In many countries
in the world the church is divided on theological grounds,
but only on the little southern Cook island of Mauke is it
divided architecturally. Mauke is a raised atoll with a population
of 700 people. A road encircles the island and others lead
up through the makatea to its fertile core. Here are located
the villages of Ngatiarua and Areora, near the junction of
three roads. Standing within the junction is the Cook Islands
Christian Church called Ziona, which was completed in 1882.
The two villages are very small, and when the decision was
made to build a church, they agreed, sensibly, that a single
place of worship would be sufficient to serve the spiritual
needs of both. The building materials for the exterior, and
the labour to erect them, was duly contributed by both Ngatiarua
and Areora, and the structure was raised. Then the problems
The villagers could not agree on the design of Ziona's interior.
After heated debate agreement still could not be reached,
so it was decided to amalgamate two markedly different designs
into one structure, each the preference of the two villages.
A wall was built down the middle, Ngatiarua built its preferred
interior on one side of it, and Areora did likewise on the