Hundreds of people have helped celebrate a new multi-million dollar Hindu temple in west Auckland, even though finishing the project is still dependent on funding.
Building work started in 2012 on the Shri Ram Mandir temple, which is expected to be one of the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
A 24-hour music and chanting recital was held to both celebrate and fundraise for the three-storey, white marble-covered temple in Henderson.
The temple is still covered in scaffolding, with about 20 percent of the work still to be completed.
The main dome is two thirds finished.
Managing trustee Pravin Kumar said funding the $5 million project had not been easy, with the project having to rely on donations and interest free loans.
He said they had struggled to get grants, and the project had taken time as they continually scraped together money to work on it.
However, he said there was intense interest in becoming the local priest, after the post was advertised in India, as well as New Zealand.
"Only one newspaper in Mumbai and one newspaper in Gujarat and the local contact, his phone hasn't stopped ringing. He has answered 500 phone calls, he had to switch his phone off."
Mr Kumar said he was hopeful the temple would be finished in time for an inauguration on a holy day in May, but first they would have to raise enough money to finish it.