Wellington (Māori: Te Whanganui-a-Tara [tɛ ˈɸaŋanʉi a taɾa] or Pōneke [pɔːnɛkɛ]) is the capital city of New Zealand. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the second-largest city in New Zealand by metro area,[11] and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region. It is the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state.[12] Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.[13]

Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Māori)
Harbour and business district at night
Cable car
The Beehive and Parliament grounds
The Bucket Fountain
Riddiford Steet, Newtown
The Carillion of the National War Memorial
Te Aro and the city centre
Coat of arms of Wellington
Windy Wellington, Wellywood
Suprema a Situ[1]
English: Supreme by position
Wellington is located in New Zealand
Location in New Zealand
Coordinates: 41°17′20″S 174°46′38″E
CountryNew Zealand
  • Takapū/Northern
  • Wharangi/Onslow-Western
  • Paekawakawa/Southern
  • Pukehīnau/Lambton
  • Motukairangi/Eastern
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Māori)
Community boards
Settled by Europeans1839
Named forA. Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Te Tai Hauāuru (Māori)
Te Tai Tonga (Māori)
Wellington Central[5]
  MayorTory Whanau
  Deputy MayorLaurie Foon[6]
  Territorial authorityWellington City Council
  Territorial289.91 km2 (111.93 sq mi)
112.36 km2 (43.38 sq mi)
177.55 km2 (68.55 sq mi)
303.00 km2 (116.99 sq mi)
Highest elevation
495 m (1,624 ft)
Lowest elevation
0 m (0 ft)
 (June 2022)[9]
  Urban density1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)
  Metro density1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
  Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
5016, 5028, 6011, 6012, 6021, 6022, 6023, 6035, 6037, 6972[10]
Area code04
Local iwiNgāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa

Legends recount that Kupe discovered and explored the region in about the 10th century, with initial settlement by Māori iwi such as Rangitāne and Muaūpoko. The disruptions of the Musket Wars led to them being overwhelmed by northern iwi such as Te Āti Awa by the early 19th century.[14]

Wellington's current form was originally designed by Captain William Mein Smith, the first Surveyor General for Edward Wakefield's New Zealand Company, in 1840.[15] The Wellington urban area, which only includes urbanised areas within Wellington City, has a population of 212,000 as of June 2022.[9] The wider Wellington metropolitan area, including the cities of Lower Hutt, Porirua and Upper Hutt, has a population of 434,900 as of June 2022.[9] The city has served as New Zealand's capital since 1865, a status that is not defined in legislation, but established by convention; the New Zealand Government and Parliament, the Supreme Court and most of the public service are based in the city.[16]

Wellington's economy is primarily service-based, with an emphasis on finance, business services, government, and the film industry. It is the centre of New Zealand's film and special effects industries, and increasingly a hub for information technology and innovation,[17] with two public research universities. Wellington is one of New Zealand's chief seaports and serves both domestic and international shipping. The city is chiefly served by Wellington International Airport in Rongotai, the country's second-busiest airport. Wellington's transport network includes train and bus lines which reach as far as the Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa, and ferries connect the city to the South Island.

Often referred to as New Zealand's cultural capital, the culture of Wellington is a diverse and often youth-driven one which has wielded influence across Oceania.[18][19][20] One of the world's most liveable cities, the 2021 Global Livability Ranking tied Wellington with Tokyo as fourth in the world.[21] From 2017 to 2018, Deutsche Bank ranked it first in the world for both livability and non-pollution.[22][23] Cultural precincts such as Cuba Street and Newtown are renowned for creative innovation, "op shops", historic character, and food. Wellington is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, being ranked 35th in the world by the Global Financial Centres Index for 2021. The global city has grown from a bustling Māori settlement, to a colonial outpost, and from there to an Australasian capital that has experienced a "remarkable creative resurgence".[24][25][26][27]

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