Public Trust Office Building (Former)

131-135 Lambton Quay And 22 Stout Street, Wellington

  • Public Trust Office Building (Former), Wellington. Image courtesy of .
    Copyright: ┬ęPhotographer Alex Efimoff . Taken By: Alex Efimoff . Date: 1/02/2016.
  • Public Trust Office Building (Former), Wellington. CC BY-SA 2.0 Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Gouldy99. Taken By: Gouldy99. Date: 17/03/2008.
  • Public Trust Office Building (Former), Wellington. Interior entrance stair detail. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: ┬ęPhotographer Alex Efimoff . Taken By: Alex Efimoff. Date: 11/11/2011.
  • Public Trust Office Building (Former), Wellington. c.1907. Image courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa photography collection. Purchased 1957. Te Papa (B.027799).
    Copyright: No Known Copyright Restrictions . Taken By: Fred Brockett.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 224 Date Entered 26th November 1981 Date of Effect 26th November 1981


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 2 DP50796 (RT 668466), Wellington Land District and the building known as Public Trust Office Building (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP50796 (RT 668466), Wellington Land District


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.

This building is a superb example of a public and commercial building of the Edwardian period. Its corner site and powerful blend of architectural styles combine to create an outstanding piece of townscape. Chief Government Architect, John Campbell, was responsible for the design of this building which was erected in 1908. Historically the building's importance lies with its use as the Public Trust Office which when established in 1872 was the first of its type in the world.


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

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1909 -

Other Information

NZHPT Heritage Order (20 October 1982)

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.