If you have a current and valid overseas driver licence or international driving permit (IDP), you can drive using that for a maximum of 12 months from the date you arrive in New Zealand. Note: if your overseas licence or permit isn't in English, we recommend that you apply for an international driver's license (IDP).
The house is situated in 1 ¾ acres of garden. The property is spacious and well proportioned, with several mature and handsome trees. An all-weather tennis court is located at the rear of the grounds. After the house was rebuilt in 1985/86, landscaping work was carried out in the garden. In 1988, less than two years after the garden was completed, the Residence garden won first prize in the Embassy category of the ACT Bicentennial Garden Competition. Worth noting is the sculptural piece by Roy Cowan in the front of the house.
Care has been taken in the public areas of the house to foster a New Zealand identity. For example, the carpet was imported from New Zealand when the house was extended in 1985/86.
The house, although substantially renovated, retains its original character and is therefore in harmony with the existing early architecture of the Red Hill area.
The house in Red Hill, which is the official residence of the New Zealand High Commissioner, was built in 1939. In 1943, the year in which the first New Zealand diplomatic office opened in Canberra, the lease on the Mugga Way property was brought from a Mrs Violet Cook for the New Zealand Government at a cost of A£5500.
The Chancery has on display in its public areas several fine examples of the work of New Zealand artists.
The building is surrounded by 1½ acres (roughly half a hectare) of landscaped grounds which slope gently down from Commonwealth Avenue to Forster Crescent. On the Southern side of the building are walled beds, surrounded by flaxes (Phormium tenax) and cabbage trees (Cordyline australis). There are also flaxes and cabbage trees against the northern wall of the Chancery as well as exotic plantings, magnolias and azaleas. These provide a very handsome springtime display, as do the flowering plum trees at the front of the Chancery.
The Chancery building was designed for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Ministry of Works. The exterior of the Chancery has a uniform shading provided by the dark bronze green finish from the infill panels and bronze window frames. Contrast is given by the vertical copper finished columns.
The accommodation in the Patents Office and later in the MLC Building had been envisaged as temporary measure, as the New Zealand authorities had wished for some time to build a self-contained Chancery which would not only house adequately New Zealand diplomatic staff but also function as a physical statement of New Zealand’s commitment to the Trans-Tasman relationship.