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Wellington (Māori: Te Whanganui-a-Tara [tɛ ˈfaŋanʉi a taɾa]) 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 major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa. 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.
The position of Wellington as capital of New Zealand is not defined in legislation, but established by convention. Its metropolitan area, considered the greatest extent of Wellington itself, comprises four local authorities: Wellington City, on the peninsula between Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour, contains the central business district; Porirua City on Porirua Harbour to the north is notable for its large Māori and Pacific Island communities; Lower Hutt City and Upper Hutt City are largely suburban areas to the northeast, together known as the Hutt Valley. The Wellington urban area, which only includes urbanised areas within Wellington City, has a population of 215,100 residents as of June 2020. The urban areas of the four local authorities have a combined population of 429,700 residents as of June 2020.
As the nation's capital since 1865, the New Zealand Government and Parliament, the Supreme Court, and most of the public service are based in the city. Architectural sights 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. Wellington is also home to several of the largest and oldest cultural institutions in the nation, such the National Archives, the National Library, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and numerous theatres. It plays host to many artistic and cultural organisations, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet. One of the world's most liveable cities, the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Wellington 12th in the world, and was first in the world for both liveability and non-pollution by Deutsche Bank, from 2017–18.
Wellington's economy is primarily service-based, with an emphasis on finance, business services, and government. 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 served by Wellington International Airport, 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.
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 remote colonial outpost, and from there to an Australasian capital experiencing a "remarkable creative resurgence".