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    New Zealand

    Click here for the Pacific Mormon Newsroom

    The first Latter-day Saint missionaries in New Zealand arrived in Auckland in October 1854 from Australia, where the young Church had established its South Pacific base. The little party was led by mission president Augustus Farnham. With him were Australian convert Elder William Cooke and Thomas Holder. After preaching in Auckland, Wellington and Nelson, Farnham returned to Australia and left Elder Cooke in charge.

    The first 10 converts in New Zealand were baptized in 1854, five months after the first missionaries arrived. A congregation was soon organized at Karori. Persecution arose, and in 1871 the New Zealand parliament briefly considered the "Mormon invasion." With a firm sense of gathering to the Church's center of strength in Salt Lake City, many faithful members emigrated as soon as they had means to do so. This fact contributed to the slow growth of the Church in New Zealand in those early years. In spite of this, New Zealand was proving more receptive than Australia, and the Church moved its South Pacific headquarters from Sydney to Auckland in 1874.

    At first missionary work centered among Europeans. At the end of 1880, seven branches (small congregations) had been established with 133 members. However, at this time Church President Joseph F. Smith instructed missionaries to concentrate on the indigenous Maori people. Membership in the mid 1880s grew rapidly, especially among the Maori people.

    Prior to the arrival of the missionaries in the south of the North Island, at least five Maori leaders, some of whom were Tohungas (spiritual leaders) while others were tribal wise men, had told of a "true religion" that would come. Because many beliefs of the Maoris and missionaries were similar, a number of Maoris were converted. The first conversions came in the Waikato region, but others soon followed. The first Maori baptized was Ngataki, on 18 October 1881.

    The New Zealand Temple and the Church College of New Zealand are two very well known landmarks in New Zealand. They were constructed largely by labor missionaries serving without pay. The temple, completed in 1958, towers nearly 160 feet with a large, imposing steeple. Membership in 1990 was 76,000.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Richard Hunter
    New Zealand
    Phone:  64(9)488-5572
    Mobile: 64-21-240-7804

    E-mail

    113,436

    Total Church Membership

    3

    Missions

    52

    Family History Centers

    224

    Congregations

    1

    Temples

    North America

    9,253,590

    Total Church Membership

    192

    Missions

    2,866

    Family History Centers

    18,159

    Congregations

    109

    Temples

    South America

    4,038,045

    Total Church Membership

    94

    Missions

    979

    Family History Centers

    5,545

    Congregations

    17

    Temples

    Europe

    516,003

    Total Church Membership

    43

    Missions

    710

    Family History Centers

    1,422

    Congregations

    12

    Temples

    Asia

    1,155,764

    Total Church Membership

    42

    Missions

    333

    Family History Centers

    1,973

    Congregations

    8

    Temples

    Oceania (Pacific)

    552,825

    Total Church Membership

    18

    Missions

    338

    Family History Centers

    1,251

    Congregations

    10

    Temples

    Africa

    578,310

    Total Church Membership

    31

    Missions

    285

    Family History Centers

    2,004

    Congregations

    3

    Temples

    Worldwide Statistics

    The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following report concerning the growth and status of the Church:

    Growth of the Church

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally organized in a small log cabin in upstate New York in 1830. It took 117 years — until 1947 — for the Church to grow from the initial six members to one million. Learn More

    16,118,169

    Total Church Membership

    188

    Published Languages

    30,506

    Congregations

    Missionary Program

    67,049

    Missionaries

    421

    Missions

    15

    Training Centers

    The Church's missionary program is one of its most recognized characteristics. Mormon missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world. Learn More

    Temples

    159

    Temples

    Temples are not regular places of Sunday worship for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Learn More

    Humanitarian Services

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides relief and development projects for humanitarian purposes in countries all over the world. Learn More

    189

    Countries Receiving Humanitarian Aid (Since 1985)

    10,238

    Welfare Services Missionaries (Incl. Humanitarian Service Missionaries)

    Education

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints emphasizes the importance of continued secular and spiritual education Learn More

    4

    Universities & Colleges

    404,270

    Seminary Students Enrollment

    357,760

    Institute Student Enrollment

    Genealogy

    Genealogy is more than learning about one’s family history for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day Saints believe families can be together after this life. Learn More

    5,100

    Family History Centers

    140

    Countries with Family History Centers