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Why Is Wellington The Capital Of New Zealand Instead Of Auckland?

Auckland is the most famous and most developed city of New Zealand, so many people mistakenly think that this is the capital of this nation. However, the truth is that Wellington is really the capital of New Zealand, definitely not Auckland. Let’s learn this and distinguish between The Wellington Urban Area and The Wellington City Council.

Why Is Wellington The Capital Of New Zealand Instead Of Auckland?


New Zealand’s capital was located in Auckland from 1841 until 1865 when Wellington became the new location.

In New Zealand, the 1860s are notable for the gold rush that swept through the Otago region of the South Island and brought a massive influx of people there. In reality, for a while and as a direct result of the gold rush, Dunedin, the capital of Otago, was larger than Auckland and Wellington.

People argued that Auckland, the capital of New Zealand, was too far from this emerging economic and industrial hub in the South. Even the idea of the South Island becoming its own state briefly gained traction.

The NZ Parliament made the decision to relocate the capital to a new site in a more convenient position in order to stop this before it gained too much momentum. Strangely, the Governer General subsequently requested that 3 Australians look into potential sites on the Cook Strait, which divides New Zealand’s two main islands. This was probably done to dispel any claims of partiality. The new capital of New Zealand, Wellington, has existed since it was selected.

For a few reasons, it probably wasn’t seen as a major concern at the time. The first capital wasn’t even Auckland; it was Russell, much farther north. Secondly, in the 1860s, both Auckland and Wellington were still small towns with populations that were nearly equal. Only in the 20th century did Auckland’s population start to greatly outnumber Wellington’s.

Do you know Why Are Sydney And Melbourne Not The Capital Of Australia?

Why Is Auckland More Developed Than The Capital?


There are several causes for this.

  • Only a small portion of flat land in Wellington leads directly into steep, rough terrain that is challenging to build on, making it more geographically demanding than Auckland. Access between Wellington and the surrounding areas is also limited by this terrain. Auckland has a lot more land that can be used for construction and many ways to neighboring areas.
  • Auckland is not prone to earthquakes, but Wellington is
  • Auckland has a significantly milder temperature than Wellington, which appeals to Pacifica immigrants who make up a large share of Auckland’s population in particular because Wellington is known for its awful weather.
  • Due to the fact that Auckland received a large portion of the money created over the following two decades, Auckland benefited greatly from the Thames gold rush in 1867.
  • Sometimes, the government/public servant mentality of the capital isn’t the best environment for business, and ultimately, commerce is what draws people to the area.

Read more Why did Amsterdam become the capital of the Netherlands?

Is The Capital Of New Zealand The Wellington Urban Area Or The Wellington City Council?

We now know that the Wellington City Council (WCC) is the name of the administrative organization that oversees the urban environment of the city, not the capital of New Zealand.


The general location of Wellington can refer to either the WCC area or the Wellington urban area. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. There is also the Wellington Region, which has its own government.

The Parliament Buildings are located in the heart of Wellington City, which is a part of the Wellington Region and the Wellington urban region.

The Wellington metropolitan region includes the nearby communities of Porirua, Lower Hutt, and Upper Hutt. Due to the great concentration of people and coffee shops, they are also referred to as “Wellington” in general.

The Wellington Region (commonly referred to as the “province”) is significantly larger than Wellington City and the surrounding urban region, and it encompasses a large amount of rural and protected terrain in addition to the towns and cities found there.

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