Wellington Anniversary Day

Wellington Anniversary Day is a holiday observed annually on the Monday closest to January 22nd, commemorating the landing of the first European settlers on January 22, 1840, in what is now known as Wellington, New Zealand.

This holiday was first defined in the Holidays Act of 1981. This act allows each locality to observe a Provincial Anniversary Day to commemorate the founding day of the first colonists arriving in the province. It has been observed by the citizens of Wellington ever since.

The History of Wellington Anniversary Day

On September 20, 1839, an advance party of the New Zealand Company arrived on the ship Tory at what would become Wellington. After deciding that this location was suitable for a settlement, they requested the dispatch of the main settlers from England.

Four months later, 148 emigrants and 21 crew arrived at what was then called Port Nicholson but is now known as Wellington Harbor. On January 22, 1840, they were greeted by the local Maori chiefs. In November of that year, they named the town they founded Wellington in honor of the first Duke of Wellington.

Observing Wellington Anniversary Day

Wellington Anniversary Day is observed through official ceremonies in Wellington and other special events. People can observe this holiday by taking a few moments of their time to learn more about the history of Wellington.

People can also use the hashtag #WellingtonAnniversaryDay to spread the word about this holiday to everyone who might be interested in celebrating it.

Where is it celebrated?
New Zealand (Local holiday) - Manawatu-Wanganui*, Wellington
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 22 Monday
Next year (2025)
January 20 Monday
Last year (2023)
January 23 Monday