St Patrick’s Church is the most conspicuous evidence of the long Roman Catholic presence in Akaroa, but other buildings were erected through the years on the same block of land. Near St Patrick’s is a building erected in 1906-07 for the Sisters of Mercy.
The Sisters came to Akaroa in 1898 to establish a convent school. In 1902 the town’s disused Congregational Church was moved onto Catholic land and became a schoolroom. As the school thrived, permanent accommodation for the Sisters became a pressing need. The convent was built in 1906 and occupied by the Sisters in February 1907. The building was extended in 1912.
It is a domestic-looking building, with a long verandah, but a cross as a finial indicates this is not just another house. After the convent school closed in 1969, and the Sisters left Akaroa. The convent became, eventually, part of a retirement home.