National Anthem

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.
Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.
Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.
Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.
May our mountains ever be
Freedoms ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

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Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, situated at the southwestern tip of the North Island between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. The Wellington Urban Area is the major population centre of the southern North Island and ranks as New Zealand's third most populous urban area with around 381,900 residents. There are around 473,700 residents in the Wellington Region.

Wellington's suburbs lie across four cities. Wellington City, on the peninsula between Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour, contains the central business district and about half of Wellington's population. Porirua City is situated on Porirua Harbour to the north and is notable for its large Māori and Pacific Island communities. Lower Hutt City and Upper Hutt City are suburban areas to the northeast, together known as the Hutt Valley. Although each of the four cities also contains a rural hinterland, almost all of the population is within the urban area.


Wellington is New Zealand's political centre, housing Parliament and the head offices of all Government Ministries and Departments, plus the bulk of the foreign diplomatic missions that are based in New Zealand.

Wellington's compact city centre supports an arts scene, café culture and nightlife much larger than most cities of a similar size. It is a centre of New Zealand's film and theatre industry. Te Papa Tongarewa (the Museum of New Zealand), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Museum of Wellington City & Sea and the biennial New Zealand International Arts Festival are all sited there.


Wellington has the 12th best quality of living in the world, according to a 2007 study by consulting company Mercer. Of cities with English as the primary language, Wellington ranked fourth. Only Auckland of New Zealand cities rated higher as it was ranked fifth in the world in 2006 and 2007.


The urban area of Wellington stretches across the city council areas of Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua. As of 2008 the four cities have a total population of 385,600 (June 2008 estimate), and the Wellington Urban Area contains 99% of that population. The remaining areas are largely mountainous and sparsely farmed or parkland and are outside the urban area boundary.

Demographic statistics from the 2006 census are not readily available for the Wellington Urban Area, so the following demographic statistics detailed in this section are for the four city council areas:

Age distribution

Area Under 20 20–39 40–59 60–79 80 and over
Wellington City 25% 37% 26% 10% 2%
Lower Hutt City 30% 27% 27% 12% 3%
Upper Hutt City 30% 25% 28% 14% 3%
Porirua City 34% 27% 26% 10% 1%
Four cities 28% 32% 27% 11% 2%
New Zealand 29% 27% 27% 14% 3%

The relative lack of older people in Wellington is less marked when the neighbouring Kapiti Coast District is included. Nearly 7% of Kapiti Coast residents are over 80. Overall, Wellington's age structure closely matches the national distribution.


The city averages 2025 hours (or about 169 days) of sunshine per year.

 Weather averages for Wellington, New Zealand 
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C 20.3 20.6 19 16.7 14.2 12 11.4 12 13.5 15 16.6 18.5 15.8
Average low °C 13.4 13.6 12.6 10.9 8.8 6.9 6.3 6.5 7.7 9 10.3 12.2 9.9
Precipitation mm 72 62 92 100 117 147 136 123 100 115 99 86 1,249
Average high °F 69 69 66 62 58 54 53 54 56 59 62 65 60
Average low °F 56 56 55 52 48 44 43 44 46 48 51 54 50
Precipitation inches 2.83 2.44 3.62 3.94 4.61 5.79 5.35 4.84 3.94 4.53 3.9 3.39 49.17
Source: NIWA Oct 2007