If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, then following is 31,000 “words” — or 31 interior and exterior photos — of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple from the late 1950s and today in 2022.
The photos, published on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, show the temple’s construction, open house and dedication events as well as interior images of the celestial room and baptistry prior to its 1958 dedication.
Other photos include exterior and interior images of the recently renovated temple in advance of its public open house — which begins Friday, Aug. 26, and runs through Saturday, Sept. 17, excluding Sundays — and its Oct. 16 rededication.
Dedicated on April 20, 1958, the temple is the 11th-oldest operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For decades, it served as the house of Lord for New Zealand Saints and others throughout the South Pacific as they came to Hamilton to worship, learn of God’s plan of salvation, participate in temple ordinances and make sacred covenants with the Lord.
Construction of the New Zealand Temple — 1956 through 1958
With construction beginning in 1956, the concrete blocks were manufactured on site by the original construction crew, mostly comprised of labor missionaries who donated their time.
The newly renovated Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
The Hamilton New Zealand Temple has been closed since July 2018 for a series of renovations, including seismic strengthening and upgrades to its mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.
The temple is 4,204 square meters — a little more than 45,250 square feet — and stands 47.5 meters tall (nearly 156 feet) from the main entrance to the top of the spire.
For the temple’s exterior, the historic painted concrete masonry remains unchanged.
The celestial room of the New Zealand Temple — 1958
The celestial room of the renovated Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
Inside, the renovated temple’s layout has been reconfigured for better flow and efficiency. Some of the original design elements were restored, including the historic murals. New design elements reflect the work of the temple’s original builders as well as local Māori traditions.
Other interior features include oak millwork from Hamilton craftspeople and decorative painting derived from local Māori patterns.
The baptistry of the New Zealand Temple — 1958
The baptistry of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
Bride’s room of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
Sealing rooms of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
Instruction rooms of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
Other areas of the Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
Open house and dedication of the New Zealand Temple — 1958
The New Zealand Temple — as it was then known – was dedicated on April 20, 1958, by President David O. McKay. It was the Church’s 11th operating temple at the time.
The temple became the Church’s first in the Southern Hemisphere and third beyond the North American continent, following temples dedicated earlier in Hawaii and Switzerland.
General authorities accompanying President McKay on the trip to New Zealand were Elder Delbert L. Stapley and Elder Marion G. Romney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, a newly sustained Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve.
Some 112,500 people toured the temple during its public open house.
Open house and rededication of the renovated Hamilton New Zealand Temple — 2022
The public open house for the temple, located at 509 Tuhikaramea Road, Temple View, Hamilton, New Zealand, begins Friday, Aug. 26, and runs through Saturday, Sept. 17, excluding Sundays; reservations can be made online at hamiltontemple.nz.
The Hamilton New Zealand Temple will be rededicated Sunday, Oct. 16, by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.