Wellington Scoop

New function venue opening in historic CBD building

John Mathews Photography

Press Release – McKee Fehl
After 11 months of renovations, Wellington’s finest venue, Public Trust Hall, will be officially opened by the Prime Minister Jacinda Adern at a formal reception on Monday.

Elegant, modern and central, Public Trust Hall will be the perfect place to host corporate and social functions including conferences, performances, weddings and events.

Situated in the ground floor and basement of the iconic Public Trust Building at 131-135 Lambton Quay, Public Trust Hall offers the versatility and convenience to meet a range of event requirements. The venue can accommodate 280 guests and boasts state-of-the-art audio-visual technology, acoustics perfect for chamber music as well as a professional catering kitchen.

Registered Category 1 with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and built in 1909, the building’s original Edwardian Baroque architectural styling makes it an important landmark for the people of Wellington. The exterior building façade features the only New Zealand native granite, Tonga stone, from Tonga Bay in Abel Tasman National Park.

Extensive renovations were carried out by building owners Maurice and Kaye Clark over a period of 11 months and follow an initial strengthening and restoration programme completed in 2015.

“Preserving the heritage of Wellington’s finest buildings is crucial if we want to conserve and celebrate the city’s identity,” said building proprietor Maurice Clark. “We are delighted to make available the Public Trust Hall and provide Wellington with a sophisticated and central venue in an historically important and unique heritage building.”

Construction was carried out by McKee Fehl Constructors Ltd which boasts an award-winning portfolio of heritage restoration projects including 15 Stout Street for Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Press Hall precinct.

Public Trust Hall

Available to hire from 21 October 2019, Public Trust Hall can meet a range of event requirements, including:
Function space for up to 280 guests
State-of-the-art technology including AV & Wi-Fi
Well-equipped catering kitchen
Assistive listening system
90% NBS

To stay up to date with latest venue information, visit publictrusthall.co.nz and follow @publictrusthall on social media.

Exterior building photography available via John Mathews Photography – download via link

Public Trust Building History

As one of New Zealand’s finest examples of Edwardian Baroque architecture, Public Trust Hall sits at the heart of the country’s culture and heritage scene, with the use of Ionic columns, prominent keystones and exaggerated rustication. The exterior façade features the only New Zealand native granite, Tonga stone, from Tonga Bay in Abel Tasman National Park.

This was one of the first buildings constructed in New Zealand using steel framing and steel reinforcing.

Completed in 1908, the building was originally the headquarters of the Public Trust. The main hall features extensive use of impressive plaster mouldings, cornices and corbels and was the principle banking chamber.

In 1982 the building was sold into private ownership and unsympathetically divided into small offices and shops. It was later saved from demolition by a public campaign and received a Grade One Heritage Listing.

More recently, the building was purchased by Wellington property developers Maurice and Kaye Clark, who undertook an ambitious programme of extensive and complex earthquake re-strengthening and renovations.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. Alana, 17. October 2019, 16:14

    This is very good news for the CBD as an excellent re-purposing of an important historic building. Wonderful idea to use this as a functions venue and preserve this beautiful building.

  2. Nora, 17. October 2019, 19:16

    Brilliant. Who needs a Convention Centre when this historic building is now available for conferences etc … what a memory for those who visit.

  3. Guy M, 18. October 2019, 9:42

    Good on you Maurice – brilliant work and I look forward to going there often. Where can we find details of how to hire it?

    Nora – the last conference I went to had 800 delegates and Wellington doesn’t have any suitable venue size for that. Personally I’m looking forward to having and using a big venue in Wellington. Conference Centres are big awkward buildings to design – you need as much foyer space as you have sitting down / listening space – they do take up a lot of room. And then they are empty when not in use, so you need to have active uses round the edges so it isn’t just an empty hole in the city. Good thing we have NZ’s best architects on the project in Wellington.

  4. Graham C Atkinson, 18. October 2019, 14:06

    Nora – all details on their website.