Parliament Buildings, Wellington (must see)
Despite cost concerns, Prime Minister William Massey let construction of the first stage begin in 1914, but without much of the roof ornamentation or the roof domes. The outbreak of World War I created labour and material shortages that made construction difficult. Although the building was unfinished, Members of Parliament moved into it in 1918 to avoid having to use the old, cramped Government House (which housed the Governor). In 1922, the first stage was completed (the second stage was never built). The building was finally officially opened in 1995 by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, after its comprehensive strengthening and refurbishment.
The land intended for the second stage of Parliament House is occupied by the Executive Wing. This building conceived by British architect Sir Basil Spence in 1964, largely designed by the Ministry of Works, was officially opened by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand in 1977. The government moved into the building in 1979. Due to its distinctive shape, it is referred to colloquially as "The Beehive".
Completed in 1899, the Parliamentary Library is the oldest of the buildings. It stands to the north of Parliament House (to its right, looking from the front). The library was designed in Gothic revival style and was fire resistant, being constructed of masonry. The third story of the design was not built to save money. It had an iron fire-door separating the library from the main entrance section. This saved the library from the fire of 1907 which destroyed the rest of the (wooden) parliament buildings. Coincidentally, exactly the same thing happened in Ottawa in 1916—with fire doors saving the Library when the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament burned. Like Parliament House the library was strengthened and refurbished in the 1990s. It still houses Parliament's library.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Wellington. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Parliament Buildings on Map
Sight Location: Wellington, New Zealand (See walking tours in Wellington)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:
Walking Tours in Wellington, New Zealand
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles