The Dominion (Wellington)

The Dominion's building on the junction of Wakefield, Victoria and Mercer Streets, Wellington, circa 1930

The Dominion was a Wellington New Zealand broadsheet metropolitan morning daily newspaper. It was first published on 26 September 1907, the day New Zealand achieved Dominion status. In 2002 it merged with The Evening Post, Wellington's afternoon daily newspaper to form the The Dominion Post.

The Dominion was founded by Wellington Publishing Company Limited a public listed company formed for the purpose twelve months earlier by a group not of newspapermen but rather of businessmen "in the Opposition and freehold interests". The conservative (Reform) party were out of power and the pastoral agricultural and big business interests lacked a voice in the new Dominion's capital and its hinterland provinces.

Accordingly, its circulation was always soundest outside Greater Wellington, where The Evening Post always dominated. Early printing and special services delivered it the same day throughout the lower North Island. After twenty years its morning rival, The New Zealand Times, ceased publication shortly before The Dominion's ambitious new Mercer Street flagship building was completed in 1928.

Wellington Publishing Company's operations did not provide a good financial return on investment for its backers. In 1964 negotiations were under way with the Canadian–British Thomson Newspapers organization when a holidaying visitor casually picked up a copy and read of the proposal. Rupert Murdoch decided to make a bid himself, and ultimately Wellington Publishing Company became the first international investment by his growing newspaper empire.

In 1972 ownership was merged[1] with that of its afternoon rival, The Evening Post, to achieve economies such as running the otherwise part-time new printing house of the Post in two shifts. The new holding company, initially intended to be Amalgamated Publishers was named Independent Newspapers Limited (INL). The Dominion's flagship building was soon dispensed with. The two newspapers kept their separate identities and rivalries until 2002 when they were replaced by a morning publication named The Dominion Post. In 2003, INL divested itself of its publishing concerns to Fairfax Media, an Australian company.

As of 2012, The Dominion Post is run from the old Post printing house site in Boulcott Street and printing is in Petone.

Wellington businessman John Duthie was one of the founding directors and was chairman of the newspaper's board from 1912 until his death in 1915.[2]


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