Government House

Dufferin Street, Wellington

  • Government House, Wellington. Image courtesy of
  • Government House, Wellington. South Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Government House. Date: 1/03/2017.
  • Government House, Wellington. Aerial image courtesy of
    Copyright: Government House. Date: 1/03/2010.
  • Government House, Wellington. The Taupaepae is the formal entrance where guests are greeted. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Government House.
  • Governement House, Wellington. Gates to Government House on the corner of Duffern St & Rugby St, Wellington. CC Licence 4.0 Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Pear285 - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Pear285. Date: 9/01/2015.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 218 Date Entered 25th November 1982 Date of Effect 25th November 1982


City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Secs 1250 1362 (SO 33757) Pt 1248 Sec 1394 & 1395 (SO 32412)


This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Built in 1910 to replace the Clayton Building commandeered by Parliament to replace their own fire-damaged buildings, the site of the former Mt View Asylum was selected for the new vice-regal residence on the lower slopes of Mt Victoria. It was designed by Claude E Paton of the Government Architect's Office.

A large two-storey Edwardian structure with attics it is built of wood frame with plastered infill panels. It fulfils two main functions - as a residence of the governor-general and his family and for holding formal and state functions. The formal spaces on the main floor are impressive and include a ballroom, drawing room, Conservatory, Smoking room, dining room and entrance hall.

Government House is set in spacious undulating grounds having the northern elevation fronting the main lawn. The formal entrance has a classical styled porte-cochere with southerly aspect. As the vice-regal home for a long succession of governors-general and as a setting for many formal occasions Government House is a building of real significance.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Paton, Claude

Claude Paton (1881 -1953) was born in Scotland and arrived in New Zealand in 1904. He received some architectural or draughting training in Glasgow which enabled him to gain employment with the Public Works Department in 1906 as an architectural draughtsman. Although Paton was never given the title of architect he was an influential force in the Department. He carried particular weight during the last decade of John Campbell's tenure as Government Architect; both were committed to the Edwardian Baroque style. Paton retired from the Public Works Department as a senior draughtsman in 1946.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1910 -

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.