Government House, Wellington

(45+ reviews on the web)
Government Building Historic Site
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Visited on a Saturday morning on the 10am tour. Shown round by our helpful and informative guide Owen, it was great to hear the stories and tales from the house and of the different Governer Generals....  more »
  • Our Tour of Government House is a wonderful experience for everyone who lives in Wellington plus Visitors from out of Wellington and New Zealand. The Tour Guides no their job and make the Tour very in...  more »
  • Government Houses around the world can sometimes be hard to get into, but here in New Zealand it couldn't be a simpler or more rewarding experience. The tour starts in the small but jam-packed visitor...  more »
Google
  • Nice to be able to visit Government House for Waitangi celebrations.
  • 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 :)
  • Gay
  • Good enough