25 Jul 2015

A capital celebration for Wellington

6:50 pm on 25 July 2015

A bronze marker was laid in Wellington today by a former governor-general and the mayor as part of celebrations marking 150 years as the nation's capital.

The main event started at 5pm on the Parliament forecourt and included light shows, a concert by Dave Dobbyn, and giant candles surrounding the Beehive for the public to blow out.

The marker launches the Commonwealth Walkway, which the city council describes as a legacy project for the anniversary.

Sir Anand Satyanand and Celia Wade-Brown laid the marker, or roundel.

Sir Anand, who now chairs the Commonwealth Foundation, said he believed it was the first one to be put down in this part of the world.

Sir Anand and Celia lay down the commemorative marker.

Sir Anand and Celia lay down the marker. Photo: RNZ/Kate Gudsell

"There'll be a number of these roundels throughout the Wellington CBD which will go past historic sites that are relevant to Wellington."

The marker is embedded in the pathway at Wai-titi Landing, a former beach site next to Parliament Grounds.

Thanks to settlers and pioneers

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce said people should thank the capital's early settlers and modern-day business pioneers for building such a fine city.

Chamber chief executive John Milford said the city and surrounding regions could be proud of the transition from shacks on mud-filled streets into a modern city.

Mr Milford said he thought the saying, 'You can't beat Wellington on a good day' held as true today as it did 150 years ago.