Visit some of the historic government sites where history was made: Flagstaff Hill, Cuvier Light Station, Urquhart's Hut, and Antipodes Island Castaway Provision Depot to name just a few.

The New Zealand Government has played a major role in the development and provision of a wide range of services.

Core departments included: Defence, Education, Health, Justice, Lands and Police. In addition, New Zealand followed a socialist approach and the government provided many other services including: Agriculture, Electricity, Forests, Marine, Mines, Post & Telegraph, Public Works, Railways, and Tourism.

From the 1890s onwards the government became the largest employer in New Zealand and government departments were the country’s largest organisations.

Since 1984 successive governments have moved towards a ‘market economy’ philosophy and sought to divest themselves of all services except core services. The Department has inherited a wide range of historic buildings and structures related to those government services.

DOC actively manages these sites representing this theme:



  • Cuvier Island, Radio Beacon Masts, 1938
  • Cuvier Light Station
  • Pureora village area, NZFS workshop, 1950

Bay of Plenty

  • Waikino Railway Station, 1925

East Coast/Hawke's Bay


  • Rahiri Cottage, 1929
  • Whakahoro Hut (former school house), 1946



  • Nelson, Albion Square Historic Reserve, 1861

West Coast

  • Franz Josef, Okarito School, 1901
  • Reefton School of Mines


  • Acheron Accommodation House, Molesworth Station South End,1863
  • Adderley Head Signal Station, Lyttelton Harbour1867
  • Akaroa Court House Historic Reserve, 1880 (managed by Banks Peninsula District Council)
  • Akaroa Head Scenic Reserve, Lighthouse ruins, 1878
  • Godley Head Reserve, Lighthouse Ruins, 1865-1942
  • Governors Bay (School) Historic Reserve, 1868 (managed by Banks Peninsula District Council)
  • Kapuatohe Historic Reserve, Spellfast, SHI – Belfast,1878 (Managed by Christchurch City Council)
  • Lyttelton Quarry, 1914
  • Balmoral Fire Lookout, Balmoral Forest, North Canterbury, 1939
  • Number Three Hut, Lake Sumner Conservation Park. North Canterbury, 1939
  • Quail Island Recreation Reserve, Immigration and Animal Quarantine, Leprosy Colony, 1850 – 1920
  • Raukapuka, Monavale (School) Historic Reserve, 1911
  • Ripapa Island Historic Reserve, Immigration Quarantine, Prison 1872-1913
  • Dasler Biv, Hopkins Conservation Area, 1966
  • Back Basins Hut, Avoca Valley, Harper Village top of Lake Colleridge, 1957
  • No 4 (Locke Stream) Hut, Arthur’s Pass, 1939
  • Urquhart’s Hut, Craigieburn Conservation Park, 1933
  • West Harper Hut, Harper River, Cass Lagoon Track, 1957
  • Waimate Court House Historic Reserve, 1879 (Waimate Historical Society appointed to C&M)


  • Alexandra Courthouse Historic Reserve, 1878
  • Bannockburn Post Office Historic Reserve, 1880
  • St Bathan’s Historic Buildings, 1909
  • Naseby Post Office, 1900
  • Wakatipu, Mt Aurum Recreation Reserve, 1862


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