Proposed NZ Parliament Building

Above: The original grand plan.Below: What you see is what you get. The Parliament House as built includes the original central entrance and the right wing. The ornate domes and other ornamentation were omitted.

Actual NZ Parliament Building

The New Zealand Parliament House stands at the northern end of Lambton Quay, Wellington, and contains the Debating Chamber, Speaker's Office, Visitors' Centre, and committee rooms.

An earlier wooden Parliament House was destroyed by fire in 1907 along with all other parliament buildings, except the library. A competition to find a replacement design was announced by Prime Minister Joseph Ward in February 1911. Out of the 37 entries, the winning design by Government Architect John Campbell was selected by Colonel Vernon, former Government Architect for New South Wales. As another of Campbell's entries won fourth place, the actual design is a combination of both entries. The design was divided into two stages, first a new structure for both chambers and a second stage with an extension and a new library to replace the existing one.

Despite cost concerns, Prime Minister William Massey let construction of the first stage begin in 1914, but without much of the ornamentation and the roof domes. The outbreak of World War I created labour and material shortages that made construction difficult. By 1917 the top floor of the first stage was completed. Although the first stage was far from finished, MPs moved into the building in 1918 to avoid having to use the old cramped Government Building. In 1922 construction ended, though the building was incomplete as the second stage was never built. The building was finally inaugurated officially in 1995 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Text adapted from Wikipedia. Photos from Wikipedia and the NZ Parliament website.

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