Thursday, March 4, 2010

LDS 'US property tycoons' slammed

The LDS Church hierarchy in Auckland, Sydney and Salt Lake City is way out of line in appealing against Hamilton City Council's decision to protect buildings and the general heritage 'character' of the Church College and Mormon temple precincts in the Templeview village.

Local residents - and several generations of Church College former students - are clearly opposed to the wish by the LDS property tycoons to demolish the College buildings. There is also evidence that these same people had initially proposed to demolish at least part of the iconic Mormon Temple, and they have certainly called for the removal from the Council's District Plan of the heritage 'overlay' for the Temple precinct - which if enacted would make it harder for anyone to change this structure.

Templeview, its Temple, the Church College buildings and the row of staff houses on Tuhikaramea Rd, have been an iconic part of the Hamilton community for over 50 years and deserve the protection that the City Council has proposed for them. It might be alright for the US businessmen running the LDS church's property division to rip in and bust old buildings in the USA - affecting whole communities, but they will have to come to grips with the fact that New Zealand is different, and they can't just do what they like with a community that is as special as this one.

These LDS US property tycoons - not to be confused with the church's religious leaders, who have had no say in this decision - have appealed against ALL of the City Council's decisions to provide heritage protection under 'Variation 7' to its District Plan. There is great consternation in both the city's Mormon community (11,000-strong), and the general community - many Mormons feel constrained about criticising decisions by any of their leadership, but many others are openly saying that the decision to close the College, demolish the buildings, and oppose any heritage protection arrangements is wrong, and is counterproductive for the LDS Church.


  1. i went to church college and loved its a pity my kids wont be able to go.

  2. How it ever got this far who knows. It is however a travesty this in this case the College boss in Australia gets it into his head he wants College closed and cons the Church heirachy into agreeing.
    A sad loss for Hamilton which will never be quite the same again.

  3. LDS has publicly committed to an 'envisioning' process to consult with the community on the future of Church College. They can't consult in 'Good Faith' while appealing the Variation. One hopes that a Church group understands what 'Good Faith' means. LDS - you need to ditch the lawyers, ditch the appeal and do the envisioning honestly.

  4. When David O McKay and Gordon C Young saw in vision, the Temple and the College in its current location (long before the college was ever built), it was envisioned. It was dedicated by a prophet of God with the motto "Build now for Eternity" Why ever do we need a property developers vision? Oh thats right the LDS Trusts application states that "David O McKay was a person of no significance!"

  5. The Church College campus is an iconic facility that very few would like to see pulled down.The journey thus far from the time closure of the college announced and subsequent decision to demolish it has been controversial.
    However in response to this the Church have put off the demolition plan and are anxious to take a more consultative approach to the matter.
    My feeling is that there will be a more positive outcome in this matter, one that will benefit all parties concerned.

  6. Why don't we have a Templeview Area School combining primary and secondary schools into one campus?

  7. Why dont we just give the land back to the descendents of Mahanga and let them decide what to do with it?