Parliament Buildings & Beehive, Wellington
The Parliament House had just undergone a major refurbishment. The refurbishment project has made a special effort to restore the buildings to their original glory while also making some changes and improvements. In the process of the refurbishment, many temporary additions made over the years to Parliament House have been removed. And about 30% more space were created in the restoration of the main heritage areas.
It has earned an Historic Places 'A' Classification due to its age of the buildings and the historical importance. This means that any building or redecorating must follow special rules. One of those rules is to preserve the character of the buildings has to be preserved.
A special technique of base isolation (417 lead-rubber bearings) used in the construction of its foundations is to make sure the Parliament Buildings are able to withstand an earthquake of up to 7.5 on the Richter Scale.
Free guided tours leave on the hour from the grond floor foyer. Tours are approximately 1 hour. Private tours (10 or more) can be pre-booked by arrangement.
Weekdays: 10am to 4pm (last tours depart at 4pm)
Saturdays: 10 - 3pm (last tours depart at 3pm)
Sundays: 12 - 3pm (last tours depart at 3pm)
Closed: New Year's Day & 2 January, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Christmas & Boxing Day.
It's a pity that photography is not permitted inside!!
The Parliament consists of three building, the executive wing of which is known as the Beehive.
Designed by British architect Sir Basil Spence, it was built between 1969 and 1980.
Tours are available fo the interior of the building, but we did not have time to do so during our stay in Wellington.
New Zealand's Parliament House is an interesting place to visit while in Wellington. You can get a free tour that lasts 1 hour. It is well worth your time.
You will see Parliament & Legislation chambers, the Grand Hall, the Maori Affairs Room, and more. The guides are great and tell some amazing stories of events that occurred here, as well as behind-the-scenes info that the public rarely hears. Another interesting fact you will learn about is the foundation of the building and its state-of-the-art earthquake shock absorbers, which are a New Zealand invention.
Tours run on the hour. Weekday hours are 10 AM to 4 PM, Saturdays 10 AM to 3 PM, and Sundays from 12 PM to 3 PM.
The Parliamentary Library was built in 1899. Being built of brick, cement and plaster, it managed to survive the fire which destroyed the adjacent wooden Parliament Building and other structures in 1907. However during the refurbishment in 1992, another fire caused major damage and the building had to be completely restored.
The building houses over half a million books related to laws, legislation and the government of New Zealand. Workers in this building are mainly researchers assisting Members of Parliament.
Wellington is home to New Zealand's governement, the Parliament Buildings built in 1912 but delayed due to World War I, were completed in 1918. This Edwardian neo-classic building was never completed. You will notice that the main entrance steps are off center, this is because the southern wing of Paliament was never built. Instead the proposed site for this is now taken up by the "Beehive" built in 1981, its it named the "Beehive" because of it external shape.
The Parliament grounds are immaculate and are great for photos.
Most public tours run on the hour departing from the ground floor foyer of Parliament House at the following times:
Weekdays: 10am - 4pm (Last tour departs at 4)
Weekends: Saturday 10am - 3pm, Sunday 12 - 3pm (Last tours depart at 3).
Closed: New Year's Day & 2 January, Waitangi Day, Good Friday, Christmas & Boxing Day
The Beehive is the most famous building in Wellington. The nickname comes from the obvious unique shape of the building and has nothing to do with the fact that its part of the parliament buildings. The building housing the ministerial offices. In the other part of the parliament buildings is the debating chambers (House of Representatives) where you can watch politicians in action. They are better behaved now that the sessions are televised. There are daily organised tours of the building. This third building of the parliament buildings was completed in 1969..
No visit to the nation's capital is complete without the obligatory photo outside the Beehive, the strangely shaped building that houses the executive branch of government. You'll either like the building or not. There's not much middle ground. The Parliament Building is next door. Notice how the main staircase is off centre... the building was never finished and the Beehive occupies the area of the non-existent wing. Free tours of parliament depart from the lobby of the Parliament Building on the hour.
Wandering through the grounds of Parliament is something to do when in Wellington. It's a stone's throw from the train station, and the grounds themselves are pleasant enough to stroll through.
these are quite famous buildings in the district....the beehive certainly is a very interesting piece of infrastructure......and my mum might have felt like she was really the queen bee!
One of the Parliament Buildings - unique 1970’s style Beehive building (locals call it Beehive in short).