Wallaceville Animal Research Centre Veterinary Laboratory (Former)

70 Ward Street, Wallaceville, Upper Hutt

  • Wallaceville Animal Research Centre Veterinary Laboratory (Former).
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Alison Dangerfield. Date: 3/07/2008.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3573 Date Entered 2nd April 1985


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Area A DP 431065 (CT WN47A/259), Wellington Land District, and the building known as Wallaceville Animal Research Centre Veterinary Laboratory (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Upper Hutt City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Area A DP 431065 (CT WN47A/259), Wellington Land District


The Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, built in 1904, is a significant reminder of the importance of agriculture in the New Zealand economy and the key role that government has played in its development. In 1892 the New Zealand Government formed the Department of Agriculture. Part of the new department's work was to undertake research on livestock which could then be applied to help the farming community. Initial laboratory research was carried out in makeshift accommodation in Wellington. In 1904 the land at Wallaceville was acquired and a small research laboratory was built to designs prepared by the first Government Architect, John Campbell (1857-1942). The Wallaceville Veterinary Laboratory was for a time the diagnostic and research centre for animal health in New Zealand. In 1939 the Animal Research Division was formed and the building was renamed the Wallaceville Animal Research Station. It was also for a time the headquarters of the Department of Agriculture's Veterinary division.

The laboratory building is now part of the AgResearch - Wallaceville Animal Research Centre, a division of the New Zealand Pastoral Agricultural Research Institute. This is a Crown Research Institute which aims to 'provide innovative solutions and opportunities to the food, fibre, biotechnology and pastoral livestock industries'. It also aims to be New Zealand's 'centre of excellence for animal health and disease control'.

The Wallaceville Animal Research Centre building represents over one hundred years of government-initiated agricultural research, and nearly a hundred years of this kind of research on one site. Its construction reflects the importance of the agricultural industry in New Zealand, and its association New Zealand's first Government Architect, John Campbell, is significant.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Campbell, John

John Campbell (1857-1942) served his articles under John Gordon (c1835-1912) in Glasgow. He arrived in Dunedin in 1882 and after a brief period as a draughtsman with Mason and Wales joined the Dunedin branch of the Public Works Department in 1883. His first known work, an unbuilt design for the Dunedin Railway Station, reveals an early interest in Baroque architecture.

In November 1888 Campbell was transferred to Wellington where in 1889 he took up the position of draughtsman in charge of the Public Buildings Division of the Public Works Department.

He remained in charge of the design of government buildings throughout New Zealand until his retirement in 1922, becoming in 1909 the first person to hold the position of Government Architect. Government architecture designed under his aegis evidences a change in style from Queen Anne to Edwardian Baroque. His best-known Queen Anne design is the Dunedin Police Station (1895-8), modelled on Richard Norman Shaw's New Scotland Yard (1887-90). Among his most exuberant Edwardian Baroque buildings is the Public Trust Office, Wellington (1905-09). Although Campbell designed the Dunedin Law Courts (1899-1902) in the Gothic style with a Scottish Baronial inflection, he established Edwardian Baroque as the government style for police stations, courthouses and post offices throughout New Zealand. In 1911 Campbell won the nation-wide architectural competition for the design of Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Although only partially completed, Parliament House is the crowning achievement of Campbell's career.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description

A single-storey brick building with a Marseillle tile roof. It is decorated with white plaster bands and several small protuding gables.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1904 -

Completion Date

24th August 2001

Report Written By

Helen McCracken

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.