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Business landscape

Wellington is the place of the possible. We’re New Zealand's government hub and the world's southernmost capital city. We also have the most educated workforce in the country along with a solid and prosperous economy making Wellington the ideal place to do business.


Wellington contributes 13.5% to New Zealand’s economy. We’re ranked third on Forbe's 2014 Best Countries for Business list, which labels New Zealand as a free market economy that can compete globally.

Research released in February 2014 by Infometrics shows an increase in GDP per employee by 1.9% in 2013, taking productivity in Wellington City to 29.2 % higher than the national level (Wellington City Annual Economic Profile 2014). 

Wellington's median household income in 2013 was $59,230, over $6,000 higher than the national median of $53,120 (Wellington Region 2014 Economic Overview).

Immigration New Zealand provides a helpful overview of New Zealand's economy


Wellington’s population is 492,000 and growing. Wellington comprises 11% of the total population of New Zealand and contributes 12% to total employment.

We're a culturally diverse city and welcome people from all over the world. Our ethnic makeup includes Maori (12%), Asian (10%) and Pacific (8%). Over 25% of Wellington residents were born overseas, the second highest ratio in New Zealand.

We have the most highly educated workforce in New Zealand with 28% of the city's residents holding a bachelor's degree or higher, compared with 20% in New Zealand as a whole (Statistics New Zealand).

Parliament Buildings in Wellington Tax and legal system


Wellington is the capital of New Zealand so you’ll find our government here too.

New Zealand is a parliamentary democracy with a Prime Minister as the head of the government. The political environment is very stable making it a secure place to work, invest and do business.

New Zealand consistently achieves the very highest ranking for lack of corruption and is currently ranked as the second least corrupt country in the world, second only to Denmark, on Transparency International’s 2014 Global Corruption Index.

Take a look at how our government works in New Zealand.

Legal system

New Zealand has a strong legal system consisting of three separate authorities: Parliament, the Executive, and the Judiciary.

  • Parliament makes the law.
  • The Executive (Ministers of the Crown also known as the Government) administer the law.
  • The Judiciary interprets the law through the courts.

New Zealand’s parliament was based on the British parliamentary system known as the Westminster system of government.

Find out more about New Zealand's legal system.

OrientalBayPlayground Wellington NZ PhotoNicolaEdmonds

Safe communities

Wellington is a safe place to live – it’s the only capital city in the world designated with the ‘Safe Community’ status by the World Health Organisation. It's also ranked as the 9th best city for personal safety in the world (Mercer 2014 Quality of Life Survey).

We have access to a world-class health system along with high quality and convenient public services and amenities.

Emergency planning & recovery

Wellington has an international reputation for disaster preparedness and social and economic resilience. In 2014 Wellington was selected for the Rockefeller Foundation-pioneered 100 Resilient Cities Programme.

Local authorities have an ongoing programme for strengthening earthquake-prone buildings and because Wellington is the seat of government, data protection and business continuity is well-catered for in the region.