Police have recovered a stolen historic mahogany statue of Christ missing for more than 12 years.
The statue had been removed from a wooden crucifix and stolen from the Futuna Chapel in the Wellington suburb of Karori sometime in 1999 or 2000.
Detective Senior Sergeant Warwick McKee says the statue was found on Wednesday at an unoccupied rural property at Ahititi in Taranaki.
Mr McKee says it was specifically made for the chapel by noted sculptor Jim Allen and holds a special significance for the Friends of Futuna Charitable Trust, the Catholic community and the Wellington community.
The statue will be returned to the chapel next week.
Inquiries into the theft are continuing.