and expanded to Wellington, undertaking notable work among children, the poor and 'incurables'. Her order gained papal recognition in 1917. Catholics, with their largely Irish origins and separate education system, cohered as a distinct minority, comprising on average 14 per cent of the population.
While Methodists began as a missionary church, from the 1850s they were increasingly absorbed by their work among the settler population. Missionary work among Maori suffered a severe setback during the wars of the 1860s and only slowly recovered in the following decades. Wesleyan, Free Church, Bible Christian and Primitive Methodists came to New Zealand, with the first three uniting in 1896 and the Primitives joining them in 1913 when the New Zealand Methodist Church gained its independence from the Australasian Conference. With some 10 per cent of the population, Methodists struggled to be an effective national church. A great deal of Methodist energy went into Sunday schools, where they attracted a larger proportion of the population than their constituency.
Presbyterians came to New Zealand as a settler church with their first resident minister, John Macfarlane from the Church of Scotland, arriving in Wellington in 1840. The settlement in Otago from 1848 was loosely connected with the Free Church created by the 1843 Disruption. Thomas Burns was the ordained leader of this group and together with William Cargill, the lay leader, sought to make a strong Scottish Presbyterian imprint on the society. The discovery of gold in the 1860s resulted in the influx of a very diverse population which finally put paid to the attempts to reproduce a Geneva of the South Seas. Presbyterian fissiparous tendencies reflected their Scottish origins. The attempt in 1862 to form a united church for the whole country foundered, with southern Presbyterians establishing a separate Synod ofOtago and Southland in 1866. Divided by ethos, including conflict over the use of instrumental music in church worship, Presbyterians eventually achieved union in 1901. Presbyterian support for education was reflected in the foundation of Otago University in 1869. Presbyterians comprised up to 24 per cent ofthe population.
Smaller denominations such as Baptists, Brethren, Quakers and the Salvation Army added to the diverse denominationalism in colonial New Zealand. Catholic and Protestant bigotry reinforced sectarianism, particularly around the issue of universal primary education. In 1877 the government decided in favour of secular primary education, largely because of the sectarian spirit. Catholics vehemently objected to supporting state-funded education while having to support their own schools. Protestants worked unsuccessfully to introduce religious education into the state system. Voluntary efforts by
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