Sediments from stormdrain catchments in Wellington city and sediment traps from Wellington Harbor were sampled for trace metal content. Samples were analyzed for acid leached metal content by extraction with 0.11 mol acetic acid l–1 and using ICP-MS. Cu and Zn levels in harbor sediment traps increased towards the periphery of the harbor, while Pb levels adjacent to a road almost doubled. In general, areas of light industry in the Inner City stormdrain catchments exhibited higher acid leached metal concentrations. However, large-scale renovation work probably contributed to point sources of high metal levels. The proximity of stormdrain outlets to recreational activities, such as wharf fishing and shellfish gathering, should be of prime concern to local authorities. Some positive correlations are found between acid leached and total metal levels. These may prove useful for assessing the biological impact of significant increases in total metal concentrations in the vicinity of Wellington Harbor. Significant savings in the time and costs of analyses may be achieved.