To be a light on the hill, helping people to seek, serve and follow Christ.

History of Arohanui Village

Arohanui Family Village, an intentional Christian community village, comprising 10 townhouses and situated next to the then Methodist Church at 81 Middle Road Havelock North, was opened in October 1979, by the Right Hon Sir Richard Harrison MP.

The aim of this family village was to bring in families in crisis before marriage breakup occured, hopefully leading them to a life of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Six of the townhouses would be home for six helper families called Covenant Families, and four townhouses would be available for families or solo parents in crisis called Visiting Neighbour Families.

photograph of arohanui in 1980
Arohanui in the 1980's

The village was funded partly by the Convenant Families who had sold homes to provide finance, and partly by Social Welfare. (A minimum contribution of $10,000 was required by subsequent families wanting to join as covenant workers).

Referrals of families needing help came from local doctors, Women's Refuge, social workers and by word of mouth.

These families were offered practical help and provision such as furniture, low rent and foodstuffs, as well as counselling (marriage and otherwise) and budget help. There was a shared meal every week and a 20 minute devotional time morning and evening as well as a weekly Bible study group. Visiting Neighbours were encouraged to attend any or all of these. But none were compulsory.

Many families were helped and many lives changed. Children thrived in the stable environment.

Ably led, intially by the Reverend Edgar and Judy Hornblow and family (whose vision it had been) and the Reverend John and Eve Bennett and family, the community later became a team led ministry, with equal responsiblity and job sharing falling to all convenant members.

For those who were convenant members it involved commitment to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, commitment to one another and commitment to those in need of help and support.

The Covenant Community as such was disolved on 6 June 1991. A caretaker group carried on until 1992. The concept of "Intentional Community" was again explored in 1994, but failed.

The Village townhouses since that time have been administered by Arohanui Church as rental accomodation. They are still meeting the needs of a variety of people facing challenges in life.

81 Middle Road
Havelock North, New Zealand
Phone: 06 877 4191      Fax: 06 877 2433