News Release

55,000 Guests Visit Hamilton New Zealand Temple During Public Open House

Members and friends of the Church come from across the country to experience the beauty and peace of the temple

Over 55,000 members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints travelled from the South Island, Northland, and many other places in between, to take advantage of a rare opportunity to walk through a temple.

Members and guests of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints line up to take part in tours of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple during a public open house, which ran from 26 August to 17 September 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tens of thousands of people toured the Hamilton New Zealand Temple during a similar open house when it opened in 1958, before it was dedicated by Church president, David O. McKay.

The temple was closed in 2018 for major renovations. A public open house, from 26 August to 17 September, allowed members of the Church and guests to walk through the temple. It will be rededicated by Church apostle Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf on 16 October.

Te Aorewa Rolleston, who is a journalist with New Zealand news organisation, Stuff, wrote of her experience visiting the temple: “After conducting renovations inside since 2018, including seismic strengthening and upgrades, this year people of all faiths were given an opportunity to take a tour of the grand structure. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”

Fellow journalist, Bronte Metekingi, wrote that "the temple has always been a temporary drop box for the extra baggage one might carry. Leave your world worries at the door and enter the safe haven created for all.”

She continued: “The world went quiet inside, no outside noise, just my thoughts filling the room. There is a sense of safety, and calmness among those on the tour…My culture is embedded in the carpets, painted on the ceilings, in every photo frame, and melded into the golden windows panes through the incorporation of koru.

“We stopped at the baptismal font. This is not for those who are living, but for those who have passed on. The temple connects us to our loved ones for time and all eternity, dead or alive – life after death is also believed in te ao Māori and many other cultures. This room, this feeling, the peace, it gives me a feeling of déjà vu. This is God’s house. In this house, everyone is equal. All labels, struggles and differences are forgotten – this is what I believe; this is what I feel. I am at home here. This is where my kaumātua wanted me to be. This is where I needed to be. To flick the light back on inside my soul.”

Martin Gallagher, a Hamilton resident and former Member of Parliament and Deputy Mayor, told RNZ reporter Leah Tebbutt: "As a six year old I came with my parents. It had a similar layout but I don't recall some of the ornate detail. I remember the baptismal font but I guess it was just a six year old being wide eyed and curious."

Speaking of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who built the temple in the 1950’s, Gallagher said, "Their families, in many cases, have come on to make huge contributions to our society at large. Genuinely, even though I am not a member of the Latter-day Saints faith community, I absolutely honour them."

Pacific Area president of the Church, Elder K. Brett Nattress, said, "As in Biblical times, temples are places where people go to find divine peace and knowledge, and to make sacred promises to love God and neighbour, and to live good lives by following Jesus Christ. The temple is also a place where families are united for eternity, including our family members who have gone on before. It is known as 'the House of the Lord,' and it is a touchpoint between heaven and earth."

"We are grateful for Church members and our friends who have accepted the invitation to 'come and see,' and 'come and feel.' As we turn our hearts towards God, our Eternal Father, and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, we will be inspired to be a little kinder, a little more patient, a little more holy.”

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