North Island

North Island

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The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, separated from the much less populous South Island
South Island
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...

 by Cook Strait
Cook Strait
Cook Strait is the strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand. It connects the Tasman Sea on the west with the South Pacific Ocean on the east....

. The island is 113729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi) in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of

Twelve cities are in the North Island: Auckland, New Plymouth, Tauranga
Tauranga
Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region, in the North Island of New Zealand.It was settled by Europeans in the early 19th century and was constituted as a city in 1963...

, Gisborne
Gisborne, New Zealand
-Economy:The harbour was host to many ships in the past and had developed as a river port to provide a more secure location for shipping compared with the open roadstead of Poverty Bay which can be exposed to southerly swells. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool was shipped...

, Napier
Napier, New Zealand
Napier is a New Zealand city with a seaport, located in Hawke's Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island. The population of Napier is about About 18 kilometres south of Napier is the inland city of Hastings. These two neighboring cities are often called "The Twin Cities" or "The Bay Cities"...

, Hamilton
Hamilton, New Zealand
Hamilton is the centre of New Zealand's fourth largest urban area, and Hamilton City is the country's fourth largest territorial authority. Hamilton is in the Waikato Region of the North Island, approximately south of Auckland...

, Hastings
Hastings, New Zealand
The city of Hastings is a major urban settlement in the Hawke's Bay region of the North Island of New Zealand, and it is the largest settlement by population in Hawke's Bay. Hastings city is the administrative centre of the Hastings District...

, Palmerston North
Palmerston North
Palmerston North is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an inland city with a population of and is the country's seventh largest city and eighth largest urban area. Palmerston North is located in the eastern Manawatu Plains near the north bank...

, Rotorua
Rotorua
Rotorua is a city on the southern shores of the lake of the same name, in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. The city is the seat of the Rotorua District, a territorial authority encompassing the city and several other nearby towns...

, Wanganui
Wanganui
Whanganui , also spelled Wanganui, is an urban area and district on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region....

, Whangarei
Whangarei
Whangarei, pronounced , is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Although commonly classified as a city, it is officially part of the Whangarei District, administered by the Whangarei District Council a local body created in 1989 to administer both the...

 and Wellington, the capital, located at the southern extremity of the island. Approximately % of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island.

Naming and usage


Although the island has been known as the North Island for many years, the New Zealand Geographic Board has found that, along with the South Island, it has no official name. The board intends to make North Island the island's official name, along with an alternative Māori name. Although several Māori names have been used, Maori Language Commission
Maori Language Commission
New Zealand's Māori Language Commission is an autonomous crown entity set up under the Māori Language Act 1987 with the following functions:...

er Erima Henare sees Te Ika-a-Māui
Te Ika-a-Maui
Te Ika-a-Māui is the Māori name for the North Island of New Zealand. It is translated to "the fish of Maui", from the story of when Māui hauled up the North Island on his waka ....

as the most likely choice.

The definite article is used with the names of the North and South islands, as the North Island and the South Island, like the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

and the Western World
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, but unlike Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island
Rangitoto Island is a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, New Zealand. The 5.5 km wide island is an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland with its distinctive symmetrical shield volcano cone rising 260 metres high over the Hauraki Gulf...

or West Point. Maps, headings or tables and adjectival expressions use North Island, whereas the North Island is used after a preposition or before or after a verb, e.g. my mother lives in the North Island, the North Island is smaller than the South Island, or I'm visiting the North Island. When specifying that the island is where a place, person, or object is located, it is normal to use the word in rather than on, for example Hamilton is in the North Island.

Māori mythology


According to Māori mythology
Maori mythology
Māori mythology and Māori traditions are the two major categories into which the legends of the Māori of New Zealand may usefully be divided...

, the North and South Islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demigod
Demigod
The term "demigod" , meaning "half-god", is commonly used to describe mythological figures whose one parent was a god and whose other parent was human; as such, demigods are human-god hybrids...

 Māui
Maui (Maori mythology)
In Māori mythology, Māui is a culture hero famous for his exploits and his trickery.-Māui's birth:The offspring of Tū increased and multiplied and did not know death until the generation of Māui-tikitiki . Māui is the son of Taranga, the wife of Makeatutara...

. Māui 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 Māori name for the North Island is Te Ika-a-Māui (The Fish of Māui). The mountains and valleys are believed to have been formed as a result of Māui's brothers' hacking at the fish. Until the early 20th Century, an alternative Māori name for the North Island was Aotearoa
Aotearoa
Aotearoa is the most widely known and accepted Māori name for New Zealand. It is used by both Māori and non-Māori, and is becoming increasingly widespread in the bilingual names of national organisations, such as the National Library of New Zealand / Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa.-Translation:The...

. In present Māori usage, Aotearoa is a collective name for New Zealand as a whole.

Economy


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

Ecology


The North Island has an extensive flora and bird population, with numerous National Parks and other protected areas.

Regions of the North Island


Nine local government regions
Regions of New Zealand
The region is the top tier of local government in New Zealand. There are 16 regions of New Zealand. Eleven are governed by an elected regional council, while five are governed by territorial authorities which also perform the functions of a regional council and thus are known as unitary authorities...

 cover the North Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters.
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Gisborne
    Gisborne, New Zealand
    -Economy:The harbour was host to many ships in the past and had developed as a river port to provide a more secure location for shipping compared with the open roadstead of Poverty Bay which can be exposed to southerly swells. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool was shipped...

  • Waikato
  • Taranaki
  • Manawatu-Wanganui
    Manawatu-Wanganui
    Manawatu-Wanganui is a region in the lower half of the North Island of New Zealand, around the cities of Palmerston North and Whanganui. It is administered by the Horizons Regional Council.-Administration:...

  • Hawkes Bay
  • Wellington

Cities and towns in the North Island


  • Auckland
    Auckland
    The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

  • Gisborne
    Gisborne, New Zealand
    -Economy:The harbour was host to many ships in the past and had developed as a river port to provide a more secure location for shipping compared with the open roadstead of Poverty Bay which can be exposed to southerly swells. A meat works was sited beside the harbour and meat and wool was shipped...

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    Hamilton is the centre of New Zealand's fourth largest urban area, and Hamilton City is the country's fourth largest territorial authority. Hamilton is in the Waikato Region of the North Island, approximately south of Auckland...

  • Hastings
    Hastings, New Zealand
    The city of Hastings is a major urban settlement in the Hawke's Bay region of the North Island of New Zealand, and it is the largest settlement by population in Hawke's Bay. Hastings city is the administrative centre of the Hastings District...

  • Masterton
    Masterton
    Masterton is a large town and local government district in the Wellington Region of New Zealand. It is the largest town in the Wairarapa, a region separated from Wellington by the Rimutaka ranges...

  • Napier
    Napier, New Zealand
    Napier is a New Zealand city with a seaport, located in Hawke's Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island. The population of Napier is about About 18 kilometres south of Napier is the inland city of Hastings. These two neighboring cities are often called "The Twin Cities" or "The Bay Cities"...

  • New Plymouth
    New Plymouth
    New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki Region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is named after Plymouth, Devon, England, from where the first English settlers migrated....

  • Palmerston North
    Palmerston North
    Palmerston North is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an inland city with a population of and is the country's seventh largest city and eighth largest urban area. Palmerston North is located in the eastern Manawatu Plains near the north bank...

  • Rotorua
    Rotorua
    Rotorua is a city on the southern shores of the lake of the same name, in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. The city is the seat of the Rotorua District, a territorial authority encompassing the city and several other nearby towns...

  • Taupo
    Taupo
    Taupo is a town on the shore of Lake Taupo in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. It is the seat of the Taupo District Council and lies in the southern Waikato Region....

  • Tauranga
    Tauranga
    Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region, in the North Island of New Zealand.It was settled by Europeans in the early 19th century and was constituted as a city in 1963...

  • Wanganui
    Wanganui
    Whanganui , also spelled Wanganui, is an urban area and district on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region....

  • Whangarei
    Whangarei
    Whangarei, pronounced , is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Although commonly classified as a city, it is officially part of the Whangarei District, administered by the Whangarei District Council a local body created in 1989 to administer both the...

  • Wellington


Smaller urban areas are found on the List of towns in New Zealand, as are components of larger metropolitan area.

Geographic features


  • Cape Reinga
    Cape Reinga
    Cape Reinga is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand. Cape Reinga is located over 100 km north of the nearest small town of Kaitaia. State Highway 1 extends all the way to the Cape, but until 2010 was unsealed gravel road for the...

  • East Cape
    East Cape
    East Cape is the easternmost point of the main islands of New Zealand. It is located to the north of Gisborne in the northeast of the North Island....

  • Cape Palliser
    Cape Palliser
    Cape Palliser is a promontory on the southern coast of New Zealand's North Island and the southernmost point of the North Island - it is in fact considerably further south than Nelson or Blenheim in the South Island....

  • Lake Taupo
    Lake Taupo
    Lake Taupo is a lake situated in the North Island of New Zealand. With a surface area of , it is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand, and the second largest freshwater lake by surface area in geopolitical Oceania after Lake Murray ....

  • Mt Maunganui Beach
  • Tongariro National Park
    Tongariro National Park
    Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island. It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the 28 mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Sites....

  • Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu
    Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu
    Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­kitanatahu is the Māori name for a hill, high, close to Porangahau, south of Waipukurau in southern Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.The name is often shortened to Taumata...

  • Waikato River
    Waikato River
    The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand. In the North Island, it runs for 425 kilometres from the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu, joining the Tongariro River system and emptying into Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. It drains Taupo at the lake's northeastern edge, creates the...

  • Waipoua Kauri Forest
    Waipoua Forest
    Waipoua Forest preserves some of the best examples of kauri forest remaining in New Zealand. It is notable for having two of the largest living kauri trees, Tane Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere.The forest was declared a sanctuary in 1952....

  • Waitomo Caves
    Waitomo Caves
    The Waitomo Caves are a village and cave system forming a major tourist attraction in the southern Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand, 12 kilometres northwest of Te Kuiti. The community of Waitomo Caves itself is very small, though the village has many temporary service workers...

  • Ninety Mile Beach
    Ninety Mile Beach, New Zealand
    Ninety Mile Beach is a beach located on the western coast of the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It stretches from just west of Kaitaia towards Cape Reinga along the Aupouri Peninsula. It begins close to the headland of Reef Point, to the west of Ahipara Bay, sweeping briefly...


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