News | 24 January 2021
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What's the deal with Wellington Anniversary Day?

Today is the 180th Wellington Anniversary Day - but what does that really mean?

Black and white image of stain glass window showing Māori man on beach greeting pakeha man with woman holding baby with a ship in the foreground.

Wellington City Council, 00155-90

To find out more, we had a chat with Gabor Toth, our Local and New Zealand History Specialist from Wellington City Libraries. 

"Wellington Anniversary was the first anniversary day to be celebrated in New Zealand, and marked one year after passengers on-board the settler ship, The Aurora, disembarked at Petone Beach" Gabor says. "It began a tradition that soon spread across the country."

"However, let's not forget that many of these areas had already been occupied by local Māori for generations. So while anniversary days are a welcome holiday, they are to some extent a legacy of our colonial past."

To hear the full interview and learn more about the history of Wellington Anniversary Day, check out this video. 


Thanks to Wellington City Libraries for helping us make this video and to Wellington City Archives for supplying the images.

You can find more information and images of Wellington on the City Archives and Wellington City Libraries websites.