Envision NZ Project

Brief History of the Presiding Bishopric’s (Temple View) Project

Prepared by: Paul R. Coward April 2013


  • The original demolition request was postponed and then cancelled in November 2009.  According to the file about 75% of submitters to the public process opposed the request to make the property into pasture.  Accordingly, the Presiding Bishopric recommended to The First Presidency that an envisioning project commence prior to demolition.
  • An envisioning project was subsequently authorized by the Presiding Bishopric. 
  • Church personnel and U.S. based consultants were assigned to visit Temple View to conduct feedback sessions and to engage the City in helping to resolve legal issues around district plan variations that had been under negotiation for a number of years.  A Memorandum of Understanding was subsequently agreed and signed.
  • Certain key community members were invited to several meetings to provide input and to assist with communication.  They represented the broader CCNZ community and provided feedback from and to their respective groups.
  • Butcher paper was placed on tables and members were able to indicate their suggestions.  Meetings and discussions were held regarding “visioning” whereupon participants could have their say about what they saw as the needs and desires of the community and members.  Examples of various desires ranged from wanting a golf course to the need for additional residential housing.  There was a lot of input received concerning the need for a school or an ongoing education facility.  Whilst this smaller community group did not include every interested person, it was felt that they could represent the feelings of everyone across the board.
  • This feedback/information was collated, summarized, and presented to the Presiding Bishopric.
  • The project was asked to be put on hold for quite a long season.
  • We then learnt that the Prophet was to visit Temple View. Preparations were made in the weeks preceding the visit.  At the appointed time, letters were prepared and distributed to CCNZ community leaders inviting them to a meeting with these visiting Church leaders.
  • In July 2010, President Thomas S. Monson and President Henry B. Eyring along with Bishop H. David Burton and members of the Area Presidency visited Temple View.  They toured the campus and held meetings.  President Monson indicated that he had come to Temple View because he needed to know what to do with the property.
  • After their visit several land and facility use models were presented to Church leaders.  What they discussed, and why and how they decided upon a particular repurpose model, is not known. 
  • Then in November 2011, Bishop H. David Burton (Presiding Bishop) and members of the Pacific Area Presidency again visited Temple View and many in the community plus local government, MP, and Church leaders were invited to a meeting at the Foster Road Meetinghouse. 
  • During that meeting Bishop Burton made a presentation based upon what The First Presidency had approved to be announced.  Early on in his presentation he showed a slide titled “Demolition.”  It portrayed many of the buildings, including the David O. McKay Building no longer there. Not every building was to be demolished however.  Those suggested to be retained were the GRB, Kai Hall, Block Plant, Library, and First House.
  • He also announced the project “anew” and that two personnel from Church Headquarters would be assigned to come and live here to manage the campus repurpose project that Bishop Burton presented. Since that announcement, Kent Money and Don White have been living here and working with consultants, the community, and the Hamilton City Council to bring this project to pass. 
  • Weekly meetings with consultants (planners, engineers, architects, and urban/landscape designers etc) have been and continue to be held.
  • Regular meetings, usually every second weekly, are held with the City planning staff at the Hamilton City Council offices.  In late October 2012, the Council commenced the Proposed District Plan public notification process and submissions have now been received on the proposals.  In late 2013 we are to understand that the Decisions Version of the District Plan will be released and any appeals and resolutions will be conducted in late 2013 – 2014.  We have also met with Waipa District staff regarding boundary issues and matters relating to Hamon’s Bush and the ponds.
  • The Church has approved a recreational property to be formally established at the Church’s property known as Hamon’s Bush, subject to consent, and budget funds have been allocated so design work is now underway.  A meeting with all stake presidents throughout NZ was held in March 2013, presided over by the Area Presidency, to explain the purpose and operation of the recreational property.  These stake presidents then toured the bush property.
  • Meetings have been held with the local tangata whenua, the main purpose being to engage and inform them of development concepts ‘upfront’ and to receive their input as this project unfolds.  In April 2012, the team travelled to Whangarei to meet with Sonny Tau et al of Ngapuhi Iwi.  On 12 July 2012, a presentation was made to Ngati Mahanga.  In attendance at that meeting was an archaeologist.   Our presentations consisted of similar material to the story boards that were displayed at the open day, but with particular reference to archaeological, environmental and infrastructure issues.  The feedback has been positive.  On 18 July 2012 a presentation was made at the Trust Building on Colombo Street with Nga Mana Toopu O Kirikiriroa.  Copies of certain materials have been sent to both tangata whenua groups and consultation is ongoing.  A special and important meeting was also held in November 2012 with Tainui leader Tom Roa whereupon Mr Roa expressed that Maori cannot tell the Church what to do but asked that careful management of the land continue and that people’s lives are paramount.  He continued, “People, not buildings, are made by God.” 
  • A number of meetings were held in 2009 with the NZ Historic Places Trust (HPT) and more recently another meeting was held to review the broad plan moving forward.  In April 2013 discussions and a review of buildings and plans was undertaken with HPT.  Also in March 2013, Church History department personnel started conducting in-depth heritage structures studies of key buildings on campus.  These studies have been carried out in conjunction with a heritage architect from Auckland.  These reports will be helpful for those buildings that the Church will retain and remodel to ensure the heritage aspects of the buildings are preserved.  The contextual nature of heritage buildings on campus has also been part of this review.
  • Discussions have been held with the Labour Missionaries as we work out the Legacy Park area and all other matters pertaining to this repurpose project.  In March 2013, at the Labour Missionary Reunion a presentation was made to the group on the updated plans for the campus.  Labour missionaries were extremely supportive and bore testimony of their love and praise for the Church and its leaders.
  • We have held review meetings with Elder Thompson of the Seventy and the Temple View Stake Presidency.  In June 2012, we met with the Temple Presidency and outlined to them the project moving forward.  We meet regularly with the temple engineer.  In March 2013, stake presidents throughout NZ were updated on the project.  As required, we provide a report to the Area Presidency and receive their guidance.
  • In November 2012, Bishop Dean M. Davies (Presiding Bishopric) visited Temple View and met with the community at Foster Road, attended a luncheon and meeting with the Labour Missionaries, participated in the Community Open Day, and inspected the project progress and provided future direction.  Bishop Davies has reiterated the Prophetic direction for the repurpose of the campus and clarified that the project goal is to, “protect the sanctity and environment of the Hamilton New Zealand temple and to re-purpose the previous school property in a way that complements and enhances the long term family life and the economic vitality of the Temple View community.” 
  • Because our offices are located in Temple View, we are able to have an ‘open door’ to anyone or any group in the Temple View community and others who wish to know what is going on.  They wander in, and ask questions or give input etc.  Over the Easter 2013 weekend many CCNZ Alumni reunion participants saw firsthand the project and expressed gratitude that they were able to see and hear once and for all what is being planned for the former CCNZ property.
  • A community open day on 12 July 2012 was held displaying story boards addressing certain aspects of this project, primarily the land zoning issues.  We had nearly 250 folk visit the open day.  We also invited feedback from the community, either verbally or through the feedback document.  A Questions & Answers document was also handed out based upon questions we had received over the last many months.  In November 2012 another open day was held providing an update to the community.  Newsletters have also been distributed to the community for those wanting to read and study the project updates.  The Church continues to have project information on the Temple View website at www.lds.org.
  • It has now been determined that the Library will be repurposed to house the CCNZ memorabilia and NZ Church history materials as well as provide offices for the newly announced NZ Hamilton Mission office.  Consideration is also being given to relocating the Church retail distribution shop to the library.  There will also be room allocated for an education component.  The library will need structural upgrade and remodel work.
  • On 18 June 2012 we wrote to the tenants of Church owned housing and indicated to them the Church’s current position regarding their tenancy and the next likely step regarding the homes.  Since that time, tenants have now vacated the Eastern side homes and are in the process of vacating the homes on the Western side.  Subdivision of the vacant land behind the bus shelter is underway and subdivided land down the Western side will be made available with house and land packages, offered firstly to existing tenants of Church owned houses and then to other interested parties.
  • We continue to maintain the gardens and grounds close to Tuhikaramea Road.  Campus buildings are no longer available for use.  Demolition of ancillary buildings at the rear of the campus is underway.
  • Geotechnical investigations have been carried out on the campus grounds.  Studies have shown that land, where the Eastern side homes are located and down the ridge towards the Kai Hall and GRB, is the best and most suitable for the construction of a large building such as the new stake centre.
  • We have met with and made representations to the Temple View Heritage Society and to the Temple View Residents Association.
  • Monthly formal reports and more regular informal reports are provided to the Presiding Bishopric. 
  • Beginning 1st May, the Kai Hall and GRB building will not be available for use as redesign and thereafter remodel work commences.
  • Projects within the master plan that are near ready to commence are:  a) Tuhikaramea Road upgrade, b) construction of a new stake centre.  Consent applications will be submitted into the HCC shortly.  Other projects that are gaining momentum are the remodel of the Library, GRB, and Kai Hall.  Of top priority as well is the construction of new homes on the Western side of Tuhikaramea Road.  The new NZ Hamilton mission president’s home is also part of this project although administered by the Area Office in Auckland.  A project that is currently underway and will continue over the next several weeks is the removal of contaminated materials and landfill from the site.
  • At April 2013 general conference time, a presentation was made to the New Zealand mission reunion meeting in Salt Lake City with over 300 in attendance.  The project was explained in some detail and the outpouring of support was evident.
  • The retirement housing and aged care facilities portion of the project is still in discussions but there is strong interest in moving this forward.