The building of an LDS temple in New Zealand was announced by David O. McKay, the ninth president of the LDS Church, on February 17, 1955. With its completion in 1958, it was the first temple built by the LDS Church in the Southern Hemisphere and the second to be built outside of the United States and Canada.
A groundbreaking ceremony and site dedication were held on December 21, 1955. The site of the temple is on 86 acres, which includes the LDS-owned Church College of New Zealand, a secondary school for students aged twelve to eighteen. The temple is 44,212 square feet, has one ordinance room, three sealing rooms, and a baptistery. The spire rises to a height of 157 feet. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple was built entirely by church labour missionaries who volunteered all of their time. Local members supported these workers with money, food, and lodging.
Hugh B. Brown, then an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, placed the ceremonial cornerstone of the temple on December 22, 1956. The temple was open for public tours for 23 days prior to the dedication. During this time about 112,500 people toured the temple. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple was dedicated by David O. McKay on April 20-22 1958. The Hamilton Temple serves Latter-day Saints in New Zealand and nearby South Pacific islands.