George Adam Kissling - New Zealand: Te Araroa

George Adam Kissling - New Zealand: Te Araroa

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When he returned to England, George Adam wrote:

"With a sheltered constitution I travelled form place to palce in England till your committee at last resolved to send me to New Zealand. Willingly I relinquished a precious charge in Africa to try my hands in a healthier climate on the rough and fallow ground of the Maori race."

He had suffered badly with the Yellow Fever in Africa, and he continued:

"In 1840, the Local Committee set me apart for the Jinneh Mission with the Rev C.F. Schlanker and Samuel Crowther for my assistants; but whilst we were preparing for this undertaking and learning the language of the country, the yellow fever which made such fearful ravages at that period among the Europeans and natives in the Colony, seized me also and brought me to the brink of the grave. It pleased God to spare my life in the midst of the dying and the dead; but my strength was so entirely taken from me that a removal to England became absolutely necessary. The effects of that illness have never entirely left me."

In England his second son George Schwartz was born on 15 September 1841 in Welton, Yorkshire.

Before he left England George Adam was ordained into the Priesthood of the Anglican Communion in St. Paul's cathedral by the Bishop of London on december 20th 1841.  Then, at the direction of the Church Missionary Society, he left with his family for New Zealand in the ship "Louisa Campbell" on the 8th January 1842.

George Adam Kissling and family arrived in New Zealand in 1842.

Shortly after Mr. Kissling's arrival at Te Araroa many native families dispersed to their own lands. It became a strict practice among them, however, to return each Sunday for the church services. He had a nice garden and orchard and ran cows on an adjacent area which he leased from the natives. J. G. Baker says that he met with much obstruction from Iharaira te Houkamau, whom he describes as “a blustering chief residing at Hicks Bay.” Becoming ill in February, 1846, Mr. Kissling went to Auckland. His doctor would not permit him to return to the East Coast. When his health was restored he took over the administration of the Maori work at Kohimarama, and became the minister of the Church of St. Barnabas. In 1852 he was appointed Archdeacon of Waitemata and placed in charge of St. Mary's, Parnell. He died on 10 November, 1865.


Known to the natives as “Kihirini,” the Rev. George Adam Kissling (born at Murr, Wurtemburg, on 2 April, 1805) joined the Church Missionary Society in 1833. Four years later he was sent to Liberia (West Africa). His pupils at Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone, included the negro ex-slave who, upon his baptism, took the name “Samuel Crowther” and who, ultimately, became a bishop. Upon Mr. Kissling's return to England he was ordained and, in 1842, sent out to New Zealand. Mrs. Henry Williams, in her diary, describes him as “an old German missionary,” and Mrs. Kissling as “a well-educated Englishwoman.”