A Hindu temple, six years in the making, officially opened last Friday.
The Sri Balaji Temple, complete with hall and kitchen facilities, was built by a charitable trust, relying on finance from trust grants, donations and funding from the community.
The project began in 2009, with plans to build a temple for the Hamilton community. The vision was to provide a special space for believers from all ethnicities and backgrounds to congregate daily, and on special occasions to celebrate their faith and traditions.
Treasurer Malathi Vasudevan joined the Sri Balaji Temple Charitable Trust in 2011 as head of finance, and said it has been a patient procedure to get to where they are now.
"We grew our donations and invested in different things for a couple years. Because we are a group, instead of an individual with an income like a normal set up, we had to show more than a 20 per cent deposit. It was close to a 40 per cent deposit."
After the bank loan was approved, the Trust was able to apply for funding.
"Once we did that and got the land, that's when things started happening. We were able to apply to funding agencies like Trust Waikato."
The opening was celebrated over five days, with religious formalites held both morning and night to consecrate and bless the new temple.
On Friday, Labour leader Andrew Little, along with his deputy Grant Robertson and Hamilton-based Labour list MP Sue Maroney, visited the temple.
Little said the temple was a great achievement for what is a multi-cultural city.
"It's good too, as a city like Hamilton grows, that those new communities and ethnicities find a way to do their thing and express themselves," said Mr Little.
"I think it's fantastic they've been able to do that and that they've been supported by local community organisations as well."
Visitors packed the temple over the five-day celebratory period. Many travelled from around New Zealand along with four priests who flew from India to mark the occasion.
Now the opening celebrations have concluded, the temple, hall and kitchen will be open to the public for various functions. Sri Balaji Temple is at 2 Kent St, Frankton.