The history of Wellington is intricately tied to the culture of the native Maori people who first settled the area.  (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81ori for more information.)  The early days of the Maori settlement are not well known and are confused in history because of their close ties with the movements of the Polynesian people in the same area.  It is believed that the Maori people settled in the area sometime between the ninth and fourteenth century, with the eleventh century being the narrowest approximate guess about their arrival.

The Maori people were left to live life peacefully on their own in the area until close to the middle of the nineteenth century, when the first European settlers began to arrive in the area.  Approximately ten years after those first European settlements, the area was devastated by a series of earthquakes.  Wellington is built on hills and the entire area was moved by the quakes.  To this day, it is an area considered likely to be affected by earthquake damage.  Despite the damage done by the earthquakes, the settlers in the area remained steadfast and began to develop their lives there.  In 1865, Wellington was named the capital of New Zealand.  The area has grown steadily ever since.