Wellington, city (1996 pop. 157,647; urban agglomeration 334,051), capital of New Zealand, extreme S North Island, on Port Nicholson, an inlet of Cook Strait. Socially and economically linked with Hutt City, Upper Hutt, and Porirua City, Wellington is a major communications and transportation center and is an important port for coastal and overseas trade. Wellington has garment, transportation-equipment, food-processing, and textile industries. Wellington was officially founded in 1840 and replaced Auckland as the capital in 1865. Notable are the governor-general's residence, the Parliament building, the National Art Gallery, and the National Museum. Victoria Univ. of Wellington, founded as Victoria Univ. College in 1897, became autonomous in 1962. Wellington has a symphony orchestra and ballet as well as opera companies. Among its religious functions, it serves as the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishopric.
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