Wellington Anniversary Day – January 23, 2023

Wellington Anniversary Day is an annual event held every Monday after January 22 to celebrate the great city of Wellington. This year, it takes place on January 23. Wellington is known as the culinary capital of New Zealand, and that is just a little of what the province has to offer in its entirety, from its rich culture, to its great, friendly people.

History of Wellington Anniversary Day

The history of many modern societies is one of the explorations by the ancestors of such society at its inception and their search for the best-suited environment and geography providing security, shelter, food, great atmospheric conditions for them and their families, before settling. The area called Wellignton today had been called by different names by the several people who had settled on the land at different epochs in history. It is believed that the Māori people were the first settlers, and they named the place ‘Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui’ meaning ‘the Head of Maui’s Fish’. In the 10th century A.D, Kupe came into the land as the first explorer, after that was Tara who named the lands after his name; ‘the Great Harbor of Tara.’

The arrival of the first European settlers and subsequent colonization of the lands that constituted Wellington today is marked on Wellington Anniversary Day. The settlers landed in 1840 on the ship ‘Aurora,’ and placed the entire region under the control of the New Zealand government. The first year after their landing was recognized by a celebration, and from then on, the Wellington Anniversary Day was observed annually.

Wellington Anniversary Day is a time for the citizens of the city to remember their rich historical roots and the voyage that led their forefathers to become settlers there. It celebrates the rich history of the people and the land, the great changes and landmark achievements they have achieved as a people and as a city. It is a great day, one filled with pump, merriment, and sobriety of self and group identity.

Wellington Anniversary Day timeline

950 A.D.
The First Explorer

The first Polynesian explorer, Kupe discovers the land.

1773
The First to Anchor

Captain Cook is the first to anchor a ship in Wellington harbor.

1840
The Arrival of Settlers

The first European settlers arrive in Wellington on a ship named ‘Aurora.’

1865
The Capital of New Zealand

The capital of New Zealand is moved from Auckland to Wellington.

Wellington Anniversary Day FAQs

Is Wellington Anniversary Day a public holiday?

Yes. Schools and businesses close on this day to celebrate the anniversary event.

Are the Māori people still in Wellington?

Up to 55,000 Māori people currently live in Wellington, and they are also spread across other cities of New Zealand.

Where is Wellington Anniversary Day?

The holiday is celebrated in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wellington Anniversary Day Activities

  1. Visit a Settler Museum

    To commemorate this historic day, plan a visit to the Petone Settlers Museum or the Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial to learn about the voyage and trials that brought the city's first visitors. You can also do it with family and friends to make the day even more enjoyable.

  2. Read up on Wellington

    Can’t visit the museum? No problem. Obtain a book or article documenting the history of Wellington and New Zealand and travel back in time on the wings of the pages, just like you are doing now.

  3. Post about the event on social media

    You can join in the celebration by using the hashtags #Wellington and #WellingtonDay on social media, as well as searching the web for amusing pictures and videos of the event.

5 Fun Facts About Wellington

  1. Culinary capital

    Wellington has approximately 400 restaurants and cafés with unique foods and menus that make the city unique.

  2. Nuke-free zone

    The city was proclaimed a nuclear-free zone in 1982, and any nuclear-powered or armed ships are not permitted within its limits.

  3. Artistic ambiance

    From nature to the parks, beautiful buildings, rails, waters, and ports, the city is a great place for tourists and people who want a peaceful and fun experience.

  4. The beehive

    The executive wing of the parliament, also known as the beehive, was designed by architect Sir Basil Spence on a napkin using a pencil during dinner.

  5. Women’s voting rights

    The Electoral Act of 1893, as adopted and signed by Parliament in Wellington, granted women the right to vote, making them the first country to do so.

Why We Love Wellington Anniversary Day

  1. Wellington is a great city

    From the picturesque landscape to the tall beautiful buildings and structures, cozy cafes and restaurants, waterside, and resorts, Wellington is a great place to be. This makes the city worthy of celebration for the great memories it helps people make.

  2. It’s a celebration of history

    This day commemorates the historical arrival of the city's first immigrant, so it holds a special place in our hearts. It serves as a reminder of how the original settlers braved the sea for months to get there.

  3. It’s a celebration of growth

    Wellington Anniversary Day commemorates the city's development from the time of the first immigrants to the present. It is interesting to notice how, over time, it has even grown to be known as New Zealand's capital.

Wellington Anniversary Day dates

YearDateDay
2022January 24Monday
2023January 23Monday
2024January 22Monday
2025January 20Monday
2026January 19Monday

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