A Diamond Jubilee Visitor Centre is to be established at Government House Wellington to enhance knowledge of the Governor-General’s role in New Zealand’s government and history and to provide greater public access to the heritage building and grounds.
The 2012-13 Budget includes capital funding of $500,000 for the Centre, which will be sited in existing out-buildings at Government House, along with support for an educational programme.
The Visitor Centre is the final stage in a major strengthening and refurbishment project that began in 2008. Government House, which has a Category 1 heritage rating from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, reopened in March 2011.
Niels Holm, Official Secretary at Government House, said the opening of the Visitor Centre would appropriately mark the Diamond Jubilee year.
“The Centre will initially act as the focus for an educational programme for school students on the rich history of the Governor-General and Government House in New Zealand’s constitution and government.
“While thousands of people visit Government House every year to attend one of the many events held here, or to walk through during the regular and popular open days, in the longer-term, the Visitor Centre will act as a gateway to enhance public access to the House.”
Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, welcomed the Government’s decision to establish the Centre and facilitate greater public access.
“Government House has been the home of our Governors and Governors-General for more than a century. I believe that, like Parliament, the National War Memorial and Te Papa Tongarewa, Government House is a place all New Zealanders should have the opportunity to visit, so they can learn more of its history, heritage and role as the venue for some of our most important state occasions. The Diamond Jubilee Visitor Centre is a fitting tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, marking her 60 years as our Queen.”
Government House opened in 1910 and Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae are the 21st residents. For more information about Government House, visit: www.gg.govt.nz/government-house
For more information, contact Public Affairs Manager, Antony Paltridge, on 04 382 0827 or 021 470 583