The plans to build first Hindu temple in New Zealand’s Tauranga have achieved it first milestone as the Hindu group behind the project has secured land.
Sanatan Dharam Trust bought a 2150 square metre land in Tauranga for $400,000 to build what it calls Bay of Plenty’s first Hindu temple.
The group has already received the necessary council consents to build the temple.
Trustee Kuldip Kumar told the BOP Times the next stage was to raise enough money to allow the building stage to begin. The temple has been a dream for the group for the past five years and is a step closer to fruition with this weekend’s bhoomi pujan (sod-turning) ceremony at the site in Whiore Avenue in Tauriko.
“Having a temple is very important to us. We’ve got a Hindu community here and we don’t have anywhere in the Bay to go to worship.”
As New Zealand’s sixth-largest city, Tauranga is an important centre for business, international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science, and its 125,000 population is multi-cultural.
“Whenever we want to go to a Hindu temple, the nearest ones are in Auckland or Hamilton … so having a temple here is going to be great for the Bay.”
While the group plans to build a one-level building, it would like to expand it by adding another level.
“When we have a function we prepare food to feed people as well so it would be nice to have an upstairs area where we can prepare the food and have the basement for worship.”
However, their priority is to raise funds at this stage.
“At the moment we’re just starting. We have already spent nearly $400,000 to buy that land,” Kuldeep told Sun Live.