Hania, Greece

The Hania-Wellington Historical Sister City relationship was formed in 1984 to celebrate the contribution of the Greek and Cretan communities to Wellington and the strong links formed since WWII.

A special relationship developed between New Zealand and the Hania area of Crete. This area was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting during the 1941 Battle of Crete, which was between New Zealand and German troops.

An olive tree was planted in the grounds of the Michael Fowler Centre to commemorate the relationship. A Greek-New Zealand Memorial can also be found on Kent and Cambridge terraces.

Wellington celebrates 'Hania Day' on 20 May, which is also when commemorations for the Battle of Crete take place.

Lloyd Street was also renamed Hania Street in commemoration. The street was chosen due to the nearby Greek Orthodox Church of Wellington, which serves the local Greek community. The church is in Mount Victoria, which was where the first Greek migrants to Wellington chose to make their home. There is a reciprocal Wellington Street near Nea Hora beach in Hania.

During 2016’s commemorations in May, Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer joined a New Zealand delegation to Hania to participate in the 75th anniversary commemorations.