The great four sided clock in the tower was donated by Arthur Myers MP (former Mayor) and the Pipe Organ by Sir Henry Brett.Oamaru limestone from the south island was used for the upper part of the building.The lower part is often assumed to be Auckland Basalt but was actually sourced from Melbourne.Opened on 14 December 1911 by Lord Islington, then the Governor of New Zealand, the building is one of the most prominent heritage structures on Queen Street.Costing £126,000 to construct, it was designed by Melbourne architects, JJ & EJ Clarke, their Italian Renaissance Revival building selected from amongst 46 proposals.
This was probably due to the architects already having a history of sourcing consistently good quality stone from the quarries there as well as them probably having better heavy duty steam saws to handle the notoriously difficult stone.
The interior contains several varieties of English ceramic surfaces - tessalated floors and glazed ceramic wall tiles.
The five-storey building was specially designed to fit the wedge-shaped piece of land that had been acquired for it at the meeting of Queen Street and Grey Street in the 1870s.
It bears a striking resemblance to the new Lambeth Town Hall at Brixton, London built around the same time.
The semi-circular Council Chamber is provided with wood panelling and Art-Nouveau style electric light fittings and stained glass are features of all the main rooms.The ceilings throughout all the main floors are ornamented with good quality plasterwork, the Great Chamber being the most elaborate.