Old houses in Mt Victoria

Welcome to the website of Historic Places Wellington Incorporated (HPW)


  • We are a membership not-for-profit organisation based in Wellington / Te Whanganui-a-Tara, 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. You can help by joining us.
  • For more information, see our about us page.
  • Our newsletters are under the resources page, as are useful links and other heritage information.
  • We are also on Facebook and Instagram (@historicwelly)


News and Events

Nairn Street Cottage reopens for daily tours from Saturday 7 January until the end of February.

Experience old world charm in the heart of the city.

Book now https://bit.ly/3PGb8Rd


Chinese footprints: A Lunar New Year walking tour of Wellington’s history: 21 February 10am. Bookings required – see National Library website for more details and email address to book.

Chinese footprints, led by Lynette Shum (Oral History Advisor, Alexander Turnbull Library) and historian Nigel Murphy, will take attendees on a walking tour exploring the rich history of the Chinese in Wellington, much of which has been erased and now largely invisible to passers-by. The tour will draw on images, ephemera, and oral history from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library.


Summer walking tours of Pukeahu Park (National War Memorial Park) – three dates in late February and March. Free but bookings required. See here for details.


The December 2022 issue of Oculus, the newsletter of Historic Places Aotearoa is available here (PDF copy). Earlier issues of Oculus, are available on our useful links page (scroll down to HPA).

Our latest newsletter is also available on our Newsletters page.


Our chairperson, Felicity Wong, gave a talk to the joint annual conference of Historic Places Aotearoa and ICOMOS in Auckland on 12 November about keeping our built heritage. You can read it here (PDF).


Recently published: EMPIRE CITY: WELLINGTON BECOMES THE CAPITAL OF NEW ZEALAND, by John Martin. This is a thorough history of Wellington from about 1840 to 1870.

We made a contribution to the costs of this. You can read more here.


Old or Green: Is the greenest building an old building? We hosted this talk by Brenda and Robert Vale during Heritage Week in October 2021. You can watch a 10 minute highlights version here.


St Andrew’s on the Terrace, a Category 1 historic place, has Wednesday (and occasionally Thursday) lunchtime concerts starting at 12:15pm. They start again on 22 February 2023.

Check their website for further details.


Our chairperson Felicity Wong gave a presentation (online via Zoom) to U3A Wellington city on 31 August 2021 on Challenges to Built Heritage: Neglect, Earthquakes and Urban Planning. You can read a copy on our advocacy page – or click this link here. (PDF copy)


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 more information on Blue Plaques on our resources page.

There is also a dedicated website for blue plaques.

The image shows Wellington’s first blue plaque at Randell Cottage in St Mary’s Street Thorndon (installed November 2022).

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