New Zealand Parliament Buildings Tour Review

Wellington New Zealand
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NZ Parliament Buildings

The capital of New Zealand is Wellington & the place where all the hot air is generated is the Parliament Buildings. They are located on a hill near the Railway Station. It is actually a series of buildings. On the right is the original government buildings which is now used for offices & the library/reading room. The middle building that looks like a traditional government building which has the debating chamber & the committee rooms & at the end a very funny looking building. It looks like a beehive (& has been nicknamed the beehive) & is the home to the offices of a number of the members of Parliament.

There are free tours several times a day & you can just walk up without a booking but may have to wait for a later tour. You will need to pass through security to check for weapons but what surprised me was there was no ID check. No cameras or cell phones allowed but you can check these at the start of the tour.

Even though no cameras are allowed you can see a virtual tour on the website so its a bit of a strange rule.

The tours take about an hour & the guides have a few good stories to tell. We were standing in the foyer of the parliament building & it looked familiar – it is used a lot by the media to catch the politicians as they cross from the beehive to the committee rooms or the debating chamber. We also got to see the back way they use to avoid the media but our guide said he could not comment on that observation.

We went down into the basement of the parliament building to see some of the earthquake prevention work that has been done. All of wellington is on a fault line & while the beehive was built to earthquake standards the main building had to be retrofitted – the work is amazing.

Walking the halls is interesting because you get to see a small museum collection of gifts to NZ & photos of all the past leaders. Turns out the current Prime Minister does not get their picture put up until they leave the job.

We were taken into the debating chamber but could not stay long as they were doing sound checks – was strange to hear the words of a Jimmy Barnes song being used for a sound test in the New Zealand government debating chamber.

Well worth the visit for anyone from New Zealand or from overseas if you want to see what goes on in the NZ government or just look at old buildings.

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Address Wellington New Zealand
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