Work underway to make the Beehive a World Heritage site

Work is underway for the Beehive to become New Zealand's fourth UNESCO World Heritage site.

It's one of the most well-recognised buildings in the country, and now there's a push to take that exposure worldwide by making the Parliamentary Precinct a World Heritage site.

The idea is being floated by a number of organisations, and it could provide a major tourism boost for a landmark already visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Visitors to the Beehive agree that it's an instantly recognisable building.

"It's completely different to anything else you have in the world," one man said.

"I can post this photo on social media, and everyone is going to know where I am," a woman said.

"Instantly as soon as you saw it, you knew that that was the Parliamentary building. So it does say a statement about what New Zealand's about," another visitor said.

New Zealand's three current World Heritage sites are Tongariro National Park, Te Wāhipounamu in Fiordland and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

If elevated to a World Heritage site, it would become the first building in the country to have that status.

Although the Beehive is the main drawcard at Parliament, it's the precinct's youngest building, having opened in 1977.

The bid for World Heritage status would be for the whole precinct, including that Parliamentary Library which is more than a century old.

But the bid is a long way off, and the Department of Conservation said it isn't on its list of potential World Heritage sites yet, although that will soon be up for review.