Wellington, New Zealand

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Located on the southern tip of North Island, New Zealand’s capital is between the Cook Strait and the Tararua foothills. The city, some 2 km in diameter, surrounds Port Nicholson, a deep water harbour, and Mount Victoria (196 m). It enjoys a temperate climate with mild, but often extremely windy, winters. In 2000, the city accounted for 38% of the population, and 57% of the region’s GDP. The other centres in the region (with population and GDP percentages) are the Kapiti Coast District (10%; 5%) Lower Hutt (23%; 21%), Porirua (11%; 6%), Upper Hutt (9%; 5%), and Wairarapa (9%; 6%).


Maori people have lived in Wellington since around AD 900, when the peninsula was discovered by Kupe, a Polynesian explorer. It was first named Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, the head of the fish (North Island) pulled to the ocean surface by the legendary Maui. The first tribe arrived some 200 years later, led by Tara, a second-generation Polynesian migrant. Tara found Wellington to be an...

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