The Hobday Organ

Music at the Cathedral > The Hobday Organ


We need your help! After 114 years of continued daily use in services and for concerts, the Hobday Organ needs some urgent work. If you would like to adopt one of the many thousands of pipes that make up our organ please donate here.

The organ was built by Arthur Hobday of Sydney Street, Wellington and opened in 1905. It came at a cost of £1100 while an extra £400 was spent to install the electric mechanical blowers to supply the wind for the organ. From reports at the time the organ was “the finest in the city – perhaps in the colony”.

In the early 1970s work was carried out by Auckland firm George Croft and Sons, adding a detached console, replacing the pneumatic action with electro-pneumatic action and making two minor tonal changes. In 1991 the organ was rebuilt and significantly enlarged by the South Island Organ Company.

Today the organ sits in its original place in the rear choir gallery of the  Cathedral with the console in the Whispering Gallery. It is used almost daily for worship at the Cathedral, but it is also used for concerts by choirs from within New Zealand and overseas or for visiting organ recitalists. As well as being used for teaching new organists, is recorded by Radio NZ Concert and used for work with schools both primary and secondary who come to see how the organ works.