From the outside you'd never guess the rich history and story behind Ōtaki's Rangiātea Church. It took 1000 men to build it 170 years ago, and that was just the first time around. Kāpiti News reporter Rosalie Willis goes inside a local icon.

Situated on the aptly named Te Rauparaha St, in Ōtaki, the oldest settlement in Kāpiti, Rangiātea Church is steeped in rich Māori and European history.

It was the celebrated Ngāti Toarangatira chief Te Rauparaha who commissioned the building of the church alongside firm friend and English missionary Octavius Hadfield.

The church was finished with help from Samuel