The legacy of The Dominion Post represents a fascinating slice of Wellington's history from the colonial era.
Henry Blundell and his three sons, who later took over the business, first published The Evening Post on February 8, 1865. It remained in the family's control, as Blundell Bros Ltd, for more than 100 years.
The first issue of The Dominion appeared on September 26, 1907, the day when New Zealand, a colony, gained Dominion status. It was produced by the Wellington Publishing Company formed especially for the purpose by farmers and businessmen. They felt the time had come to challenge the era of liberalism championed by the well-entrenched New Zealand Times, Wellington's existing morning daily.
In 1927 after 20 years of battle, The Dominion absorbed the competing New Zealand Times and developed a policy of political independence but remained a close examiner of the government of the day. In 1964 Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd took a shareholding, the first overseas venture for the newspaper magnate.
In 1972 Blundell Bros and the Wellington Publishing Co merged, creating debate among newspaper people, politicians and others. The big step was undertaken to achieve the most economic use of the costly plant needed for modern newspapers. But the separation and competitive nature of the two dailies, both of them thriving, continued until 2002 when the economics of publishing in the afternoon had severely faded.
The new merged company has modernised and expanded its offices and facilities in the period since. The Company was among the first, in the 1980s, to introduce fully computerised production processes. In 1990 it launched into the era of colour with the commissioning of high-speed offset printing and automated publishing at a modern plant at Bouverie Street in Petone.
The Dominion Post has a staff of more than 410 people, and in addition to its main offices at The Dominion Post, Boulcott Street, and printing facility at Petone, it has branch offices in Palmerston North and Hastings and editorial and advertising offices in Auckland and Paraparaumu.
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