The capital of New Zealand is Wellington. It has 393,600 residents as of 2014 and is the second-most-populated urban area in New Zealand. It is located in the southwest of North Island. In 2014 the city was ranked as 12th in the world by Mercer Quality of Living Survey.
European settlement in the area began on Sep. 20, 1839, with the arrival of the New Zealand Company. The city was named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. Wellington has been the capital of New Zealand since 1856. Prior to that, the capital cities were Russell, in 1840, and Auckland from 1841 to 1856.