A partnership resource of the Diocese of Auckland and Te Pihopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau. 



Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 4: 9-11



  • To be a place of generous hospitality, spacious conversation, and spiritual encounter.
  • To offer a beautiful and gracious space and place to individuals, community, charitable and corporate groups.
  • To welcome people to the Ruatara Chapel which is at the heart of Vaughan Park and offers a daily rhythm of contemplative prayer. Bringing people closer to faith.
  • To gift local and international Scholarships to creative writers, academics, artists and musicians. 
  • To encourage and enable new and established writers and liturgists, musicians and artists to publish work through our various digital platforms.



Vaughan Park aims to be a space for whatever purpose our guests may need. It is a fabulous venue for your business meeting, group gathering, retreat, or special event. Our team has extensive experience in hospitality, and our chefs create delicious and enjoyable food.


Nestled in the hills at Long Bay, one of the most beautiful bays on the North Island of New Zealand, Vaughan Park is adjacent to the Long Bay Regional Park. The bay forms part of the Okura Marine Reserve, which protects the beaches, rocky reefs, estuarine mudflats, and mangroves along the east coast bays.

With four options for conferencing venues and 18 single and 10 twin-share rooms across four accommodation houses and a separate wing in the Thomas Vaughan Lodge, we can accommodate up to 40 people overnight at maximum usage, increasing to 100 with additional day guests. All rooms are equipped with a desk, comfortable chair, hand basin (excluding Clare), wardrobe, and open out into a courtyard or garden. Each lodge has lounges with tea and coffee-making facilities and quality bathrooms. There is guest Wi-Fi and full cellphone coverage. Additional people can be accommodated as day guests.



Open Peaceful Nurturing


The Ruatara Chapel reflects the contemplative and nurturing spirit at the heart of Vaughan Park. Our chapel is open daily for guests to use for self-guided contemplative prayers. We encourage guests staying over a weekend to worship at the local Anglican parish, St. Mary By The Sea, with services at 8am (Holy Communion, using the New Zealand Prayer Book) and 10am (Intergenerational service concluding with Holy Communion). 



The Research and Study Centre, which invites reflection on the balance between learning and prayer, was built in memory of the Saints and Martyrs of the Pacific. It is a beautiful room which curves around the Chapel, as if to embrace it.

Guests and residents say that it is a quiet and welcoming space in which to read, study and write. There is also a small lending library there and the Centre is open each day between 9am and 4pm.


Thomas Vaughan’s Legacy

Thomas Vaughan was the local farmer who, in 1963, donated the 12 acres on which Vaughan Park has been built.

The Franciscan Brothers

The first custodians of Vaughan Park (1997–2001) were Franciscan brothers, now living at Te Ara Hou in Hamilton. St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Order of Friars, inspired their work.

The Ruatara Chapel

When the Centre was built in 1996, a Chapel was envisioned but not included. The 2007 construction brought that vision to fruition with the addition of the Research Centre. It serves as a quiet place to study and reflect, with the books catalogued into the John Kinder Theological Library. The Chapel is dedicated to Ruatara, a Ngā Puhi chief from the Bay of Islands. He was a significant figure in the introduction of Christianity to New Zealand. Through him, Rev. Samuel Marsden established a mission in 1814.


The Ruatara Chapel represents the three Tikanga of the Anglican Church via:

  • Tikanga Māori - The waka-like roof;
  • Tikanga Pasifika - The outrigger-like- pergola;
  • Tikanga Pākehā - The path and forecourt.

Biographies of Vaughan Park names

Meeting Rooms 

  • Thomas Vaughan was the local farmer who donated the land on which the Centre was built.
  • The Hon. Justice John Priestley was Chairman of the Vaughan Park Governance Board from 2002 to 2011.
  • Margaret Vaughan was the mother of Thomas who donated the land on which Vaughan Park has been established.

Accommodation Houses

  • Ken Forrest was a lawyer in the firm Hesketh Henry which continues to act for the Diocese. He was foundational to the variation of the Trust and liaising with Mr. Thomas Vaughan about the development.
  • The Rt Rev. Edward Gilbert (Ted) Buckle was Assistant Bishop for the Northern Region of the Auckland Diocese from 1981 to 1992.
  • The Rt Rev. Waiohau Rui (Ben) Te Haara was Pihopa ki te Tai Tokerau from 1992 to 2001. 
  • Robert Carmichael was Chief Executive of the Anglican Trust Board. He had a leading roles in developing the overall concept of Vaughan Park, the variation of Trust and related negotiations to establish the Centre.
  • Under the guidance of St Francis, Clare became foundress and the first abbess of the order now called “The Poor Clares”. She died in 1253.