Transcript for Andrew Jenson, "New Zealand Mission," Encyclopedic History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co., 1941), 580-81
NEW ZEALAND MISSION (The) consists of the two main islands of New Zealand, namely, the North Island and the South Island, and several smaller islands. This mission is divided into fifteen conferences, or districts, namely, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Hauraki, Hawkes Bay, Mahia, Maori Agricultural College, Otago, Poverty Bay, Taranaki, Waikato, Wairarapa, Wairoa, Wellington and Whangarei.
The New Zealand Mission was originally an outgrowth of the Australian Mission. As early as 1854, at a conference held at Sydney, New South Wales, it was decided that Augustus Farnham, president of the Australian Mission, should open up a mission in New Zealand. In company with William Cooke, an Australian convert, he left Sydney Oct. 20, 1854, for Auckland, where they arrived Oct. 27th. They preached in Auckland and vicinity on the North Island and in Nelson and vicinity on the South Island, but did not baptize any converts. On Dec. 11, 1854, Pres. Farnham sailed from New Zealand, leaving Elder Cooke in charge of the work in New Zealand. By the end of March, 1855, Elder Cooke had baptized ten persons at Karori (near Wellington) and organized them into a branch of the Church-the first branch in New Zealand. In 1867 Carl C. Asmussen, an Elder from Zion, came to labor in New Zealand. He baptized two persons (William and James Burnett, brothers) at Kaiapoi on the South Island, and, with the assistance of these new converts, commenced missionary labors at Christchurch. On June 6, 1867, Elder Asmussen left New Zealand, placing Elder William Burnett in charge of the branch at Kaiapoi, which consisted of seven members. In 1870 Robert Beauchamp, then president of the Australasian Mission (which included New Zealand), visited New Zealand, and with the assistance of the Burnett brothers and Bro. Henry Allington, a school teacher at Karori, reorganized the branch of the Church at Karori (which, with some new converts, consisted of 20 members) and appointed Henry Allington to preside over the same. Shortly afterwards Pres. Beauchamp left, placing William Burnett in charge of the New Zealand Conference, assisted by his brother, James. As usual, persecution arose and in 1871 the question of the "Mormon Invasion" was considered sufficiently important to be brought before the Colonial Parliament, but no action was taken on account of insufficient evidence of malfeasance.
On Dec. 30, 1871, the first company of emigrating saints from New Zealand on record (11 souls) left Auckland per steamship "Nevada." The company arrived in Salt Lake City Feb. 10, 1872. Another company of nine emigrating saints in charge of Henry Allington left Wellington for San Francisco, Calif., in April, 1872.
In the fall of 1875 five Elders from Zion came to labor in New Zealand,. namely, William McLachlin (appointed to preside over the conference), Thomas Steed, Fred and Charles Hurst and John T. Rich. They labored with some degree of success until January, 1877, when the Utah Elders were called home. In August, 1878, Thomas A. Shreeve, a Utah Elder, arrived at Lyttleton, New Zealand, as a missionary, who being the only Zion Elder there, took charge of the conference, succeeding Elder William Burnett. Elder Shreeve was succeeded by Elijah F. Pearce, president of the Australasian Mission, who moved the headquarters of the mission from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zeal.and. In 1881 John P. SÃ¶rensen, a Zion Elder, labored quite successfully in a Danish colony in Wairarapa Valley (North Island), and published a small hymn book in Danish for their benefit.
In January, 1881, William M. Bromley arrived in Auckland to preside over the Australasian Mission. He felt impressed to present the gospel to the Maoris. Some previous attempts had been made, but with little success. Assisted by William J. McDonell, a local brother, he visited the Maori settlement at Orakei, near Auckland. Soon afterwards Elder John S. Ferris commenced to labor among the Maoris on the coast of the Bay of Plenty, Elder SÃ¶rensen in the native villages near New Plymouth, and Thomas L. Cox (a local Elder) and his wife among the Maoris near Cambridge. Among those baptized was Ngataki, one of the native King Tauhio's advisers, and Papene Eketone, an educated Maori, who later rendered valuable aid as an interpreter and translator. On Feb. 25, 1883, a branch of 27 members was raised up in the Waotu settlement with Hari T. Katera, a native, as president. Many operations of the Spirit were manifested (healings, visions, dreams, etc.), and one woman in Waotu, said to be dead, was restored to health through the administration of Elder Cox. The organization of other branches of the Church among the Maoris followed, and in 1885, when the total membership of the Church in New Zealand was 1,238, the majority, or 1,038, were Maoris. At the close of 1887 the Church membership in New Zealand was 2,573, of whom 2,243 were Maoris. In March, 1887, Elders Ezra F. Richards and Sonda Sanders, jun., were set apart to translate the Book of Mormon into the Maori language, assisted by Henare Potai and Pirihi, educated natives. The volume was published by Pres. William Paxman in April, 1889.
In 1895 Elder Andrew Jenson visited the mission in the interest of Church history.
At the close of the year 1897 the Australasian Mission was divided into two separate missions, to-wit: the New Zealand Mission and the Australian Mission. Elder Ezra F. Richards, who had presided over the Australasian Mission for about a year, with headquarters at Auckland, N. Z., was appointed to remain in charge of the work in New Zealand, thus becoming the first president of the New Zealand Mission. At this time the Church membership in New Zealand numbered nearly 4,000, ninety per cent of whom were Maoris.
In 1907 the publication of a magazine in the interest of the mission was commenced at Auckland, under the title of "Elders' Messenger." Later the same year, the name was changed to "The Messenger." Part of the periodical, issued semi-monthly, was printed in English and part in the Maori tongue. Commencing with the second volume (issued Feb. 5, 1908), two issues were published, simultaneously, one in English ("The Messenger") and one in Maori (Te Karere). Later, the two magazines were again combined and are still so published in monthly issues.
In 1913 an Agricultural College was opened by the mission (for Maori boys) at Korongata, near Hastings, North Island. This college was still in operation in 1930 and could accommodate about 200 students, coming from various parts of the islands to attend the school.
The numerical strength of the New Zealand Mission Dec. 31, 1930, was 7,256, including 4 High Priests, 1 Seventy, 268 Elders, 259 Priests, 137 Teachers, 429 Deacons, 4,457 lay members and 1,701 children. There were 29 missionaries from Zion laboring in the mission, including three sisters.
Following is a list of the presidents of the New Zealand Mission: Ezra F. Richards, 1897-1898; Ezra T. Stevenson, 1898-1900; John Ephraim Magleby, 1900-1903; Charles B. Bartlett, 1903-1905; Louis G. Hoagland, 1905-1907; Rufus K. Hardy, 1907-1909; Georges Bowles, 1909-1911; Orson D. Romney, 1911-1914; Wm. Gardner, 1914-1918; James N. Lambert, 1918-1920; Frederick M. Schwendiman (acting) May to Nov., 1920; George Shepherd Taylor, 1920-1923; Angus T. Wright, 1923-1925; Andrew R. Halversen (acting) May to Aug., 1925; John Howard Jenkins, 1925-1928, and John E. Magleby (2nd term), 1928-1930.