Funding toward new parliamentary buildings has been announced as part of Budget 2022.
This funding is earmarked to develop a new building for MPs and staff on the carpark behind Parliament House, and a new secure deliveries building. The annexe behind the Beehive, which is earthquake prone, will be rebuilt as a dedicated building for Ministers.
“Currently, our Ministers, MPs, and staff are spread across several buildings, in an expensive, inefficient, and unsustainable arrangement,” Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said.
“Most importantly, we need to keep the people who work at and visit Parliament safe. Our existing precinct has risks to safety and security, and our buildings have
low resilience to natural disasters and Wellington infrastructure failures. The new buildings will be base isolated and constructed using rigorous earthquake safety designs, within a consolidated and secure parliamentary precinct.”
Parliamentary Service has been assessing Parliament’s future accommodation needs for several years, and the project has majority party support. The proposed option ensures Parliament’s premises will be fit for purpose, now, and for the future, and will be more cost-effective in the long term.
“Over the past 30 years, Parliament has spent nearly $200 million leasing and maintaining Bowen House. After every election, Parliament’s working areas must be altered to cater for the different parties elected, which costs between $300,000-$500,000,” the Speaker said.
“Developing custom-built, modular office space on land Parliament already owns will mean long-term savings, through eliminating the cost of leasing and adapting commercial buildings for our unique purposes. It also means any money spent on these buildings will return into the New Zealand economy.”
The new buildings will also achieve the highest rating of the Greenstar sustainability grading system. They will incorporate environmentally conscious design by using New Zealand materials and recycled materials to reduce construction waste and will ensure carbon reduction during their lifespan by using energy efficient systems.
“This is also an opportunity for the parliamentary precinct to better reflect New Zealand’s heritage and culture, by working in consultation with mana whenua to ensure the buildings reflect Māori as New Zealand’s indigenous peoples.”
The estimated cost of the project will be released once the project’s detailed design phase has been completed, and the work tendered to ensure the process is properly competitive.