It is not a well known fact, but the little town of Russell was indeed the very first capital of New Zealand. With this in mind, it then makes sense that the founding constitutional document of this country was signed just across the waters at Waitangi.
The capital was later moved southwards to Auckland and subsequently to Wellington where it remains today. Although some consulates remain in Auckland the High Commissions and Embassies and the Government House are now in Wellington along with the Beehive.
If you are visiting from overseas, any trip to NZ should include a visit to Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Then to finish it off you could visit the National Archives in Wellington where you can see original constitutional documents and read more of the country’s history.
Russell still has some early settler’s buildings and boasts the oldest church in New Zealand, named Christ Church. There is a museum too that holds an original whaling boat, and crane, amongst other artefacts. Then there is the old Catholic Mission made from interesting wood and that was used as a book making factory.