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Auckland - New Zealand

 
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Auckland - New Zealand

Auckland (/ˈɔːklənd/ AWK-lənd) is a city in New Zealand's North Island. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,534,700. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,657,200. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki (pronounced [ˈtaːmaki]) or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions. It has also been called Ākarana, a transliteration of the English name.

The Auckland urban area (as defined by Statistics New Zealand) ranges to Waiwera in the north, Kumeu in the northwest, and Runciman in the south. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The surrounding hills are covered in rainforest and the landscape is dotted with dozens of dormant volcanic cones. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitematā Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have a harbour on each of two separate major bodies of water.

The isthmus on which Auckland resides was first settled around 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. The Māori population in the area is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. After a British colony was established in 1840, William Hobson, then Governor of New Zealand, chose the area as his new capital. He named the area for George Eden, Earl of Auckland, British First Lord of the Admiralty. It was replaced as the capital in 1865 by Wellington, but immigration to the new city stayed strong, and it has remained the country's most populous urban area. Today, Auckland's central business district is the major financial centre of New Zealand.

Trams and railway lines shaped Auckland's rapid expansion in the early first half of the 20th century. However, after the Second World War the city's transport system and urban form became increasingly dominated by the motor vehicle. Arterial roads and motorways became both defining and geographically dividing features of the urban landscape. They also allowed further massive expansion that resulted in the growth of urban areas such as the North Shore (especially after the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the late 1950s), and Manukau City in the south.

Economic deregulation in the mid-1980s led to dramatic changes to Auckland's economy and many companies relocated their head offices from Wellington to Auckland. The region was now the nerve centre of the national economy. Auckland also benefited from a surge in tourism, which brought 75 per cent of New Zealand's international visitors through its airport. Auckland's port handled 31 per cent of the country's container trade in 2015.

The face of urban Auckland changed when the government's immigration policy began allowing immigrants from Asia in 1986. According to the 1961 census data, Māori and Pacific Islanders comprised 5 per cent of Auckland's population; Asians less than 1 per cent. By 2006 the Asian population had reached 18.0 per cent in Auckland, and 36.2 per cent in the central city. New arrivals from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea gave a distinctive character to the areas where they clustered, while a range of other immigrants introduced mosques, Hindu temples, halal butchers and ethnic restaurants to the suburbs. The assertiveness of Pacific Island street culture and the increasing political influence of ethnic groups contributes to the city's multicultural vitality.

The Auckland metropolitan area has a population of 1,534,700 people according to Statistics New Zealand's June 2017 estimate, which is 32.0 per cent of New Zealand's population.

Many ethnic groups from all corners of the world have a presence in Auckland, making it by far the country's most cosmopolitan city. Europeans make up the majority of Auckland's population, however substantial numbers of Māori, Pacific Islander and Asian peoples exist as well. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. As of the 2013 census, the city has 13 ethnic groups constituting more than one percent of the population. New Zealand Europeans are the majority at 52.3 percent, with indigenous Māori making up 10.7 percent. Other significant ethnic groups present in Auckland include Chinese (8.4%), Indian (7.5%) and Samoan (7.2%).

In total, 59.3 of Aucklanders identified as a European ethnicity, 23.1 percent as an Asian ethnicity, 14.6 percent as a Pacific ethnicity, 10.7 percent as Maori, 1.9 percent as a Middle Eastern, Latin American or African ethnicity, and 1.1 percent as another ethnicity.

The Waitematā Harbour is home to several notable yacht clubs and marinas, including the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Westhaven Marina, the largest of the Southern Hemisphere. The Waitematā Harbour has several popular swimming beaches, including Mission Bay and Kohimarama on the south side of the harbour, and Stanley Bay on the north side. On the eastern coastline of the North Shore, where the Rangitoto Channel divides the inner Hauraki Gulf islands from the mainland, there are excellent swimming beaches at Cheltenham and Narrow Neck in Devonport, Takapuna, Milford, and the various beaches further north in the area known as East Coast Bays.

The west coast has popular surf spots such as Piha, Muriwai and Bethells Beach. The Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Orewa, Omaha and Pakiri, to the north of the main urban area, are also popular. Many Auckland beaches are patrolled by surf lifesaving clubs, such as Piha Surf Life Saving Club the home of Piha Rescue. All surf lifesaving clubs are part of the Surf Life Saving Northern Region.

Queen Street, Britomart, Ponsonby Road, Karangahape Road, Newmarket and Parnell are popular retail areas, whilst the Otara and Avondale fleamarkets offer an alternative shopping experience on weekend mornings. Most shopping malls are located in the middle- and outer-suburbs, with Sylvia Park and Westfield Albany being the largest.

Auckland is the major economic and financial centre of New Zealand. The city's economy is based largely on services and commerce. Most major international corporations have an Auckland office; the most expensive office space is around lower Queen Street and the Viaduct Basin in the Auckland CBD, where many financial and business services are located, which make up a large percentage of the CBD economy.

The largest commercial and industrial areas of the Auckland Region are in the southeast of Auckland City and the western parts of Manukau City, mostly bordering the Manukau Harbour and the Tamaki River estuary.

According to the 2013 census, the primary employment industries of Auckland residents are professional, scientific and technical services (11.4 per cent), manufacturing (9.9 per cent), retail trade (9.7 per cent), health care and social assistance (9.1 per cent), and education and training (8.3 per cent). Manufacturing is the largest employer in the Henderson-Massey, Howick, Mangere-Otahuhu, Otara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura local board areas, retail trade is the largest employer in the Whau local board are, while professional, scientific and technical services are the largest employer in the remaining urban local board areas.

The sub-national GDP of the Auckland region was estimated at NZ$93.5 billion in 2016, 37.2 per cent of New Zealand's national GDP. The per-capita GDP of Auckland was estimated at NZ$58,717, the third-highest in the country after the Taranaki and Wellington regions, and above the national average of NZ$54,178.

In 2014, the median personal income (for all persons older than 15 years of age, per year) in Auckland was estimated at NZ$41,860, behind only Wellington.