News Release

Church Prepares to Open Third Mission in New Zealand

For many years The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has operated two missions in New Zealand. Those missions have basically divided the country north and south, with headquarters in Auckland and Wellington.

As of 1 July, a third mission for the Church will exist in New Zealand. Headquartered in Hamilton and called the New Zealand Hamilton Mission, it will cover 10 stakes and one district of the Church across the middle of the nation’s North Island.

A Mormon stake is similar to a diocese in other Christian faiths, and usually comprises 2000 to 3000 members in five to ten wards (congregations). A district has less members than a stake but can cover several cities and towns. 

Latter-day Saint missions are led by a mission president, supported by his wife.  There are usually 150 to 250 missionaries serving in each of the missions of the world. These young men and women, and senior couples, teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ and provide community service wherever they live.     

Charles A.  Rudd was recently announced as president of the New Zealand Hamilton Mission and will begin his service, along with his wife, Annette Lancaster Rudd, on 1 July. The Rudds are from Sandy, Utah, United States, and have six children.

President Rudd has previously served in a number of other Latter-day Saint lay leadership positions such as stake president, bishop and missionary. He is owner and president of Beehive State Enterprises.

Sister Rudd currently serves as a ward Relief Society president and ward choir pianist.  Previously, she has contributed in many other ways in her home ward and stake.

The New Zealand Hamilton Mission will include young missionaries as well as senior, retired couples.  Some of the missionaries now serving in the Auckland and Wellington missions will be reassigned to the Hamilton mission. 

“It will be sad to say goodbye to so many of our wonderful missionaries,” Paul N. Lekias, president of the New Zealand Auckland Mission, said.

“But we are excited to be involved in this remarkable growth, and to see more individuals and families having the opportunity to learn more about Christ and His teachings, and how they can be blessed in their lives.”

58 new Latter-day Saint missions, including the New Zealand Hamilton Mission, were announced earlier this year.  New missions have also been announced for Sydney (the Australia Sydney North Mission) and Lae, Papua New Guinea.

The new missions will bring the number of missions in the Pacific Area to 17, and worldwide, to 405.

Missionaries begin their 18 months to two years of service by attending a misisonary training centre, such as the New Zealand Missionary Training Centre in Manukau, Auckland.

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