Parliament Speaker David Carter has unveiled plans for an expansion of the parliamentary complex in Wellington which will involve two new buildings at a cost of at least $100 million.

The Government has approved the plan in principle and it has the support of all parties except for New Zealand First.

A new three-storey building for ministers will be built on the existing site of the parliamentary press gallery offices, in an annex next to the Beehive, and will be connected by a bridge to the Beehive.

Another five-storey building for MPs' offices will be built behind old Parliament House and be connected to the old building by a bridge.


The high-rise Bowen House on Lambton Quay, which is privately owned and leased for $6 million a year for MPs and minister's offices, will not be used after 2022.

A plan to build a $94 million block on a park behind Parliament, formerly the site of Radio New Zealand House, was scuppered in 1997 by New Zealand First which dubbed it "the parliamentary palace".

A subsequent proposal to put the Beehive on wheels and move it to the park and extend Parliament House was also ditched.