North Island
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North Island

North Island
Te Ika-a-M?ui  (M?ori)
NewZealand.A2002296.2220.250m North Island crop.jpg
North Island is located in Oceania
North Island
North Island
Coordinates38°24?S 175°43?E / 38.400°S 175.717°E / -38.400; 175.717
ArchipelagoNew Zealand
Area113,729 km2 (43,911 sq mi)
Area rank14th
Highest elevation2,797 m (9,177 ft)
Highest pointMount Ruapehu
New Zealand
ISO 3166-2:NZNZ-N
Territorial authorities43
Largest settlementAuckland (pop. 1,440,600)
Population3,814,400 (June 2019)
Pop. density33.5/km2 (86.8/sq mi)

The North Island, also officially named Te Ika-a-M?ui,[1] is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the larger but much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island's area is 113,729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi),[2] making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of 3,814,400 (June 2019),[3] accounting for approximately 77% of the total residents of New Zealand.

Twelve main urban areas (half of them officially cities) are in the North Island. From north to south, they are Whang?rei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Hastings, Whanganui, Palmerston North, and Wellington, the capital, located at the south-west extremity of the island.

Naming and usage

Although the island has been known as the North Island for many years,[4] in 2009 the New Zealand Geographic Board found that, along with the South Island, the North Island had no official name.[5] After a public consultation, the board officially named the island North Island or Te Ika-a-Maui in October 2013.[6]

In prose, the two main islands of New Zealand are called the North Island and the South Island, with the definite article.[7] It is also normal to use the preposition in rather than on, for example "Hamilton is in the North Island", "my mother lives in the North Island".[8] Maps, headings, tables, and adjectival expressions use North Island without "the".

M?ori mythology

According to M?ori mythology, the North and South Islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demigod M?ui. M?ui and his brothers were fishing from their canoe (the South Island) when he caught a great fish and pulled it from the sea. While he was not looking his brothers fought over the fish and chopped it up. This great fish became the North Island and thus a M?ori name for the North Island is Te Ika-a-M?ui ("The Fish of M?ui").[9] The mountains and valleys are believed to have been formed as a result of M?ui's brothers' hacking at the fish. Until the early 20th Century, an alternative M?ori name for the North Island was Aotearoa. In present usage, Aotearoa is a collective M?ori name for New Zealand as a whole.


The sub-national GDP of the North Island was estimated at US$102.863 billion in 2003, 79% of New Zealand's national GDP.[10]


The North Island is divided into two ecoregions within the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome, the northern part being the Northland temperate kauri forest, and the southern part being the North Island temperate forests. The island has an extensive flora and bird population, with numerous national parks and other protected areas.


Territorial authorities of the North Island

Nine local government regions cover the North Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters.

Cities and towns

Map of the North Island showing some of its cities

The North Island has a larger population than the South Island, with the country's largest city, Auckland, and the capital, Wellington, accounting for nearly half of it.

There are 28 urban areas in the North Island with a population of 10,000 or more:

Name Population
(June 2019)[3]
% of island
Auckland 1,440,600 37.8%
Wellington 212,100 5.6%
Hamilton 172,300 4.5%
Tauranga 146,200 3.8%
Lower Hutt 108,800 2.9%
Palmerston North 80,400 2.1%
Napier 65,200 1.7%
Porirua 58,400 1.5%
New Plymouth 56,600 1.5%
Rotorua 57,300 1.5%
Whang?rei 53,400 1.4%
Hibiscus Coast 57,400 1.5%
Hastings 47,900 1.3%
Upper Hutt 43,400 1.1%
Whanganui 41,600 1.1%
Gisborne 36,500 1.0%
Paraparaumu 29,700 0.8%
Pukekohe 25,600 0.7%
Taupo 24,900 0.7%
Masterton 24,900 0.5%
Cambridge 19,900 0.5%
Levin 18,550 0.5%
Feilding 16,750 0.4%
Whakat?ne 16,500 0.4%
Havelock North 14,750 0.4%
Tokoroa 14,150 0.4%
Te Awamutu 12,800 0.3%
Waikanae 13,300 0.3%


Culture and identity

Ethnic groups of North Island residents, 2013 census[11]
Ethnicity Number %
European 2,122,587 69.6
   New Zealand European 1,934,037 63.4
   English 30,393 1.0
   British 27,024 0.9
   South African 24,921 0.8
   Dutch 21,549 0.7
   European (not further defined) 20,955 0.7
   Australian 16,431 0.5
M?ori 514,809 16.9
Asian 418,287 13.7
   Chinese 145,089 4.8
   Indian 134,559 4.4
   Filipino 32,796 1.1
   Korean 25,842 0.8
Pacific peoples 274,806 9.0
   Samoan 133,968 4.4
   Cook Islands Maori 56,910 1.9
   Tongan 56,685 1.9
   Niuean 22,878 0.7
Middle Eastern/Latin American/African 39,510 1.3
Other 47,394 1.6
   New Zealander 45,906 1.5
Total people stated 3,050,874 100.0
Not elsewhere included 186,174 5.8


Healthcare in the North Island is provided by fifteen District Health Boards (DHBs). Organised around geographical areas of varying population sizes, they are not coterminous with the Local Government Regions.

District Health Board District Population
Northland District Health Board (Te Poari Hauora a Rohe o te Tai Tokerau) Whangarei District, Far North District, Kaipara District 159,160
Waitemata District Health Board (Te Wai Awhina) Auckland Region 525,000
Auckland District Health Board (Te Toka Tumai) Auckland Region 468,000
Counties Manukau District Health Board (A Community Partnership) Auckland Region 490,610
Waikato District Health Board (Waikato DHB) Hamilton City, Hauraki District, Matamata-Piako District, Otorohanga District, part of Ruapehu District, South Waikato, Thames-Coromandel District, Waikato District, Waipa District, Waitomo District 372,865
Bay of Plenty District Health Board (Hauora a Toi) Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Whakat?ne District, Kawerau District, Opotiki District 214,170
Lakes District Health Board (Lakes DHB) Rotorua Lakes, Taupo District 102,000
Tairawhiti District Health Board (Te Mana Hauora o te Tairawhiti) Gisborne District 44,499
Hawke's Bay District Health Board (Whakawateatia) Napier City, Hastings District, Wairoa District, Central Hawke's Bay District, Chatham Islands 155,000
Taranaki District Health Board (Taranaki DHB) New Plymouth District, Stratford District, South Taranaki District 104,280
Whanganui District Health Board (Whanganui DHB) Wanganui District, Rangitikei District, part of Ruapehu District 62,210
Mid Central District Health Board (Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua) Palmerston North City, Horowhenua District, Manawatu District, Tararua District, part of Kapiti Coast District 158,838
Wairarapa District Health Board (Te Poari Hauora a Rohe o Wairarapa) South Wairarapa District, Carterton District, Masterton District 38,200
Hutt Valley District Health Board (Healthy People) Lower Hutt City, Upper Hutt City 145,000
Capital and Coast District Health Board (Upoko ki te Uru Hauora) Wellington City, Porirua City, part of Kapiti Coast District 270,000

Major geographic features

The North Island, in relation to the South Island

Bays and coastal features

Lakes and rivers

Capes and peninsulas

Forests and national parks



See also


  1. ^ Reporter, Staff (10 October 2013). "Two official options for NZ island names". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Quick Facts - Land and Environment : Geography - Physical Features". Statistics New Zealand. 2000. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ On some 19th-century maps, the North Island is named New Ulster, which was also a province of New Zealand that included the North Island.
  5. ^ "The New Zealand Geographic Board Considers North and South Island Names". Land Information New Zealand. 21 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 February 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Two official options for NZ island names". The New Zealand Herald. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ Williamson, Maurice (11 October 2013). "Names of NZ's two main islands formalised". New Zealand Government. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ Guardian and Observer style guide: N ("New Zealand"), The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2019
  9. ^ "1000 M?ori place names". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 6 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Regional Gross Domestic Product". Statistics New Zealand. 2007. Archived from the original on 20 May 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  11. ^ "Ethnic group (total responses), for the census usually resident population count, 2001, 2006, and 2013 Censuses (RC, TA, AU)". Statistics New Zealand.

External links

Coordinates: 38°24?S 175°43?E / 38.400°S 175.717°E / -38.400; 175.717

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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