Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual series of military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces and international military bands, artistic performance teams on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in the capital of Scotland. The event is held each August as part of the Edinburgh Festival; the term "tattoo" derives from a 17th-century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe a signal to tavern owners each night, played by a regiment's Corps of Drums, to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire to their billeted lodgings at a reasonable hour. With the establishment of modern barracks and full military bands in the 18th century, the term "tattoo" was used to describe the last duty call of the day, as well as a ceremonial form of evening entertainment performed by military musicians; the first public military tattoo in Edinburgh was entitled "Something About a Soldier" and took place in 1949 at the Ross Bandstand in the Princes Street Gardens. The first official Edinburgh Military Tattoo, with eight items in the programme, was held in 1950.
It drew some 6,000 spectators seated in simple bench and scaffold structures around the north and east sides of the Edinburgh Castle esplanade. In 2018, the capacity of the stands was able to accommodate a nightly audience of 8,800, allowing 220,000 to watch the multiple live performances. Since the 1970s on average, just over 217,000 people see the Tattoo live on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle each year, it has sold out in advance for the last decade. 30 % of the audience are from 35 % from the rest of the United Kingdom. The remaining 35% of the audience consists of 70,000 visitors from overseas; the temporary grandstands on the castle esplanade, used in 2018, had a capacity of 8,800. New £16 million spectator stands and corporate hospitality boxes came into use in 2011; the new temporary stands reduced the time taken to erect and dismantle them from the original two months to one month, allowing the esplanade to host events at other times of the year. The Tattoo performance takes place every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays throughout August and has never been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Since 2012, each performance has included a fireworks display. From 2005 to 2015, a son et lumière element projected on to the facade of the Castle. In 2016, the projection technology on the castle was upgraded to utilize modern projection mapping technology. In 2018, laser technology was used for the first time. Since 2004, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo has held free abridged performances at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens, entitled "Taste of the Tattoo", as of 2008 in George Square in Glasgow; the Edinburgh Military Tattoo has toured overseas, visiting New Zealand in 2000 as part of the Tattoo's 50th anniversary celebrations. It visited Australia in 2005 and returned to the Sydney Football Stadium in February 2010 as part of the Tattoo's 60th anniversary celebrations. In February 2016 the Tattoo sold 240,000 tickets when it was staged in Wellington, New Zealand and Melbourne Australia. There were plans to take the show to China in 2020, with performances in Shanghai and Guangzhou.
As of 2014 the Princess Royal was the patron of the event, with the main corporate sponsor being the Royal Bank of Scotland. In 2010 the event became the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo after HM Queen Elizabeth awarded the Royal title in celebration of its six decades of existence. In 2018 the Tattoo was planned to be televised to 40 countries allowing an estimated 100–300 million people see the event on television worldwide. In Britain the BBC broadcasts the event annually, with commentary in 2009 and 2010 provided by BBC Radio Scotland presenter Iain Anderson. Bill Paterson has provided commentary since 2011. In Australia the Australian Broadcasting Corporation traditionally telecasts the Tattoo on the evening of New Year's Eve, although in a break with tradition, the 2006 Tattoo was broadcast a day earlier on 30 December, the 2007 Tattoo was broadcast earlier on Christmas Eve, the 2009 Tattoo was broadcast two days after New Year's Eve on 2 January 2010; these changes were made. The Tattoo is run for charitable causes and in 2017 it was estimated that over the years has given £10 million to the arts and civilian charities and organisations, such as the Army Benevolent Fund.
However, the greater benefit has been that, by independent count, it generates £88 million in revenue for Edinburgh's economy annually. The official magazine of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Salute, is distributed free to sponsors, friends of the Tattoo, visiting performers; each performance begins with a fanfare composed for that year's show. The Massed Pipes and Drums perform, marching through the gatehouse of the castle and performing a traditional pipe band set; the show's featured acts perform individually. Each service is represented by bands from the British Armed Forces, along with drill and display teams as well. On special occasions, the Tattoo will feature bands from more than one service at the same time. In both 2002 and 2012, bands from all three services were featured to mark Elizabeth II's Golden and Diamond Jubilees. In 2003, Westlife headlined the event. From 1950 until 1994, the show featured acts from military organizations. However, the show began to diversify and feature civilian acts beginning in 1995.
While this was met with resistance from some fans, the inclusion of civilian acts has become more and more present in the show over time. One of the most popular acts featured at the Tattoo is the Top Secret Dru
The Basin Reserve is a cricket ground in Wellington, New Zealand, used for Test, first-class and one-day cricket. The Basin Reserve is the only cricket ground in New Zealand to have Historic Place status as it is the oldest test cricket ground in New Zealand; the ground has been used for events other than cricket, such as concerts, sports events and other social gatherings, but now it is used for cricket Test matches. It is the main home ground for Wellington Firebirds; the Basin Reserve is two kilometres south of the Wellington CBD at the foot of Mount Victoria. Government House, St Marks Church School, the Wellington College boys' school are to the south of the Basin, across the street. At the eastern end of the basin is the Mount Victoria Tunnel, which increased the traffic flow around the Basin Reserve when it was built in 1931; the New Zealand Cricket Museum is located in the Old Grandstand. It houses a reference library; the Basin Reserve is surrounded by numerous other Wellington landmarks, including Mount Cook Barracks, the National War Memorial, several colleges and high schools, the Caledonian Hotel and the former Dominion Museum.
A fire station is located across the street from the ground: traditionally its occupants would watch ongoing matches during their down-time, would set off the station's siren to mark New Zealand wickets taken or when a batsman reached a milestone like a 50 or century. The Basin Reserve is the intersection point for the Wellington suburbs of Mount Cook and Mount Victoria; the area, now Basin Reserve was a lake, there were plans to connect it to the sea by a canal to make it an alternative inner city harbour, with major warehouses and factories alongside it. However, the massive 1855 Wairarapa earthquake uplifted the area nearly 1.8 m and turned the lake into a swamp. Due to the colonists' English roots, sport cricket, was a vital part of the community's way to relax. However, no land had been allocated by the city planners for recreational reserves. Although natural grounds, such as the Te Aro flat, provided a small area for matches, the colonists wanted more recreational land than what they had.
The matter became more dire as buildings began to be erected on these flat plains, as flat land was hard to find in the mountainous Wellington. So after the 1855 earthquake, which historians estimate measured magnitude 8, influential citizens seized the chance in 1857 to suggest that the new land be drained and made into a recreational reserve; the Wellington council accepted the proposal and beginning on 3 February 1863 prisoners from the Mount Cook Gaol began to level and drain the new land. The swamp was drained by September and a fence was placed around the entire area along with hedges. However, massive population influxes from 1863 until 1866 hampered construction on the Basin Reserve as workers were pulled to other areas. After a council meeting on 11 December 1866 the Basin Reserve became Wellington's official cricket ground. No cattle or horses were allowed in the ground and only small hedges and shrubs were allowed to be planted so as not to hamper cricket games. Soon after, on 11 January 1868, the first game of cricket was played, although the ground had numerous stones and thistles on it, which the umpire apologised for as some players got injured from them.
Although it was the opening day, no ceremony or music was played, nor was the opening advertised with banners. Soon after that first event, the Highland Games began being held at the Basin Reserve; the games were organised by the Wellingtonian Caledonian Society, of which their headquarters, The Caledonian Hotel, still stands towards the south of the Basin Reserve. The society offered up prize money. Due to their success, the society petitioned to have new grandstands built at the western end of the Basin Reserve, they would measure 44 by 20 ft and would cost £250–£300. The stands would hold food stalls and ground keepers. However, for the following years up until 1872, the Basin Reserve grounds were still swampy, with small pools of swamp water and various weeds and shrubs sprouting over the fields. In late 1872, horses were used to level the playing field and this improved the conditions. In 1882, the William Wakefield Memorial was erected at the Basin Reserve; the monument had been in storage for many years, it was erected to commemorate one of the city's founders, William Wakefield, at the main sports ground.
The pavilion has been a Category II registered Historic Place since 1982, the entire Basin Reserve has been a registered Historic Area since 1998. The William Wakefield Memorial has a Category I registration; the first event played on the Basin Reserve was a one-day cricket match on 11 January 1868 between the Wellington Volunteers and the crew of HMS Falcon, docked in Wellington. However, the game was hampered with injuries from numerous stones and thistles in the grass, which led to the injury of some players; the umpire apologised after the game to the players for the poor conditions of play. After that first event, local societies began organising athletic and sport meetings at the Basin Reserve; these meetings were called the Highland Games and it was their success which led to the construction of the ground's grand stand. The events included athletics, racing and wood-chopping and cycling. However, the ground was still swampy in some areas, but was remedied in late 1872; this allowed the first first-class game, Wellington against Auckland, to be played on 30
Seating capacity is the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats hundreds of thousands of people; the largest sporting venue in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has a permanent seating capacity for more than 235,000 people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000. Safety is a primary concern in determining the seating capacity of a venue: "Seating capacity, seating layouts and densities are dictated by legal requirements for the safe evacuation of the occupants in the event of fire"; the International Building Code specifies, "In places of assembly, the seats shall be securely fastened to the floor" but provides exceptions if the total number of seats is fewer than 100, if there is a substantial amount of space available between seats or if the seats are at tables.
It delineates the number of available exits for interior balconies and galleries based on the seating capacity, sets forth the number of required wheelchair spaces in a table derived from the seating capacity of the space. The International Fire Code, portions of which have been adopted by many jurisdictions, is directed more towards the use of a facility than the construction, it specifies, "For areas having fixed seating without dividing arms, the occupant load shall not be less than the number of seats based on one person for each 18 inches of seating length". It requires that every public venue submit a detailed site plan to the local fire code official, including "details of the means of egress, seating capacity, arrangement of the seating...."Once safety considerations have been satisfied, determinations of seating capacity turn on the total size of the venue, its purpose. For sports venues, the "decision on maximum seating capacity is determined by several factors. Chief among these are the primary sports program and the size of the market area".
In motion picture venues, the "limit of seating capacity is determined by the maximal viewing distance for a given size of screen", with image quality for closer viewers declining as the screen is expanded to accommodate more distant viewers. Seating capacity of venues plays a role in what media they are able to provide and how they are able to provide it. In contracting to permit performers to use a theatre or other performing space, the "seating capacity of the performance facility must be disclosed". Seating capacity may influence the kind of contract to be the royalties to be given; the seating capacity must be disclosed to the copyright owner in seeking a license for the copyrighted work to be performed in that venue. Venues that may be leased for private functions such as ballrooms and auditoriums advertise their seating capacity. Seating capacity is an important consideration in the construction and use of sports venues such as stadiums and arenas; when entities such as the National Football League's Super Bowl Committee decide on a venue for a particular event, seating capacity, which reflects the possible number of tickets that can be sold for the event, is an important consideration.
The seating capacity for restaurants is reported as'covers'. Seating capacity differs from total capacity, which describes the total number of people who can fit in a venue or in a vehicle either sitting or standing. Where seating capacity is a legal requirement, however, as it is in movie theatres and on aircraft, the law reflects the fact that the number of people allowed in should not exceed the number who can be seated. Use of the term "public capacity" indicates that a venue is allowed to hold more people than it can seat. Again, the maximum total number of people can refer to either the physical space available or limitations set by law. All-seater stadium List of stadiums by capacity List of football stadiums by capacity List of American football stadiums by capacity List of rugby league stadiums by capacity List of rugby union stadiums by capacity List of tennis stadiums by capacity Seating assignment
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players, its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators. In rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team's goal line; the opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may be awarded for penalties, field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea, is a popular sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, South Auckland in New Zealand, southwest France and Lebanon.
The Super League and the National Rugby League are the premier club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European and Pacific Island countries, is governed by the Rugby League International Federation; the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954. Rugby league football takes its name from the bodies that split to create a new form of rugby, distinct from that run by the Rugby Football Unions, in Britain and New Zealand between 1895 and 1908; the first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a breakaway faction of England's Rugby Football Union. Both organisations played the game under the same rules at first, although the Northern Union began to modify rules immediately, thus creating a new faster, stronger paced form of rugby football. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves "rugby football leagues" and introducing Northern Union rules.
In 1922, the Northern Union changed its name to the Rugby Football League and thus over time the sport itself became known as "rugby league" football. In 1895, a schism in Rugby football resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. Although many factors played a part in the split, including the success of working class northern teams, the main division was caused by the RFU decision to enforce the amateur principle of the sport, preventing "broken time payments" to players who had taken time off work to play rugby. Northern teams had more working class players who could not afford to play without this compensation, in contrast to affluent southern teams who had other sources of income to sustain the amateur principle. In 1895, a decree by the RFU banning the playing of rugby at grounds where entrance fees were charged led to twenty-two clubs meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 and forming the "Northern Rugby Football Union". Within fifteen years of that first meeting in Huddersfield, more than 200 RFU clubs had left to join the rugby revolution.
In 1897, the line-out was in 1898 professionalism introduced. In 1906, the Northern Union changed its rules, reducing teams from 15 to 13 a side and replacing the ruck formed after every tackle with the play the ball. A similar schism to that which occurred in England took place in Australia. There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Bateman's Hotel in George Street. Rugby league went on to displace rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales and Queensland. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, England, setting a new record for attendance at a rugby football match of either code. In 1954 the Rugby League World Cup, the first for either code of rugby, was formed at the instigation of the French. In 1966, the International Board introduced a rule that a team in possession was allowed three play-the-balls and on the fourth tackle a scrum was to be formed; this was increased to six tackles in 1972 and in 1983 the scrum was replaced by a handover.
1967 saw. The first sponsors, Joshua Tetley and John Player, entered the game for the 1971–72 Northern Rugby Football League season. Television would have an enormous impact on the sport of rugby league in the 1990s when Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sought worldwide broadcasting rights and refused to take no for an answer; the media giant's "Super League" movement saw big changes for the traditional administrators of the game. In Europe, it resulted in a move from a winter sport to a summer one as the new Super League competition tried to expand its market. In Australasia, the Super League war resulted in long and costly legal battles and changing loyalties, causing significant damage to the code in an competitive sporting market. In 1997 two competitions were run alongside each other in Australia, after which a peace deal in the form of the National Rugby League was formed; the NRL has since become recognised as the sport's flagship competition and since that time has set record TV ratings and crowd figures.
The objective in rugby league is to score more points through tries and field goals than the opposition within the 80 minutes of play. If after two halves of play, each consisting of forty minutes, the two teams are drawing, a draw may be declar
Hurricanes (rugby union)
The Hurricanes are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Wellington that competes in Super Rugby. The Hurricanes were formed to represent the lower North Island, including the East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Horowhenua Kapiti, Poverty Bay, Wairarapa-Bush and Wellington unions, they play at Westpac Stadium, having played at the now-defunct Athletic Park. The Hurricanes had a poor first season in 1996's Super 12, but rebounded in 1997 with a third placing; the team did not reach the play-offs for another five years as they struggled in the bottom four of the table. Since 2003 the Hurricanes have made the post-season play-offs seven times out of fourteen seasons, including the 2006 final, which they lost in foggy weather against the Crusaders 19–12. After hosting but failing to win the final in 2015, the 2016 season was the Hurricanes' best season to date, they won the final 20-3 against the Lions, after again finishing the regular season first and hosting the final. The Hurricanes were formed in 1996 as one of five New Zealand Super 12 teams, were called the Wellington Hurricanes.
The team's first coach was former All Black Frank Oliver. Their first match, played at Palmerston North Showgrounds against the Auckland Blues, was the first Super 12 match, they lost it 36–28. The team finished ninth. In 1997 the team made the semi-finals; however the consistent form shown during this season would not be seen again for many years. Following their 1997 season, the Hurricanes failed to qualify for the semi-finals until 2003. Despite this, they were still known for the attacking nature of their backline that included the All Blacks stars Tana Umaga and Christian Cullen; the team played with flair and could score at any moment, whatever their position on the field, giving rise to the teams catch cry of'expect the unexpected'. However the team struggled for consistent performances and at crunch time in matches, leading to patchy form and results. After the 1999 World Cup, Jonah Lomu's contract with the NZRU expired he was linked to many clubs around the world, in rugby league as well as union and the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.
On 23 November 1999 it was announced that the winger had resigned from the NZRU and agreed terms with the Wellington Rugby Union, despite a reported a £1.1 million offer by Bristol. The move to the Wellington union meant he could be included in the protected group of players for the Hurricanes; the Hurricanes opened 2000 with a new stadium. The highlights of that year included the victory over eventual champions the Crusaders, 41–29, in front of a packed house. At the end of the season the'Canes still had a mathematical chance of making the semis and only had to beat the Bulls to stay in contention. However, the Hurricanes played one of their worst games of the year, losing the match to one of the worst performing teams at that point in the competition's history and lost the possibility of qualifying for the semi-finals; the team finished eighth on the table. Despite the Wellington Lions winning the 2000 NPC, the Hurricanes finished ninth in the final standings in 2001. Another ninth placing in 2002 resulted in Graham Mourie.
In spite of reports that Colin Cooper, the Crusaders assistant-coach, had said he was "not yet ready to jump ship" and wanted to stay with the South Island franchise, the Hurricanes were able to lure him away from the champions and made him their head coach for the 2003 season. Cooper, along with newly appointed captain Tana Umaga, helped to mould the inconsistent and ill-disciplined Hurricanes into one of the top teams in the competition. 2003 was the beginning of a new era for the Hurricanes as they reached the semi-finals for just the second time in their history on the back of a strong seven-game winning streak mid-season. Their success came with the break-out year for mid-fielder Ma'a Nonu, his strong performances and partnership with captain Tana Umaga pushed out former All Black Pita Alatini and saw him score six tries en route to the All Black squad; the team benefited from the steady hand of David Holwell at first five-eighth and an improving and mobile forward pack. Hurricanes stalwart Christian Cullen would leave New Zealand shores for Irish club Munster after his omission from the All Blacks 2003 World Cup squad, despite scoring eight tries during the season.
All Black great Jonah Lomu was left out of the 2004 squad, due to a life-threatening illness that would result in a kidney transplant. He would never again play for the Hurricanes; the majority of the team was retained< for 2005. Including new centre Conrad Smith; the Hurricanes came back in 2005 to the form. Former New Zealand Colt Flyhalf Jimmy Gopperth was the real "find" of the season, scoring 139 points, which helped offset the departure of David Holwell to Ireland; the Hurricanes had tried to sign Australian playmaker Brock James, who had starred the previous NPC season for Taranaki and the Blues, young star Luke McAlister indicated that he would like to play in Wellington. With both Daniel Carter and Aaron Mauger at the Crusaders capable of playing first five-eighth the team made an attempt to lure Andrew Mehrtens to Wellington, without success. In 2006 two new teams entered the competition, the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs from South Africa and the Perth-based Western Force from Australia, creating the Super 14.
Rodney So'oialo was appointed captain of the Hurricanes to succeed former All Black captain Tana Umaga
Super Rugby is a professional men's rugby union competition involving teams from Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; the Super 12 was established by SANZAR after the sport became professional in 1995. The name was changed to Super 14 with the addition of two teams for the 2006 season, with expansion to 15 teams in the three countries for the 2011 season, the competition was rebranded as Super Rugby. In 2016 two new teams, the Jaguares from Argentina and Sunwolves from Japan, joined the competition, playing in two newly separated African groups. In 2018, the competition underwent another change in format, this time dropping two teams from the South African conference, one from the Australian conference; this left the competition with 15 teams.
The competition has been dominated by New Zealand teams. The Crusaders have won most with nine titles. SANZAAR is the body that administers Super Rugby, has the Australian, New Zealand, South African and Argentine rugby unions as its sole members. SANZAAR runs the Rugby Championship tournament, contested by Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa following the conclusion of the Super Rugby tournament; the organisation was formed in 1996 to establish and run the Super 12, Tri-Nations Tournament. Prior to 2011, Super Rugby was a round-robin competition where each team played with every other team once; the winner received four competition points. The Rugby union bonus points system was used, where any team scoring four or more tries, and/or losing by seven points or less, receives an extra competition point. In 2016, the try bonus changed. A team now has to score three more tries than their opponents; the top four teams at the end of the round-robin phase played semi-finals – the first placed team hosting the fourth placed team, the second placed team hosting the third placed team.
The two winners played the final at the home ground of the top surviving seed. There were 91 regular season games in total. Games were held over 14 weekends with each team receiving one bye. From 2011 – 2015 the format changed, with each country forming its own conference; each team within a conference played each of the other teams in its conference twice, once at home and once away. Each team played four out of the five teams from each of the other conferences once. Competition points were awarded on a similar basis as before; the format of the finals changed. The four lower ranking teams were paired in two sudden death games; those winners played for the championship. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons the format changed again, with three more teams joining, one each from Argentina and South Africa. There were four conferences, with Africa getting two conferences; the finals had eight teams with each conference winner getting a home quarter final. They were joined by four wild card teams, three from the Australasian group and one from the South African group.
From 2018 season the format has changed again, with two South African teams and an Australian team being dropped. There are three conferences, one of the five New Zealand teams, a South African one to include Argentina's team and an Australasian one including Japan's team. Before 1996, a number of transnational competitions involving regional and provincial rugby union teams had taken shape in the southern hemisphere; the earliest of these was the South Pacific Championship, launched in 1986 and continued until 1990. After the demise of the South Pacific Championship, with no tournament played in 1991, the competition was relaunched as the Super 6 in 1992; the original Super 6 competition consisted of three provincial teams from New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington. In 1993, the Super Six competition was expanded into the Super 10 tournament. With South Africa being readmitted into international sport following the dismantling of apartheid, there was an opportunity to launch an expanded competition which would feature South Africa's top provincial teams.
The inaugural competition featured the following teams: Waikato, Auckland and North Harbour. The Super 10 was won by Transvaal in 1993, by Queensland in 1994 and 1995; the official declaration of professionalism in rugby union in August 1995 led to a restructuring of the Super 10 competition. Following the success of the 1995 World Cup, the rugby boards of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa formed SANZAR to administer an annual 12-team provincial/franchise based competition pitting regional teams from the three nations against each other. In addition it was decided to hold an annual Tri-Nations Test Series between the three co
The Wellington Region is a local government region of New Zealand that occupies the southern end of the North Island. The region covers an area of 8,049 square kilometres, is home to a population of 521,500; the region is named after New Zealand's capital city and region's seat. The Wellington urban area, including the cities of Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt, accounts for 80 percent of the region's population; the region is administered by the Wellington Regional Council, which uses the promotional name Greater Wellington Regional Council. The council region covers the conurbation around the capital city and the cities of Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt, each of which has a rural hinterland; the Wellington Regional Council was first formed in 1980 from a merger of the Wellington Regional Planning Authority and the Wellington Regional Water Board. A proposal made in 2013 that nine territorial authorities amalgamate to form a single supercity met substantial local opposition and was abandoned in June 2015.
The governing body of the regional council is made up of 13 councillors, representing six constituencies: Wellington – 5 councillors Kapiti Coast – 1 Porirua-Tawa – 2 Lower Hutt – 3 Upper Hutt – 1 Wairarapa – 1 In common usage the terms Wellington region and Greater Wellington are not defined, areas on the periphery of the region are excluded. In its more restrictive sense the region refers to the cluster of built-up areas west of the Tararua ranges; the much more sparsely populated area to the east has its own name, a centre in Masterton. To a lesser extent, the Kapiti Coast is sometimes excluded from the region. Otaki in particular has strong connections to the Horowhenua District to the north. Former Wellington City mayor Celia Wade-Brown is not in favour of the region adopting a'super city' type council like the one in Auckland, though is in favour of reducing the number of councils from nine to "three or four"; the Māori who settled the region knew it as Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui, meaning "the head of Māui's fish".
Legend recounts that Kupe explored the region in about the tenth century. The region was settled by Europeans in 1839 by the New Zealand Company. Wellington became the capital of Wellington Province upon the creation of the province in 1853, until the Abolition of the Provinces Act came into force on 1 Nov 1876. Wellington became capital of New Zealand in 1865, the third capital after Auckland; the region occupies the southern tip of the North Island, bounded to the west and east by the sea. To the west lies the Tasman Sea and to the east the Pacific Ocean, the two seas joined by the narrow and turbulent Cook Strait, 28 kilometres wide at its narrowest point, between Cape Terawhiti and Perano Head in the Marlborough Sounds; the region covers 7,860 square kilometres, extends north to Otaki and to Eketahuna in the east. Physically and topologically the region has four areas running parallel along a northeast–southwest axis: The Kapiti Coast, a narrow strip of coastal plain running north from Paekakariki.
It contains numerous small towns, many of which gain at least a proportion of their wealth from tourism due to their fine beaches. Rough hill country inland from the Kapiti Coast, formed along the same major geologic fault responsible for the Southern Alps in the South Island. Though nowhere near as mountainous as the alps, the Rimutaka and Tararua ranges are still hard country and support only small populations, although it is in small coastal valleys and plains at the southern end of these ranges that the cities of Wellington and the Hutt Valley are located; the undulating hill country of the Wairarapa around the Ruamahanga River, which becomes lower and flatter in the south and terminates in the wetlands around Lake Wairarapa and contains much rich farmland. Rough hill country, lower than the Tararua Range but far less economic than the land around the Ruamahanga River; this and the other hilly striation are still forested. There are five parks owned by the regional council: Battle Hill Farm Forest Park Belmont Regional Park East Harbour Regional Park Kaitoke Regional Park Queen Elizabeth Park Over three-quarters of the 521,500 people reside in the four cities at the southwestern corner.
Other main centres of population are on the Kapiti Coast and in the fertile farming areas close to the upper Ruamahanga River in the Wairarapa. Along the Kapiti Coast, numerous small towns sit close together, many of them occupying spaces close to popular beaches. From the north, these include Otaki, Paraparaumu, the twin settlements of Raumati Beach and Raumati South and Pukerua Bay, the latter being a northern suburb of Porirua; each of these settlements has a population of between 2,000 and 10,000, making this moderately populated. In the Wairarapa the largest community by a considerable margin is Masterton, with a population of 20,000. Other towns include Featherston, Martinborough and Greytown; the region is by a large margin the wealthiest in the country. The most up-to-date estimates for regional GDP prepared by the Ministry for Economic Development put