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Open Day at Parliament - SUNDAY, 29 October 2006

Media release

26 October 2006


Open Day at Parliament - SUNDAY, 29 October 2006

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Parliament, but haven’t had time to take a public tour?

Or you’ve heard about the refurbishment of the Beehive, but haven’t had a chance to see it for yourself?

If so, mark this Sunday in your diary. From 10am and 3.30pm, you can take advantage of Parliament’s Open Day - in your own time and at your own pace. Entry is free.

Parliamentary staff from the Beehive, Parliament House and the Library will be there to tell you about the unique style of each building.

You can see the newly refurbished Beehive Visitor Centre and walk-in shop, and the large banquet hall used for State functions. There will be talks throughout the day on the history of the buildings, women in Parliament and our MMP system of electing Members.

Staff from the Office of the Clerk will talk on Parliament and how it works, Select Committees and preparing for a sitting of the House. The mace will be on display.

You can visit the House of Representatives and see where the laws of our land are made. There will be video clips and DVDs of Question Time and you will be able to see where the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition sit.

A new high-tech Education Centre was part of the recent refurbishments. Bring the children and encourage them to have fun with an interactive website and filling out the children’s worksheet. There will be prizes for both an adults and children’s quiz.

The original Maori Affairs Committee room and the current one will be open, as will the Pacific Room. Some original Beehive furniture will be on display.

In the old Gothic style Parliamentary Library there will be displays about the life of a famous New Zealand Prime Minister, Richard John Seddon, who died 100 years ago. The beautifully decorated and gold gilded public reading room will be open for inspection. An eight-piece dance band will play in the Grand Hall, reviving memories of a by-gone era.

The 70th anniversary of radio broadcast of Parliament will be remembered by a display of old valve-style radios and photos.

Eating and drinking is not permitted while touring the Parliamentary complex. However the cafeteria on the first floor of the Beehive will be open for drinks and a bite to eat.

Security requirements mean cameras and cell phones cannot be used inside the buildings.

Entry from 10am is from the combined entry at the Beehive, or from the Parliamentary Library. The last entry is at 3.30pm.


ENDS

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