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, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region. It is the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.
This article's lead section may be too long for the length of the article. (May 2022)
Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Māori)
Windy Wellington, Wellywood
Suprema a Situ
English: Supreme by position
|Settled by Europeans||1839|
|Named for||A. Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington|
Te Tai Hauāuru (Māori)
Te Tai Tonga (Māori)
|• Mayor||Andy Foster|
|• Deputy Mayor||Sarah Free|
|• Territorial authority||Wellington City Council|
|• Territorial||289.91 km2 (111.93 sq mi)|
|• Urban||112.36 km2 (43.38 sq mi)|
|• Rural||177.55 km2 (68.55 sq mi)|
|• Metro||303.00 km2 (116.99 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||495 m (1,624 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|• Urban density||1,900/km2 (5,000/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||1,400/km2 (3,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+12 (NZST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+13 (NZDT)|
|Local iwi||Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Āti Awa|
Wellington was originally designed by Captain William Mein Smith, the first Surveyor General for Edward Wakefield's New Zealand Company, in 1840. As of June 2021, the Wellington urban area (which only includes urbanised areas within Wellington City) has a resident population of 215,900. Its metro area, which includes the cities of Porirua, Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt, has a resident population of 432,800. 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.
In addition to governmental institutions, Wellington accommodates several of the nation's largest and oldest cultural institutions, such as the National Archives, the National Library, New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa and numerous theatres. It plays host to many artistic and cultural organisations, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet. Its architectural attractions include the Old Government Buildings – one of the largest wooden buildings in the world – as well as the iconic Beehive, the executive wing of Parliament Buildings as well as internationally renowned Futuna Chapel. The city has a strong art scene, with hundreds of art galleries. Most of these are small and independent, but the major ones are Te Papa and the City Gallery. Wellington also leads in large summer festivals, such as CubaDupa and the Newtown Festival. 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, 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 third busiest airport in the country. 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 yielded influence across Oceania. One of the world's most liveable cities, the 2021 Global Livability Ranking tied Wellington with Tokyo as 4th in the world. From 2017 to 2018, Deutsche Bank ranked it first in the world for both livability and non-pollution. Cultural precincts such as Cuba Street and Newtown are renowned for creative innovation, "op shops", historic character, and food. The city is known for its coffee scene, with now-globally common foods and drinks such as the flat white perfected here. Wellington has a strong coffee culture – the city has more cafés per capita than New York City in the United States – and was pioneered by Italian and Greek immigrants to areas such as Mount Victoria, Island Bay and Miramar. Nascent influence is derived from Ethiopian migrants. Wellington's cultural vibrance and diversity is well-known across the world. It is New Zealand's second most ethnically diverse city, bested only by Auckland, and boasts a "melting pot" culture of significant minorities such as Malaysian, Italian, Dutch, Korean, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Samoan and indigenous Taranaki Whānui communities as a result. Described by Lonely Planet in 2013 as "the coolest little capital in the world", 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".