Hamilton New Zealand Mormon Temple
The building of the New Zealand Mormon Temple was announced by David O. McKay, the ninth president of the Mormon Church, on February 17, 1955. With its completion in 1958, it became the eleventh operating Mormon temple worldwide. The New Zealand temple was the first temple built by the Mormon Church in the Southern hemisphere.
Mormon history in New Zealand goes back to the 1850’s when the first Mormon missionaries arrived in the area. Missionaries found many who were ready to hear the gospel, but the first stake, organized in Auckland, was not organized until one hundred years after the arrival of the missionaries. Most of the first converts in New Zealand were of Maori or Polynesian descent, and today that can still be seen, since a large proportion of the members are Maori or Polynesian. However, the Mormon Church in New Zealand has become a culturally mixed Church with members in the area of Australian, British, European, Asian, and North American descent. The needs of all the members in New Zealand are met by creating special branches in various languages if needed.
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on December 21, 1955. Ariel S. Ballif, the New Zealand Mission President at the time, broke the ground, and Wendell B. Mendenhall, and George R. Biesinger also presided at the ceremony. The site of the temple is on 86 acres, which includes a Mormon-owned college. This school is for students ages twelve to eighteen. Ninety-two percent of the students are Mormon, and the school strives to teach secular as well as religious subjects.
The temple is 44,212 square feet, has one ordinance room, three sealing rooms, a celestial room, baptistry, and 75 other rooms needed to carry out temple ordinances and temple work according to Mormon belief. The Hamilton temple was built entirely by Church labor Mormon missionaries who volunteered all of their time. Local members supported these workers with money and meals.
Hugh B. Brown, an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, placed the cornerstone in the Mormon temple at a cornerstone-laying ceremony held on December 22, 1956. The temple was open for public tours for 23 days prior to the dedication. During this time about 112,500 people toured the temple. The Hamilton Mormon temple was dedicated by David O. McKay on April 20-22, 1958. The Hamilton temple serves members in New Zealand and nearby South Pacific islands.
509 TUHIKARAMEA RD
c/o Pacific Area Administration Office
Phone: (64) 7-846-2750