'I'd rather die in a Māori Pā!'

How do you respond when faced with an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of the gospel?

The CCCNZ Staff Team recently took some time out to visit the grave of Octavius Hadfield, an early missionary to New Zealand. As a young man Hadfield was plagued by illness and wasn't expected to live beyond his twenties; but this didn't stop him responding to the call of the Great Commission when he came to Christ as a teenager.

In 1839 Hadfield made the journey to New Zealand as a CMS Missionary. Hadfield's boss, Henry Williams, considered his sickly condition and put Hadfield to work teaching the children of missionaries in the Bay of Islands.

When Kāpiti Māori asked Williams for a missionary to come and share the good news they were told there was no one to spare, but Hadfield was quick to offer himself, 'I can only die once and I’d rather die in a Māori pā than in a missionary’s house'. 

Despite his on-going physical suffering and pain, Hadfield remained committed to the work of the gospel in New Zealand and had a long and fruitful ministry.

Hadfield was the first clergyman to be ordained in New Zealand, and served the Kāpiti Coast for 30 years. He became Bishop of Wellington (1870-1893) and Archbishop of New Zealand (1890-1893).

He was considered an authority on Māori customs and language. Many Māori in his area became practising Christians. In the end, Hadfield outlived many of his contemporaries and died aged 84, he is buried just outside of Marton, Manawatū. For more on Hadfield click here.

CCCNZ is a movement committed to supporting churches, individuals and leaders to boldly and faithfully serve Christ in a NZ context. Maybe moving out of your comfort zone means...

  • An awkward conversation with your neighbour in hope of sparking a friendship?
  • Praying and trusting God's leading for a new ministry among migrants in your local community?
  • Inviting a workmate along to a church event?
  • Opening up the Bible with a friend over coffee? 

    We hope you draw encouragement and challenge from the story and life of Octavius Hadfield just like we did--an ordinary man who was faithful to an extraordinary God.


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