Parliament's grounds

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Visitors are welcome to enjoy Parliament’s grounds, which are used regularly for many kinds of public gatherings. From the grounds you can admire Parliament’s buildings, the flags on the many flagpoles, the rose and camellia gardens, fine ironwork on the gates and lamp standards, and commemorative statues and plaques.

Parliament House façade

Huge marble columns dominate the front of Parliament House. The stonework consists of Coromandel granite at the base and Takaka marble on the upper storeys. This stonework was carefully cleaned and restored between 1992 and 1995.

New Zealand’s Coat of Arms is carved in marble above the bronze gates of the main entrance to Parliament House.

Flags

The New Zealand flag flies from the central flagpole above the main entrance of Parliament House when the House is sitting in daytime. The flag is replaced by three lights on the flagpole to indicate evening sittings.

A flag flies on the Beehive flagpole daily. Flags along the forecourt in front of Parliament House mark special visits.

Gardens

Visitors are welcome to enjoy the trees and gardens in Parliament’s grounds, including the beautiful rose garden in front of the Library building and the ‘Kate Sheppard’ camellia border next to it. ‘Kate Sheppard’ camellias are named after a leading New Zealand suffragist.

Ironwork

The design of Parliament’s iron gates incorporates the initials of King George V, who was the monarch when the gates were made. The iron lamp standards, and possibly the gates, were manufactured by a British firm, Birmingham Guild Ltd.

Statues and plaques

There are several statues and plaques in Parliament’s grounds.

The most prominent is a bronze statue of Richard John Seddon at the front of the main forecourt. Richard John Seddon was New Zealand’s longest serving Prime Minister. He was Prime Minister from 1893 to 1906.

The Cook Bicentenary Plaque is in front of the Beehive. This plaque commemorates the arrival of Captain James Cook in New Zealand in 1769.

If you plan to visit Parliament grounds, please take a copy of our free ’Exploring Parliament Grounds’ brochure from the Visitor Centre. It will help you make the most of your visit.