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School tours

We have education programmes for groups from early childhood and primary through to tertiary and adult community education level, who want to learn more about the Governor-General and Government House.

We recommend approximately 1.5-2 hours for a visit.

We're happy to work with you to tie the visit to learning themes like leadership, community service, identity and architecture. We also understand that some trips are just to see a special place, and you may not have a specific learning theme.

We welcome visits from students learning English through adult community programmes.

Pre-visit learning

Where possible, our Visitor Centre education staff can visit your school to do a pre-visit session with students on the role of the Governor-General. (Wellington area only)

Where a pre-visit session isn't possible, we recommend students learn a little about the Governor-General and Government House before their visit, to give their visit more focus and context. 

In both cases, this knowledge will improve students' experience on the tour itself.

Our venue and staff

The Visitor Centre has dedicated classroom space. We have two staff and can split large groups, with a limit of 50 students per visit.

The tour will be split between the Visitor Centre and Government House.

We have space for students to eat lunch indoors.

We have full wheelchair access.

Bus and car parking are available on-site.

Risk assessment management and security (RAMS)

Download a RAMS form (PDF 224 KB)

You must give us a full list of students and accompanying adults 24 hours before you visit.

Entry is through the Hospital Road gate only, unless otherwise arranged.

Resources

We have gathered together some resources that may be of interest to you before you visit.

Educational resources

Combining visits with other venues

Government House is within walking distance of Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and the Great War Exhibition. We are not in walking distance of other popular Wellington visit venues. We are a 15 minute bus ride from Parliament.

Visits here take approximately 1.5-2 hours.

If you want your students to visit more than one venue in a day please advise us so we can look at time-tabling options. We recommend classes do not try to rush through multiple venues on a day visit to Wellington.

Some ideas for your visit

Early childhood (recommended 4 years and above)

  • Exploring the gardens.
  • Dancing in the ballroom.
  • Crown making and a walk through the house.

Primary NE-Y1

New Zealand’s Queen and the Governor-General: Crown or medal making and a walk through the house, followed by a dance in the ballroom

Primary Y2-Y4

Our community heroes - helping in our communities and thanking those who give service to our communities: Role of Governor-General, house tour, medal-making or mock investiture ceremony.

This theme of celebrating service ties in well with a visit to Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Where have we come from? Early Governors came from England, but today they are all New Zealanders. The carved coats of arms and pou in Government House show people’s histories and values. Looking at these and how the house has changed to reflect New Zealand is a great lead-in to designing your own coat of arms at school.

Wellington’s special buildings: Government House was built in 1910 as a symbol of New Zealand’s status in the British Empire. Today it reflects British colonial styles and modern New Zealand.

Primary y 5-8

The Governor-General and our system of Government: The constitutional role of the Head of State and 'who is our Governor-General?'. What systems do other countries use to appoint a 'head of State'?

The three branches of Government: Split a class three ways between Government House, Parliament and the Supreme Court. We work closely with the Parliamentary and Supreme Court educators. You could also look at a day programme visiting both Parliament and Government House with a lunchtime swap between the two venues.

Students reporting back to each other at school maximises learning opportunities.

Community heroes - helping in our communities and thanking those who give service to our communities: Role of Governor-General, house tour, medal-making or mock investiture ceremony.

This theme of celebrating service ties in well with a visit to Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Where have we come from? Early Governors came from England, but today they are all New Zealanders. The carved coats of arms and pou in Government House show people’s histories and values. Looking at these and how the house has changed to reflect New Zealand is a great lead-in to designing your own coat of arms at school.

Older classes could also look at how their city has been depicted on its own coat of arms – is it still relevant?

Combine with a visit to He Tohu at National Library.

He Tohu

What is leadership? How does someone become a Governor-General? What qualities do we want in people in leadership positions?

Wellington’s special buildings: Government House was built in 1910 as a symbol of New Zealand’s status in the British Empire. Today it reflects both British colonial styles and modern New Zealand.

Secondary and Tertiary

Let us know why you would like to visit and what you are working on.  We will work with you to plan your visit.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 23 May 2017

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