Church is the spiritual home for the Catholic Maori of the local area, and, like Tauranga, has been served by diocesan, Marist and Mill Hill priests.
Mass is celebrated at St Joseph’s each Sunday at 9am (except the first Sunday of the month, when Mass is celebrated at St Therese Chapel, Bethlehem Rd, Bethlehem.)
The presbytery at St Joseph’s (built 1932) is the home of the priests of St Thomas Aquinas Parish, and was refurbished in the early months of 2015.