Our origins.

Freemasonry has always been popular in Onehunga. The first Freemasons Lodge was opened under the Irish Freemasons constitution by Rt. W. Bro. Major Henry De Burgh Adams on 16th December 1863 as Lodge Onehunga No. 420 with himself as Master. The town of Onehunga at the time was a busy port servicing a thriving trade in kauri timber as well as army ships on their way to Taranaki. However at the conclusion of the Maori War, the army withdrew. As a result the lodge struggled because the majority of its members were serving with the local Army Garrison and were posted elsewhere. It eventuality closed around 1869. During its existence the lodge initiated thirty nine Freemasons.

There were no new Freemason’s Lodges in Onehunga until around 1875 when a new lodge was established and opened as Lodge Manukau No. 586 under the Scottish Freemasons constitution on the 5th of January 1876. At that time Onehunga was once again a thriving small port and with the growing trade many seafarers were initiated to the lodge.

Lodge Manukau No. 586 ceased to exist when it transferred its allegiance to the Grand Lodge of New Zealand and on the 3rd of June 1890 in a Ceremonial meeting it became Lodge Manukau No. 24 under the New Zealand Freemasons constitution.
In 1993 Lodge Manukau No. 24 merged with Lodge Westmere No. 333 and is now known as Lodge Manukau-Westmere No. 24.

As Lodge Manukau No 24 began to swell in numbers, some of the members formed a new lodge, Onehunga Lodge No 424 (known as a daughter lodge). It received its charter under the constitution of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand on Tuesday 20th March 1962.

Onehunga Lodge flourished until in 2000 due to dwindling numbers (which was happening in Freemasonry throughout the world) it merged with Maungawhao Lodge No 168. 

On 22nd November 2000 it became Onehunga Maungawhao Lodge No 168 on the register of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.
Maungawhao Lodge No 168 was formed by members of Ara Lodge No 1. It dates back to 19th November 1909 and is a member of the Ara group of Lodges. Upon the merger of Onehunga and Maungawhao Lodges on 22nd November 2000 the charter of Maungawhao Lodge No 181 being the oldest was retained.