Government House, Wellington

Categories: Government Buildings, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web
Government House, Wellington is the official residence of the Governor-General of New Zealand, the representative of the New Zealand head of state Queen Elizabeth II. Its current residents are Jerry Mateparae, who has been Governor General since March 2011, and his spouse. The present building was completed in 1910 and it is the third Government House in Wellington.HistoryAs Auckland was the capital from 1840 until 1865, the provision of an official residence for the governor was initially not a priority. It was only during the period of the fourth governor, George Grey, that an official property was provided. The first Wellington Government House was Colonel William Wakefield's villa, located where the Beehive now stands. Wakefield was the Agent for the New Zealand Company and had built the house in 1840 but had died in 1848. The residence was then used as a hospital for a short period in 1848 after a severe earthquake. Wakefield's house was a very plain Regency styled building with verandahs, (Auckland Libraries, 4-1028) it stood on a hill overlooking the harbour. There is a record of the first Government House Ball being held in it, on 10 February 1849 during George Grey's first period as Governor.Grey was succeeded by Robert Wynyard, then Thomas Gore Browne (and then Wynyard again). It is possible that neither of these men visited or at least resided in Wellington during their terms and thus the official status of the Wakefield Villa is uncertain. Grey became Governor for a second time in 1861 and he certainly used Wakefield House as his Official Wellington Residence. In 1865 the capital was transferred from Auckland to Wellington. The need to provide accommodation for the various branches of Government resulted in a flurry of construction and prompted the replacement of the rather plain Government House with a more appropriate building. In 1868 this was embarked upon. As the new Parliament Buildings were directly adjacent it was unsurprising that it was mooted that the new Government House should be in a similar gothic style. As it happened an Italianate style was chosen, probably because it was the cheaper option.
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  • Just stunning and most interesting and beautiful grounds and the building is just out of this world. Look out for the resident cat called 'Boot's who is a SPCA rescue cat and lord of the manor! Do vis...  read more »
  • A stunning example of colonial history overlaid by superb restoration and quirky stories and features. This is not a 30 minute bus tour stop, this is 100 minutes of appreciation of 21st Century kiwi c...  read more »
  • The official residence of the Governor General of New Zealand visiting this beautiful building is a great way to learn about the changing relationship between New Zealand and Britain. It took until ou...  read more »
  • The two hour tour of the House is free and very informative. Highly recommended.
  • As a member of the public you can book a 2 hr tour of The Governor General's House for free. It's a brilliant service and the history of the Governor Generals in New Zealand was genuinely interesting, even for an Aussie and a Dane. We would highly recommend it :)
  • Good enough
  • Woo, my first time...I'm here for the newtown xmas carols... :)
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