Welcome to the website of Historic Places Wellington Incorporated (HPW). We are a membership not-for-profit organisation based in Wellington, New Zealand. We advocate for heritage in the wider Wellington region, and offer events such as talks, walks and visits to historic places and buildings. For more information, see our About Us page. We are also on Facebook: facebook.com/historicplaceswellington
Wellington historic buildings to visit
Some of Wellington’s historic buildings can be regularly visited (although some require a guided tour). Click the links for more information:
Old St Paul’s Church; Parliament Buildings; Old Government Buildings; Supreme Court; Katherine Mansfield Birthplace; Government House; St Gerard’s Monastery; St Peter’s Church; Wellington Museum (including Nairn Street Cottage); Futuna Chapel, Karori; Golder Cottage, Upper Hutt; Paekakariki Station Museum, Paekakariki, Kapiti coast, Silver Stream heritage railway, Upper Hutt.
Wellington’s historic listed buildings
To see if a building is listed as historic by Heritage New Zealand (formerly NZ Historic Places Trust) click the link to search. Local councils also maintain a heritage list as part of their District Plans – see our useful links page. You can search the buildings on the Wellington City Council’s list here: www.wellingtoncityheritage.org.nz
News and Events
The latest newsletter (May/June) of the Wellington Region Heritage Promotion Council is available from the WRHPC website library.
The list of buildings receiving funding in the latest round of Heritage Equip funding can be found by clicking the link. The next round of Heritage EQUIP funding closes on Monday 29 July 2019. Two receiving upgrade works grants are in the Wellington region:
- 131 Jackson Street, Petone, Lower Hutt ($100,000). Part of the Jackson Street Historic Area.
- Berry Building, Cuba Street, Wellington ($42,472). Built in 1900 as a photographic studio for William Berry, perhaps more well known today as the home of Peter McLeavey art gallery.
Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival 2019 – Wellington 23 May to 9 June at Embassy Theatre. Click to see the programme.
Sunday 26 May: Botanic Gardens open day – 11am: ‘Our Heritage Garden’ a 60 minute moderate walk (some uphill) “learn about our plants, some of our early history and our historic buildings”. Meet at the Founders’ Entrance, Glenmore St – finishes at the Rose Garden. 1.30pm: Rose Garden tour – 60 minute easy walk. Meet at the fountain in the rose garden or if wet, in the foyer of the begonia house.
Tues 4 June (four weeks on Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7:30pm): An evening class is offered on Wellington’s Architectural Heritage at Wellington High School Community Education. Click the link for more information.
Futuna chapel (a Category 1 historic building) is open to visitors on the first Sunday of the month from 11am till 3pm. A trustee will be present to answer your questions. Entry by koha.
Lunchtime concerts are regularly held in heritage-listed building St Andrew’s on the Terrace on Wednesdays at 12:15.
Blue Plaques. This is an initiative of our national body, Historic Places Aotearoa to identify and promote our built heritage. The large cast aluminium plaques are designed to be placed prominently on the facades of important heritage buildings. We have some interest from heritage building owners in Wellington.
Victoria University of Wellington, which owns the Gordon Wilson Flats at 320 The Terrace, wishes to demolish the building. It is not currently habitable. A city council panel approved the proposal to take the Gordon Wilson flats off the council’s heritage list. The Architectural Centre appealed the decision. The decision from the Environment Court on Gordon Wilson Flats came out on 9 August 2017. The appeal by the Architectural Centre was allowed and Gordon Wilson Flats should not be taken off the Council’s heritage list.
The decision noted that the appeal process had: “provided information that raises the heritage significance architecturally, socially and technically … of the GWF. Rather than diminishing the building’s heritage value … it has in fact strengthened the reasons for it to be listed” (at ). For more information about the Gordon Wilson Flats as architectural heritage, see the website of the Architectural Centre. And, also, on the DOCOMOMO NZ website.
The Flats, which were built between 1957 and 1959, were on the City Council’s heritage list, but not on Heritage New Zealand’s Heritage List.
Historic Places Wellington financially supported the Architectural Centre’s appeal. The Committee held mixed views as to the architectural merit of the building – a reflection of wider community views – but all agreed that the delisting of a heritage building could set a dangerous precedent. It was on this basis that HPW gave its support. The Court’s rejection of the delisting will hopefully discourage other heritage building owners from taking this route. Nevertheless, the Wellington City Council is going to vote on changing the zoning status of the Gordon Wilson Flats from residential to institutional precinct. This could open the way for demolition.
To further promote the ongoing protection and future of significant historic and heritage sites, the Government has broadened the eligibility criteria of the National Heritage Preservation Incentive Fund (NHPIF) that Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga administers on its behalf.
From 1 May 2018, applications are open to all private property owners of places listed on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero, with the exception of historic areas. This includes Category 1 and Category 2 properties, as well as sites of significance to Māori.
More information is available on this website
The Government’s fund called Heritage EQUIP opened for applications on 15 December 2016. You can find more at this link: www.mch.govt.nz/heritageequip. This is separate from the facades and parapets policy.
Applications are welcome from owners of all privately-owned Category 1 Heritage New Zealand listed buildings across the country and for Category 2 listed heritage buildings in areas of high to medium seismic risk. “Grants are available for minor works under the Retrofit component of the fund, as well as for larger projects.”
The newsletters of the Wellington Region Heritage Promotion Council are available from the WRHPC website library.
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