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Sat 25 Jul 2015, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sun 26 Jul 2015, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: Old Government Buildings, 15 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

To celebrate the 150th Birthday of Wellington becoming the capital of New Zealand we’re opening the doors to more than 30 national institutions free of charge, revealing some of the rarest and most significant collections and important treasures housed in this city. A free hop-on, hop-off bus service, sponsored by Go Wellington, will take visitors around the Open House circuit.

The home of Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law, the Old Government Buildings will open its doors to give visitors a taste of Victoria’s contribution to the capital city.

Events include:
Saturday 10am: Dialogue on China-US Relations
An introduction to the history of relations between these two super-powers with a focus on what the major issues are today.
Victoria University’s Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies, Dr Jim Rolfe, will give a preliminary talk before an international conference being held at Victoria University in early October.

Saturday 11am: Professor Von Zedlitz—from esteemed teacher to outcast
Margaret Sutherland, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of Victoria University’s German Programme talks about George von Zedlitz, one of Victoria University’s founding professors.
Taking up his position as Victoria’s first professor of modern languages in 1901, Von Zedlitz had a distinguished career until the outbreak of WW1, when the Alien Enemy Teachers Act 1915 was passed specifically to remove him from his post. His story illustrates the manner in which political and historical circumstances can impinge on the private sphere.

Saturday 1pm: Wellington poetry now and then
Wellington poets, including Jenny Bornholdt, Gregory O’Brien, Harry Ricketts and Anna Jackson, read their own work and poems from the past.

Saturday 3pm: How Wellington was chosen to be New Zealand’s capital
Former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC explores how Australian politicians and New Zealand’s first Commission of Inquiry were behind the shift of the seat of government from Auckland to Wellington in 1865.

Sunday 11am: Future focus—Government and governance in Wellington
Mike Reid from Local Government New Zealand and Professor Claudia Scott from Victoria’s School of Government will discuss the future of local and central Government in Wellington.

Sunday 12.30pm: Noah’s Flood
Staff and students from the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies perform the Chester Play of Noah’s Flood.
Performed in the original Middle English, the play brings God almost literally “down to earth,” with Noah and his family as very ordinary people. In its combination of the farcical with the transcendental, the play extends our appreciation of what drama can do. Topical too, with Wellington’s own recent flood.

The Department of Conservation will also be hosting a “two-day tea break” at the Old Government Buildings, taking you to a time of flared trousers, clipboards and long (very long!) morning teas. Upstairs travel further back in time in the Cabinet Room, and enjoy a vintage car display outside the front entrance.

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