Skip to main content

Auckland Parliament Buildings, 1859


New Zealand's Parliament met in Auckland, which was then the capital city, from its first sitting in 1854 until its permanent move to Wellington in 1865 (apart from one session in 1862). The members of the inaugural Parliament complained about the basic facilities of the building on Constitution Hill, close to the present-day University of Auckland. It was little more than a bare shell and became known as the 'Shedifice'. The wind whistled through the walls, and the roof leaked. There was no clock, division bell or strongroom to protect documents. Initially there was nowhere to get food or drink, and not even a toilet. Parliamentarians' working environment would be far more comfortable following the shift to Wellington.

This view of Parliament Buildings (far left) and St Paul's, above Mechanics Bay, is from Parnell Rise. Andrew Robertson, Auckland from Parnell, 1859.


Auckland Art Gallery
Gift of Miss Constance Robertson, 1937

How to cite this page

Auckland Parliament Buildings, 1859, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated