Location: Chatham Islands, New Zealand
This is a One Place Study for the Chatham Islands archipelago in the southern Pacific Ocean.
Although part of New Zealand, the Chatham Islands are located around 800 kilometers east of the mainland. There are over fifteen islands but only two, Chatham (2013 population: 600) and Pitt (2011 population: 38) are inhabited.
The Chatham Islands had its own distinct Moriori culture that branched off of the Māori culture around 1500. Unfortunately, the culture largely died out in the 1830s after Māori from the North Island invaded. The last non-mixed Moriori, Tame Horomona Rehe (commonly known as Tommy Solomon), passed away in 1933. Only around 700 people with Moriori ancestry remain and all are mixed with Māori and/or European ancestry.
New Zealand's historical censuses have unfortunately been destroyed. However, alternatives are available in the form of city/town directories and electoral rolls. Transcriptions of Chatham Islands directories can be accessed at Chatham Islands Directories.
Despite its remote location and low population, the Chatham Islands has numerous churches. These are:
• Our Lady of the Antipodes Church (Pitt Island, Roman Catholic)
• St. Augustine's Church (Chatham Island, Anglican)
• St. Teresa of Lisieux Church (Chatham Island, Roman Catholic)
The denominations listed are current and may not necessarily reflect the denominations the churches served in the past.