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Residents place their confidence in good building regulations , which became more stringent in the 20th century. Since the Canterbury earthquakes of and , earthquake readiness has become even more of an issue, with buildings declared by Wellington City Council to be earthquake-prone, [31] [32] and the costs of meeting new standards. Every five years a year-long slow quake occurs beneath Wellington, stretching from Kapiti to the Marlborough Sounds. It was first measured in , and reappeared in and The sequence started at 5: On Monday 20 January at 3: At two minutes after midnight on the morning of Monday 14 November , the 7.

The earthquake caused damage to a considerable number of buildings. Two of the buildings demolished were about eleven years old; the seven-storey NZDF headquarters [41] [42] and Statistics House at Centreport on the waterfront. The four cities comprising Wellington have a total population of , June , [3] with the urban area containing The remaining areas are largely mountainous and sparsely farmed or parkland and are outside the urban area boundary. More than most cities, life is dominated by its central business district CBD.

Approximately 62, people work in the CBD, only 4, fewer than work in Auckland's CBD, despite that city having four times the population. Counts from the census gave totals by area, gender, and age. Wellington City had the largest population of the four cities with , [44] people, followed by Lower Hutt , Porirua and Upper Hutt. Women outnumbered men in all four areas. Statistics New Zealand Census [49]. The most common overseas birthplace is the United Kingdom, place of origin of 7. The next most-common countries of origin were Samoa 2. Age distributions for the four cities are given see table below.

The age structure closely matches the national distribution. Statistics New Zealand Census [61]. Wellington showcases a variety of architectural styles from the past years — 19th-century wooden cottages, such as the Italianate Katherine Mansfield Birthplace in Thorndon; streamlined Art Deco structures such as the old Wellington Free Ambulance headquarters, the Central Fire Station, Fountain Court Apartments, the City Gallery , and the former Post and Telegraph Building ; and the curves and vibrant colours of post-modern architecture in the CBD.

The oldest building is the Colonial Cottage in Mount Cook. List of tallest buildings in Wellington. Futuna Chapel in Karori was the first bicultural building in New Zealand, and is considered one of the most significant New Zealand buildings of the 20th century. Old St Paul's is an example of 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials, as is St Mary of the Angels.


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There are several restored theatre buildings: As it is the capital city, there are many notable government buildings. Across the road is the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere , [64] part of the old Government Buildings which now houses part of Victoria University of Wellington 's Law Faculty. It is strengthened using base isolation [65] — essentially seating the entire building on supports made from lead, steel and rubber that slow down the effect of an earthquake.

Kinetic sculptures have been commissioned, such as the Zephyrometer. Wellington experienced a real estate boom in the early s and the effects of the international property bust at the start of In , the market was described as "robust". Then that trend reversed and yields slowly began improving," according to two The New Zealand Herald reporters writing in May A Wellington City Council survey conducted in March found the typical central city apartment dweller was a New Zealand native aged 24 to 35 with a professional job in the downtown area, with household income higher than surrounding areas.

Households are primarily one-family, making up These counts are from the census for the Wellington region which includes the surrounding area in addition to the four cities. Wellington Harbour ranks as one of New Zealand's chief seaports and serves both domestic and international shipping. The port handles approximately Many cruise ships also use the port. The Government sector has long been a mainstay of the economy, which has typically risen and fallen with it. Traditionally, its central location meant it was the location of many head offices of various sectors — particularly finance, technology and heavy industry — many of which have since relocated to Auckland following economic deregulation and privatisation.

In recent years, tourism, arts and culture, film, and ICT have played a bigger role in the economy. Wellington's median income is well above the average in New Zealand, [78] and the highest of all New Zealand cities. At the census, the largest employment industries for Wellington residents were professional, scientific and technical services 25, people , public administration and safety 24, people , health care and social assistance 17, people , education and training 16, people and retail trade 16, people.

It has been argued that the construction of the Te Papa museum helped transform Wellington into a tourist destination. It has been promoted through a variety of campaigns and taglines, starting with the iconic Absolutely Positively Wellington advertisements.


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  • Cruise tourism is experiencing a major boom in line with nationwide development. Wellington is a popular conference tourism destination due to its compact nature, cultural attractions, award-winning restaurants and access to government agencies. The annual children's Artsplash Festival brings together hundreds of students from across the region.

    The week-long festival includes music and dance performances and the presentation of visual arts. Filmmakers Sir Peter Jackson , Sir Richard Taylor and a growing team of creative professionals have turned the eastern suburb of Miramar into a film-making, post-production and special effects infrastructure centre, giving rise to the moniker ' Wellywood '. But it's actually a lovely place, where you're pretty much surrounded by water and the bay.

    The city itself is quite small, but the surrounding areas are very reminiscent of the hills up in northern California, like Marin County near San Francisco and the Bay Area climate and some of the architecture. Kind of a cross between that and Hawaii. Sometime Wellington directors Jane Campion and Geoff Murphy have reached the world's screens with their independent spirit.

    There are agencies to assist film-makers with tasks such as securing permits and scouting locations. Wellington has a large number of independent cinemas, including The Embassy, Paramount, Penthouse, the Roxy and Light House, which participate in film festivals throughout the year. Wellington has one of the country's highest turn-outs for the annual New Zealand International Film Festival.

    The New Zealand School of Music was established in through a merger of the conservatory and theory programmes at Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington. St James' Theatre on Courtenay Place is a popular venue for artistic performances. These are separate entities that share the building's facilities.

    The comedy group Breaking the 5th Wall [] operated out of Wellington and regularly did shows around the city, performing a mix of sketch comedy and semi-improvised theatre. In the group disbanded when some of its members moved to Australia. The NZ International Comedy Fest featured over local and international comedy acts and was a first in incorporating an iPhone application for the Festival. The city is home to experimental arts publication White Fungus. The Learning Connexion provides art classes. Other visual art galleries include the City Gallery.

    Wellington is covered by six general electorates: Each electorate returns one member to the New Zealand House of Representatives. All electorates except Hutt South are held by the governing Labour Party. Hutt South is held by the opposition National Party. In addition, there are a varying number of Wellington-based list MPs, who are elected via party lists.

    As of September , there are five list MPs in the House who contested Wellington-based electorates at the election: Wellington offers a variety of college and university programs for tertiary students:. Victoria University of Wellington has four campuses and works with a three-trimester system beginning March, July, and November. While the student body was primarily New Zealanders of European descent, 1, were Maori, 1, were Pacific students, 2, were international students.

    The university has 1, full-time employees. Massey University has a Wellington campus known as the "creative campus" and offers courses in communication and business, engineering and technology, health and well-being, and creative arts. For further information, see List of universities in New Zealand. The Wellington area has numerous primary and secondary schools.

    Wellington is served by State Highway 1 in the west and State Highway 2 in the east, meeting at the Ngauranga Interchange north of the city centre, where SH 1 runs through the city to the airport. Road access into the capital is constrained by the mountainous terrain — between Wellington and the Kapiti Coast, SH 1 travels along the Centennial Highway, a narrow section of road, and between Wellington and Wairarapa SH 2 transverses the Rimutaka Ranges on a similar narrow winding road.

    Wellington has two motorways, both part of SH 1: Bus transport in Wellington is supplied by several different operators under the banner of Metlink. Buses serve almost every part of Wellington city, with most of them running along the "Golden Mile" from Wellington Railway Station to Courtenay Place. As of the buses run on diesel , but nine routes used trolleybuses. The trolleybus network was the last public system of its kind in the southern hemisphere, [ citation needed ] until it was shut down in October Two long-distance services leave from Wellington: A diesel-hauled carriage service, the Wairarapa Connection , connects several times daily to Masterton in the Wairarapa via the 8.

    Combined, these five services carry Local ferries connect Wellington city centre with Eastbourne, Seatoun and Petone.

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