Parua Bay Christian Youth Haven was established by Northland Evangelical Movement – an interdenominational organization founded in 1945 by a group of families, mostly farmers.
It's aims were:
1) To encourage and bring together Christians from different Christian denominations who were interested in furthering the Kingdom of God throughout Northland and New Zealand.
2) Through small and larger gatherings, to promote opportunities for fellowship, discipleship training and service that would improve the ‘mental, moral and spiritual’ state of its members and others who sought a desire to be trained up in the Christian faith.
According to Whangarei District Council documents, Parua Bay is located within the rohe of Ngatiwai. The hapu of Parua Bay is Ngati Tu which is considered to be one of the oldest in the Whangarei area. Its paramount chief was Horomona Kaikou. The English missionary William Colenso met Horomona while traveling to the Bay of Islands where Horomona was baptized and given the name Solomon. It is this Solomon that the Solomon's Point area was named after. Verbal history as told to our committee is that the HOLYground area may have been used as a haven for early Maori Christians.
The property at Wharf Road was purchased in 1960 by 10 founding families who each donated 10 pounds towards the deposit. The remainder was donated by the land-owner. The first of hundreds of camps was held in Easter 1964, and the annual Easter Camp has since given several thousand children the opportunity to experience the goodness of God in an action-packed, fun weekend full of new friends, great food, and most importantly the opportunity to take a step forward in relationship with their Heavenly Father.
Hundreds have served as leaders, speakers, parents, cooks, builders, cleaners, helpers, donors, intercessors and directors over the years. Over recent years, the camp has undergone many changes including several building upgrades, however the focus on enabling children and young people to explore and grow in their faith remains.
HOLYground has also hosted many other camps over the years, including an annual AA camp, family reunions, weddings, birthdays, dances, church camps, school groups and other community hobby/music/sporting organisations.
In 2009 our camp (once again!) came close to needing to be sold, however it was clear that God hasn't finished with our place yet, as he sent us tenants to stay during the school terms for 5 years, enabling us to re-develop much of the camp and make it fit for purpose in the 21st century. We continue to offer camps for ages 8-12, and for teenagers/young adults during school holiday periods.
The focus of NEM at present is:
1) REACHING OTHERS WITH THE GOSPEL
An interdenominational movement, that will assist, support and facilitate Christian churches throughout Northland to fulfill the ‘Great Commission’ of sharing and expressing the Christian faith with others.
2) SERVING OTHERS
Through practical service, love, teaching and training that will allow God to touch and change the lives of all, especially children and young people.
3) MATURING THE SAINTS
The training up, discipling and maturing the faith of Christians (especially young people), to become secure and competent Christian leaders, should continue.
4) BLESSING OUR COMMUNITY
Through providing a haven and retreat whereby people can come from all walks of life and enjoy fellowship with others, be able to self-reflect, learn life skills and be in a relaxed, secure and beautiful environment of Christian service, support and love.
Want to be a part of what is happening here?
We are always on the lookout for F.A.T leaders - leaders who are Faithful, Available and Teachable. All leaders must be police-checked, and first-timers must include a copy of your testimony and a reference from your pastor/youth group leader.
What we believe:
Parua Bay Christian Youth Haven is a member of Christian Camping New Zealand