Heritage & Monuments

Peter Harcourt Seat

New Zealand / The Pacific

The Peter Harcourt Seat is situated at the highest point of the Commonwealth Walkway and provides a seat to relax on for a few minutes and enjoy the expansive view north towards Wellington, the harbour and the surrounding mountain ranges. The seat also celebrates one of Wellington’s most celebrated and influential families in the arts, the Harcourt family. In particular it commemorates Peter Harcourt, QSO (1923-95), who enjoyed a popular career in television, 50 years of radio, and was the author of numerous books on New Zealand culture. He was the son of Gordon Harcourt, senior, who owned the Dominion Radio Company, one of New Zealand’s earliest privately owned radio stations, which opened in Wellington in 1923, and later the Roxy Cinema. Peter was married to the actress, Dame Kate Harcourt, DNZM (b. 1927) and their two children are also well known – Miranda Harcourt, an actress (b. ca 1962), and Gordon Harcourt, a journalist and, until 2016, presenter of FairGo, a consumer affairs TV programme.During World War II, Peter Harcourt broadcast messages compiled by New Zealand soldiers serving overseas, on the popular radio show, With the Boys Overseas. In the 1950s and 1960s Harcourt performed on state, particularly in revues put on by Wellington Repertory. He took part in an episode of the soap, Gloss, which brought his daughter, Miranda, to fame. The dress circle of the St James Theatre (which he helped to save) on Courtenay Place, is named in his honour. Something of a walking encyclopedia in respect to the arts, he died of cancer on 6 March 1995.

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