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New Zealand Parliament

New Bowen House security facilities.

New Bowen House security facilities. Photo: Parliamentary Service Collection.

3 May 2011

New security facilities at Parliament

New security and visitor entry facilities on the ground floor of Bowen House have been formally opened by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr The Rt Hon Lockwood Smith. Bowen House is on the corner of Lambton Quay and Bowen Street in Wellington. It provides office space for many members of Parliament and parliamentary support staff.

The new facilities complete the recent security improvements at Parliament, says Parliamentary Service General Manager, Geoff Thorn. They bring the complex into line with security measures at comparable organisations while maintaining the easy access to the parliamentary complex that New Zealand citizens have always enjoyed.

Parliament had over 78,000 visitors in 2009-10, including 15,000 who came to Bowen House. The new screening facility in Bowen House increases the safety and security of all those who enter the parliamentary complex. Other changes to the ground floor of Bowen House have resulted in easier access to select committee rooms in the building and have enabled the café on the ground floor to be used by people visiting select committees. Essential building maintenance was also carried out as part of the project.

An attractive display at the Lambton Quay entrance to Bowen House records the history of the site, going back to the hotel operated by Baron von Alzdorf from the 1840s. The display includes original bricks from the hotel cellar together with artefacts uncovered during the archaeological excavation of the late 1980s. It replaces a previous display mounted in the years after Bowen House was built.