News Release

What Makes Temple View Special?

Nestled in a green valley on the outskirts of Hamilton, New Zealand is the beautiful community of Temple View.  It is so named because of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ temple that has stood on a hill overlooking the community since 1958. 

Residents and visitors alike have many reasons to enjoy Temple View — from the temple itself, to the Christmas lights, to the people who live nearby.  Newsroom recently asked several local residents and others who love Temple View to share their feelings about the place’s rich heritage, life there today, and what lies ahead.

If you wish to add a comment, please send it to Sister Carol Wallace at  



Elder and Sister F. Michael Watson — Salt Lake City, United States

While serving in the Pacific Area Presidency, Temple View was a beacon with a special spirit permeating the entire North and South Islands and reaching throughout the Isles of the Sea.  It carries the faith of those who were the Pioneers in this special place and where inspiration was and is received and shared with everyone.  Sister Watson and I will always remember two Christmas Seasons during which we found ourselves at Temple View.  We loved it then and this sacred area will always remain the June Roses in the December of our lives.


Veeshane Patuwai — Auckland, New Zealand

For me Temple View is a consecrated place, not only because of the temple but also because Church College was such an integral part of the Church's journey here in Aotearoa. All of my brothers attended that school and it has had a profound impact on the aspirations they have for their temporal and spiritual lives. It is a beautiful piece of land that reflects the sacredness of the work that is carried out there and is always a welcome sanctuary for me as I take time out to ponder on the things that matter most in my life. Thank you for the privilege of being able to share.


Mel Whaanga — Auckland, New Zealand

Our family has had a long association with Temple View.  In 1952 Uncle Sam Edwards and my wife’s Uncle Sam Beazley were two of the ‘original five’ labour missionaries. Aunty Jane Te Ngaio was camp cook and famous for her lemon meringue pie. Uncle Stone Whaanga was called to work on the Temple construction. In 1987 he sealed my wife and I in the Temple. In 1965 my parents Maui and Moana Whaanga were encouraged by the NZ Mission President, to attend BYU Hawaii. In 1970 our family returned home. A year later Principal Larry Oler asked Dad to teach Science at Church College. Dad taught there until he passed away in 1980. He was affectionately known as ‘Papa Lion’ by many students. My siblings and I attended Church College. We loved and respected the school and temple because family members helped build them. My Sister Moana and her husband Epi Lilino were dorm parents for many years. While milking cows at the church farm I remember seeing the temple lights through the early morning mist. It gave me a sense of peace and comfort. Temple View was a safe haven and wonderful place to live. We felt welcomed wherever we went. Everyone was known as either aunty or uncle. Unfortunately job opportunities meant relocating to other places. Even though we no longer live there, our family will always have fond memories of Temple View.


Marie Anderson — Auckland, New Zealand

My husband and I make the 90 minutes’ drive down to Temple View each month with our three children, and serve as ordinance workers in the Hamilton New Zealand Temple. We cherish the time traveling together and time spent inside the temple, while our children look forward to each trip, hoping that we can stay overnight as we sometimes do. As my husband and I take it in turns to be outside with our children, we have come to really enjoy the Visitors’ Centre and all the area has to offer. The lush green paddocks and quiet neighbourhood always make us feel as though we are further out of the nearest city than we really are. With the peacefulness of the surrounding grounds, our family's temple experience is filled with the Spirit, both inside and outside the temple.


Kandice Murphy — Temple View, New Zealand

The Temple and Temple View has always been an important part of my life. Our family settled in Hamilton when I was a child so we would grow up close to the Temple. I recall the wonder and excitement of the seeing the Temple and its beautiful grounds lit up with thousands of lights each Christmas. As I grew older I had the opportunity to participate in the live nativity and Christmas choir performances. I enjoyed attending Church College with my siblings. Many people still remember my grandparents, Jack and Rosa Murphy, who were music teachers at the College.  I now work in Temple View and have the privilege of feeling the spirit of the Temple every day. I know the Temple will continue to bless my life and I am looking forward to the changes proposed for the Temple View community.


Jill M. Palmer — Wellington, New Zealand

My memories of Temple View are very special.  A decision that I made in 1959 to go to CCNZ to work in the treasurer’s office was highly significant.  There I made lifelong friends among the faculty, staff, students and the wonderful labour missionaries who made this possible.  My testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ increased through the teachings and examples of fine leaders as well as leadership opportunities.  My sisters, Gay and Debbie, both attended CCNZ as students and we were sealed to our parents in the Temple.  Last week when in Temple View, I walked around the area at night and sensed the same indescribable peace that I had always felt there many years ago.  It is indeed a sacred and unique place.  What a wonderful gift the Church is now giving to us at this time with the further development of Temple View.  I look forward to this with appreciation and great anticipation.


Charles A. Rudd —Temple View, New Zealand

In 1958 my father helped organize a contingent of former New Zealand missionaries to return for the dedication of the New Zealand Temple.  They chartered two full airplanes and occupied every available motel room within 50 kilometres of Temple View. He worked in conjunction with the mayor of Hamilton City and all involved enjoyed the special occasion.  My parents returned to Temple View in 1984 and lived for three years while my Dad presided as the Temple President. My wife’s parents lived in Temple View for 18 months in 1988-1989 while they served a mission in the New Zealand Temple.  My wife and I arrived in Temple View in June of this year and will live here for three years as I preside as the mission president over the New Zealand Hamilton Mission.  So what makes Temple View so special to me is that it has been home to me and family members. I love Temple View and I am grateful for its beauty and wonderful people.


Noelene Jean Thomson – Hamilton, New Zealand

I have had a long association with Temple View.  I first arrived late in 1955 as a young woman.  My parents and I were labour missionaries.  The Church College was half built at the time.  My effort was to operate the little grocery store and dry cleaning depot.  I assisted in taking visitors on tours of the temple before its dedication.  When the school and temple were opened in 1958 I was appointed to the staff of the Bureau of Information, now the Visitors’ Centre. In 1963 I began working in the library of the CCNZ.  I worked there for eleven years before moving to Hamilton Public Library.  Since my retirement I have been serving again in the Visitors’ Centre.  I am in sure agreement with the closure of CCNZ and that the area will continue to be a gathering place.     


Eileen Mueller – Wellington, New Zealand

Temple View is a peaceful, tranquil area, which helps people wind down from the hectic pace of modern life. The beautiful setting in Temple View, including the gardens and temple grounds, enable us to stop and contemplate important issues. Whenever I’m in Temple view I  take time to review my closest relationships, my attitude toward my fellow human beings, the meaning of my own life, and how I can help make the world a better place.  I live far from Temple View, and don’t get there that often, but when I do, I feel as if I’ve stepped back in time to an island of serenity that helps me to become a better person.


Tiopira Rauna – Gisborne, New Zealand

I am a Mormon. I first came to Temple View in 1952 at the age of 4 years, when my mother and father arrived as labour missionaries to build the Hamilton New Zealand Temple. Since then, Sister Rauna and I visit the temple regularly to do sacred ordinances for my ancestors, so that they can all receive the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and live with our Heavenly Father for time and all eternity.   


Debbie Carver – Salt Lake City, United States

Temple View is special to me because that’s where my love for the temple grew.  From my bedroom window I could look at the temple shining like a diamond in the night sky.  It was my North Star.  Decades later, we have built homes where we have lived in the shadows of another temple.  Some of my dearest memories and relationships have their roots in Temple View, New Zealand.


Vicki Lee Wihongi – Temple View, New Zealand

My father, Dave Hemi, was a labour missionary and helped build the Church College and the temple.  My father-in-law, Jono Wihongi, also worked on the college and temple project.  I love this area.  I grew up in Temple View and attended Church College.  My two eldest children also attended Church College and we are currently living back in Temple View.  Even with this local heritage, I am excited about the proposed changes to Temple View.   The new developments will improve the quality of the area, making it not only a great place to live, but a destination for friends and family to visit.  


John Kendall — Temple View, New Zealand

I have had the opportunity to grow up and live in the same ward in Temple View since 1968.  What makes Temple View so special to me is that there is no better place to raise your children and bring up a family.  I grew up under the watchful eye of the Labour Missionaries, my father and grandparents were part of the Labour Missionary movement.  With my parents, two sisters and younger brother, we lived in one of the last Labour Missionary batches up until I was eight-years-old.  As a child I thought the sacred grove, where Joseph Smith had his first vision, were the trees beneath the temple.  I enjoyed the many Labour Missionary activities held in the GRB, Foster Road Chapel and the College.  As a youngster, I could always feel a unified spirit of love at every activity, every service project, every church meeting.  One of my fondest memories growing up here in Temple View, is one of an old concrete mixer that everyone would borrow to lay footpaths and driveways around their homes.  Once started this mixer would send out a loud grinding noise that could be heard from one end of Temple View to the other.  Within minutes of starting the mixer, many would come with their wheel borrows, shovels and gumboots ready to help and be of service.  I came to learn that no one was ever asked to come, they just did.  Last week I had the opportunity to visit with families in the Boyack Place cul-de-sac and was pleasantly surprised to see many of the local children, from all over Temple View, playing basketball up and down the road forcing cars to slow to a snail’s pace or drive around the children playing.  Under the light of the temple there is no better place to raise your children in the gospel.  The future growth of Temple View looks even brighter.


Hoki and Owen  Purcell — Hamilton, New Zealand

Temple View is a uniquely special place.  Like Salt Lake City, Temple View was built upon the sacred principles of faith, obedience and sacrifice. The work to build Church College began in earnest in late 1951, early 52. The “boys” (that's all some of them were) were not only building the college but they also needed to build houses for the American supervisors, which later became faculty homes, and also the college principal, and the farm manager's home. They also built the farm workers’ flats and later the temple, temple president’s home, and the temple flats.  When the Labour Missionaries decided to build their own homes, the land was there for them to purchase. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony, a hymn, prayer, talk, cutting of the ribbon, hymn and closing prayer. How many subdivisions have been blessed this way?  Is Temple View special? It most certainly is. This was meant to happen — the people in Temple View have chosen to live there, in a blessed environment.  Labour Missionaries are builders and we need to continue to build, support and sustain Church leaders whenever called upon.  I believe Temple View is most special. The Lord ordained it to be so through the introduction of the Church Building Program.  Let us be a Zion people — of one heart and one mind. 


Derek Couch – Auckland, New Zealand

I have fond memories of my time at Church College and the lifelong friendships made.  Although the closure was tinged with some sadness, I am heartened and excited by the plans for Church College moving forward.  The plans nicely retain elements of our past and recognize and honour the many men and women who so selflessly and generously served as labour missionaries.  My wife, Leah, is already hinting that it may be a possible place to which we could retire!


R. Kalei DeCaires — Temple View, New Zealand

Temple View has been home for my family and me for over 27 years.  I had the privilege of immigrating to New Zealand from Hawaii on the 4 January 1986 after finishing my studies at Brigham Young University-Hawaii Campus.  I met my best friend and wife in Hawaii in the late 70’s, who is originally from New Zealand, in particular Temple View.  She was born right here in the “View.”  In fact, her parents, Cleo and Hana Smith, were Labour Missionaries who helped in the building of the Church College and Temple.   Living here has been a wonderful journey for our family and Temple View has been a safe haven for our boys as they grew up in a community where everyone looked after each other.  Over the years we have seen many saints come and go, as well as, countless changes around us.  As change remains constant, we are very excited about the newly proposed changes and know that they will serve the community well for generations to come.  We have been blessed as members of the Temple View community and feel as we move forward with obedience and trust in the Lord, our little Temple View will truly become a Zion city.


Moses Armstrong – Auckland, New Zealand

Since 1969 when I first attended Church College of New Zealand (CCNZ) as a shy 13 year old, Temple View has been a place that holds many happy memories for me. I attended CCNZ for six years as a boarding student, five years in Boyack and one in Oakes dorm, and the friendships I made during that time have remained close to me for over 40 years. We came from throughout New Zealand and some from overseas and by the time we left we were like blood brothers and sisters. During the 50 years that the college was open almost 15,000 alumni were blessed in some way to attend that great school and many have gone on to achieve amazing things in their lives. Three generations of my family including 10 brothers and sisters and all five of our children either attended CCNZ or helped build it, and as families from the north we helped with food and labour donations during the labour missionary years. The blue blazer with the beehive emblem and dark dress uniform pants or skirts for the girls always stood out whenever we represented the school or the Church. On the school rugby and sports fields some of the greatest games of sport have been played and I saw many of them over a 40 year period. I was sealed to my parents in 1963 and my wife and I were married in the temple in 1979 we have also been blessed to have children marry in the temple as well.  This now represents four generations in my family who have been sealed to their spouses in this temple, so each time I think of Temple View I think of my formative years of sport and education, my eternal friends and my forever extended family.   


Tania Torea — Porirua, New Zealand

Early one evening in December 2009, my father stood looking up at the temple.  He shared with me how in his mind's eye he could see his father and his brother driving a tractor on top of the hill to prepare the land for the building of the temple.  This was the first time, in many years, that my father had come to see the temple.  Something in that memory, and the sense of peace that can be felt in Temple View, changed him and he turned his heart to Jesus Christ.  In 2010 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  At particularly difficult times, he would find refuge in going to the Visitors’ Centre.  Sometimes he would watch a movie there.  Sometimes he would sit in his car and look at the temple.  Just being in Temple View helped him make it through another day.  When he passed away in 2011, we took Dad on a road trip to his favourite places, on the way to his final resting place.  The first stop being the Labour Missionary hall and then a slow drive past the temple.  My Dad never had the opportunity to enter the temple in mortality, but he found great strength in being on temple grounds.  The Legacy Park, Church History and other developments, extend the opportunity for people to consider and build their own faith experiences. I look forward to enjoying these with my family.


Glen Reid — Auckland, New Zealand

I first visited Temple View New Zealand when I was about four years of age.  It was during the time the temple was being constructed and my father along with many of the men from the Korongata Ward travelled there to work as volunteers.  I also remember going to the temple in May 1958 with my parents and siblings where we were sealed as a family for time and all eternity.  I recall the happy feelings I had as a young boy that we were a forever family.  I returned to the temple prior to serving a mission and later in 1976 when my wife Debbie and I were married.  We have been richly blessed beyond measure and are forever grateful for the special place that Temple View is, and for the role that Temple View has played in our lives.  In my mind the plans to develop Temple View can only continue to bless individual lives and families further beyond measure. The area is truly magnificent.    


Professor Fred E. Woods — Provo, Utah, United States

Upon completing my mission to Adelaide Australia I reached Temple View, New Zealand in August 1979. I was immediately captured by the spirit of this sacred place. What remains a vivid memory for me is how the local Polynesian sisters took such good care of eleven, young full-time elders who were on their way home from serving the Lord for two years. As we approached this sacred New Zealand temple, we were treated as if we were kings by these humble, temple workers who shared their Christ-like love with us. It made an indelible impression on me which has now lasted for over three decades. 


Renae Arveseth –Auckland, New Zealand

I love Temple View.  I love its beauty, its peace, reverence and warmth.   Even though I live in Auckland, I feel at home when we are in Temple View.  We have made some wonderful friends in the short time we have lived in New Zealand that will be long-term friends.  The Temple is inspiring as we first see it driving along Tuhikaramea and view it from the bottom of the hill where it seems to tower over the land below and then again when we stand near the door looking over the beautiful countryside. I look forward to the new additions that will be made to Temple View and the effect it will have on families, both those who live in Temple View and those who will visit.  Legacy Park, the Church History Centre and the new stake centre can only bring additional blessings to this beautiful spot on earth.     


Richard Hunter — Auckland, New Zealand

Temple View, New Zealand is a special place for me and my family.  I first visited Temple View when I was five-years-old.  Our family travelled there from Mackay, Australia to be sealed (or united) as a family in the Latter-day Saint temple there.  Since participating in that religious ceremony all those years ago, I have had the privilege of returning to Temple View many times.  I love visiting the temple.  I also love the people of Temple View, who have always treated me with kindness and respect.  Temple View is built upon principles of faith, obedience, service and sacrifice.  It is a place where individuals, families and whole communities have built and continue to build faith in Jesus Christ.  The new stake centre, recreational facility, Church History Centre, Legacy Park and other developments that are in planning will not only bless the lives of residents, they will also make our family’s future visits to Temple View even more enriching. 




Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.