Iwi Blessing Offered on Land Where New Houses will be Built in Temple View, New Zealand
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Iwi Blessing Offered on Land Where New Houses will be Built in Temple View, New Zealand

Ngaati Maahanga representative gives thanks to God, offers prayer seeking blessings for families and communities.

In late 2020, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans to build 36 new houses in the New Zealand Hamilton suburb of Temple View. This new residential subdivision, called ‘Hapori Park at Temple View’, will feature 2, 3 and 4-bedroom homes, some single-story and some double.

On 2 November 2020, leaders from the Ngaati Maahanga iwi, whose ancestral lands include Tuhikaramea (Temple View), joined with representatives of the Church and the construction company, Classic Builders, for an early morning service where a blessing was offered in te reo Māori to mark the commencement of the Hapori Park at Temple View residential subdivision development.

Before the blessing, Atutahi Riki, from Ngaati Maahanga, shared in remarks, “We are one. On the earth, in the earth, and for the earth. We are one.”

Sod was turned on the site for the first 22 houses, which will be built close by to the Church’s Mendenhall Library and David O. McKay Stake and Cultural Events Centre, then Atutahi Riki offered a blessing. He gave thanks to God and asked that the work would be done thoughtfully and respectfully. He also prayed that the community would be benefited by the new homes.

Atutahi Riki was accompanied by Paratai Tai Rakena, Rangiuia Riki and Raiha Gray.

In his remarks, Steven Peterson, director for temporal affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pacific Area, expressed gratitude to the iwi representatives and all others who have supported the Church and the Temple View community over many years.

“I acknowledge everyone of all languages and ancestry gathered today. I also greet and acknowledge Ngaati Maahanga the people of this land,” Peterson said in Maori.

“We are delighted to be with you all today,” Peterson continued. “Members and missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been part of the fabric of New Zealand communities since the mid-1800s. We are happy to be so, and look to the past with deep gratitude, and to the future, with faith and hope.

“As a Church, we place great emphasis on doing what we can to strengthen faith in God and His beloved Son Jesus Christ. In fortifying families, and in contributing to cohesive and compassionate communities. We strive to obey the two great commandments as taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ—to love and obey God; and to love and lift our neighbours.”

He concluded, “We see this project as an opportunity to enhance this beautiful community. To make it an even more wonderful place to live. To raise a family, or to retire, in the glow of the temple—which we see as a house of the Lord—and in close proximity to friendly neighbours.

“We are grateful to work with others, such as our friends from Classic, and with the support and blessing of our Ngaati Maahanga brothers and sisters. Thank you, again, for your interest, support and kindness.”

Classic Builder’s Group representative, Scott Keene, also expressed gratitude for iwi support for the project and to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its work to strengthen the Temple View community.