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Premier House


260 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington

Premier House, on Tinakori Road in Wellington, New Zealand, is the official residence of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The original building, constructed in the early days of the New Zealand colony in 1843 is located at the southern end of the current building, and was greatly expanded two decades later. The house was bought for use by the country's Premier in 1865 and was converted to a more fitting building for a national leader in 1872. The newly extended structure included, among other things, New Zealand's first lift and the grounds featured what is thought to have been the country's first tennis court.

In the early twentieth century, the house was named "Awarua" by the family of Prime Minister Joseph Ward, and became one of the capital's main social places, hosting many formal and informal parties. Further extensions were made to the building in 1926.

In 1935 Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage decided that the building was surplus to requirements, and for many years it was put to numerous uses, including as a children's dental clinic. After years of decline, Dr. Michael Bassett, Minister of Internal Affairs initiated moves for the restoration of the building to its early grandeur, and since restoration was completed it has again been the Prime Minister's official residence when in the capital.

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