Christ Church in the town of Russell is the oldest surviving church in New Zealand. It was built in 1835 at a time when a visiting Charles Darwin described the then whaling town as “a stronghold of vice”.
The church was the site of Captain William Hobson’s 1840 declaration that New Zealand would be ruled through New South Wales and that he would serve as Lieutenant Governor. They were different times when you could just show up and make a proclamation like that…
Turns out it wasn’t all plain sailing for the proclaimers: in 1845, the Battle of Kororareka took place (Kororareka being the original name for Russell). The town was burned by (rightly) aggrieved Maori and the British were run out of the place, at least for a while.