North Island

The North Island, also officially named Te Ika-a-Māui,[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 3,749,200 (June 2018).[3]

Twelve main urban areas (half of them officially cities) are in the North Island. From north to south, they are Whangarei, 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. About 77% of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island.

North Island
Native name:
Te Ika-a-Māui  (Māori)
NewZealand.A2002296.2220.250m North Island crop
North Island is located in Oceania
North Island
North Island
Coordinates38°24′S 175°43′E / 38.400°S 175.717°E
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. 1,628,900)
Population3,749,200 (June 2018)
Pop. density33.0 /km2 (85.5 /sq mi)

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. 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".[7] Maps, headings, tables and adjectival expressions use North Island without "the".

Māori mythology

According to Māori mythology, the North and South Islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demigod Māui. 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. In present usage, Aotearoa is a collective Māori 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.[8]


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.


NZ Territorial Authorities North Island
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 2018)[9]
% of island
Auckland 1,467,800 39.1%
Wellington 215,400 5.7%
Hamilton 169,300 4.5%
Tauranga 135,000 3.6%
Lower Hutt 104,900 2.8%
Palmerston North 80,300 2.1%
Napier 62,800 1.7%
Porirua 55,500 1.5%
New Plymouth 55,300 1.5%
Rotorua 54,500 1.5%
Whangarei 52,600 1.4%
Hibiscus Coast 52,400 1.4%
Hastings 45,000 1.2%
Upper Hutt 41,000 1.1%
Whanganui 39,400 1.1%
Gisborne 35,500 0.9%
Paraparaumu 28,900 0.8%
Pukekohe 24,300 0.6%
Taupo 23,900 0.6%
Masterton 23,900 0.5%
Cambridge 19,150 0.5%
Levin 17,700 0.5%
Feilding 16,450 0.4%
Whakatane 15,850 0.4%
Havelock North 13,950 0.4%
Tokoroa 13,650 0.4%
Te Awamutu 12,400 0.3%
Waikanae 12,100 0.3%


Culture and identity

Ethnic groups of North Island residents, 2013 census[10]
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
Māori 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, Whakatāne District, Kawerau District, Opotiki District 214,170
Lakes District Health Board (Lakes DHB) Rotorua District, 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

New Zealand North Island
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 20 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Quick Facts - Land and Environment : Geography - Physical Features". Statistics New Zealand. 2000. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2018 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018. For urban areas, "Subnational population estimates (UA, AU), by age and sex, at 30 June 1996, 2001, 2006-18 (2017 boundaries)". Statistics New Zealand. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  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. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Two official options for NZ island names". The New Zealand Herald. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  7. ^ Guardian and Observer style guide: N ("New Zealand"), The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2019
  8. ^ "Regional Gross Domestic Product". Statistics New Zealand. 2007. Archived from the original on 20 May 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2018 (final)". Statistics New Zealand. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  10. ^ "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


Cyclaxyra is a genus of cucujoid beetles in the family Cyclaxyridae. There are two described species in Cyclaxyra, found on the North Island, South Island, and Stewart Island of New Zealand.Cyclaxyra has been treated as part of the family Phalacridae in the past, but is now considered the only genus of the family Cyclaxyridae.


Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 (HSC-23), also known as the "Wildcards", are a United States Navy helicopter squadron based at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California. The "Wildcards" currently fly the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter and the MQ-8B Firescout VTUAV. HSC-23 is the sister squadron of the HSC-21 "Blackjacks" stationed at Naval Air Station North Island.


Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49 (HSM-49) is a United States Navy Maritime Strike helicopter squadron based Naval Air Station North Island, California.

The Scorpions of HSM-49 are an operational fleet squadron based at NAS North Island. Their tailcode is TX and their radio callsign is "Red Stinger". The squadron provides combat-ready pilots, aircrewmen, technicians, and aircraft to Pacific Fleet warships. The squadron operates the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.


Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Seven Nine (HSM-79) "Griffins" is a United States Navy helicopter squadron based at NAS North Island, California, United States.


An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses; from Ancient Greek: ἰσθμός, romanized: isthmós, lit. 'neck') is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo is an isthmus that consists of a spit or bar, and a strait is the sea counterpart of an isthmus.

Canals are often built across isthmuses, where they may be a particularly advantageous shortcut for marine transport. For example, the Panama Canal crosses the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; the Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, cutting across the western side of the Isthmus of Suez, formed by the Sinai Peninsula; and the Crinan Canal crosses the isthmus between Loch Crinan and Loch Gilp, which connects the Kintyre peninsula with the rest of Scotland. Another example is the Welland Canal in the Niagara Peninsula (technically an isthmus). It connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. The city of Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand is situated on an isthmus.


Kiwi ( KEE-wee) or kiwis are flightless birds native to New Zealand, in the genus Apteryx and family Apterygidae. Approximately the size of a domestic chicken, kiwi are by far the smallest living ratites (which also consist of ostriches, emus, rheas, and cassowaries).

DNA sequence comparisons have yielded the surprising conclusion that kiwi are much more closely related to the extinct Malagasy elephant birds than to the moa with which they shared New Zealand. There are five recognised species, four of which are currently listed as vulnerable, and one of which is near-threatened. All species have been negatively affected by historic deforestation but currently the remaining large areas of their forest habitat are well protected in reserves and national parks. At present, the greatest threat to their survival is predation by invasive mammalian predators.

The kiwi's egg is one of the largest in proportion to body size (up to 20% of the female's weight) of any species of bird in the world. Other unique adaptations of kiwi, such as their hairlike feathers, short and stout legs, and using their nostrils at the end of their long beak to detect prey before they ever see it, have helped the bird to become internationally well-known.

The kiwi is recognised as an icon of New Zealand, and the association is so strong that the term Kiwi is used internationally as the colloquial demonym for New Zealanders.

Lists of schools in New Zealand

New Zealand has over 2,500 primary and secondary schools.

State schools and state integrated schools are primarily funded by the central government. Private schools receive a lower level of state funding (about 25% of their costs). See Secondary education in New Zealand for more details.

Population decline in rural and some urban areas has led to school closures in recent decades. This was a much debated topic in 2003–2004.


Manawatu-Wanganui (Māori: Manawatū-Whanganui [manawaˈtʉː ˈʔwaŋanʉi]) is a region in the lower half of the North Island of New Zealand, whose main population centres are the cities of Palmerston North and Whanganui. It is administered by the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council, which for trading purposes is known as Horizons Regional Council.

Manawatu River

The Manawatu River, often spelled Manawatū in New Zealand English, is a major river of the lower North Island of New Zealand.

The river has its headwaters to the Northwest of Norsewood, Tararua District in the Ruahine Range on the East Coast of the North Island of NZ. It flows initially eastward before turning south-west near Ormondville, flowing 40 kilometres (25 mi) before turning north-west near Woodville. At this point the river enters the Manawatu Gorge. Beyond the gorge it again turns south-west, flowing through the city of Palmerston North, and finally becomes the Manawatu Estuary as it enters the Tasman Sea at Foxton Beach on the West Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.


Moa were nine species (in six genera) of now-extinct flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb). It is estimated that, when Polynesians settled New Zealand circa 1280, the moa population was about 58,000.Moa belong to the order Dinornithiformes, traditionally placed in the ratite group. However, their closest relatives have been found by genetic studies to be the flighted South American tinamous, once considered to be a sister group to ratites. The nine species of moa were the only wingless birds lacking even the vestigial wings that all other ratites have. They were the dominant herbivores in New Zealand's forest, shrubland, and subalpine ecosystems for thousands of years, and until the arrival of the Māori, were hunted only by Haast's eagle. Moa extinction occurred around 1300–1440 ±20 years, primarily due to overhunting by Māori.

Naval Air Station North Island

Naval Air Station North Island or NAS North Island (IATA: NZY, ICAO: KNZY, FAA LID: NZY) is located at the north end of the Coronado peninsula on San Diego Bay and is the home port of several aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. It is part of the largest aerospace-industrial complex in the United States Navy—Naval Base Coronado (NBC) in San Diego County, California.

The Commanding Officer of NAS North Island (a.k.a. NASNI) is also the Commanding Officer, Naval Base Coronado (NBC). As such, he commands or administers NASNI and seven other Naval facilities: Naval Amphibious Base Coronado (NABC); Outlying Field Imperial Beach; Silver Strand Training Complex; Remote Training Site, Warner Springs; Mountain Warfare Training Camp Michael Monsoor; Camp Morena; and Naval Auxiliary Landing Facility San Clemente Island. NBC, with only its commands in the metropolitan San Diego Area, brackets the city of Coronado from the entrance to San Diego Bay to the Mexican border. NAS North Island itself is host to 23 aviation squadrons and 80 additional tenant commands and activities, one of which, the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, is the largest aerospace employer in San Diego.

New Zealand kaka

The New Zealand kaka (Maori: kākā) (Nestor meridionalis) is a large species of parrot of the family Nestoridae found in native forests of New Zealand. Two subspecies are recognised. It is endangered and has disappeared from much of its former range.

North Island (provincial electoral district)

North Island is a provincial electoral district for the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Canada.

North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre

The North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly known as the Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Coors Amphitheatre and the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre) is a 20,500-seat amphitheatre located in Chula Vista, California adjacent to Aquatica San Diego. It is one of the larger concert venues in the San Diego area. The venue is currently owned and operated by Live Nation.

North Island Main Trunk

The North Island Main Trunk (NIMT) is the main railway line in the North Island of New Zealand, connecting the capital city Wellington with the country's largest city, Auckland. The line is 682 kilometres (424 mi) long and passes through Paraparaumu, Palmerston North, Taihape, National Park, Taumarunui, Te Kuiti, Hamilton, and Pukekohe.

Most of the NIMT is single track with frequent passing loops, built to the New Zealand rail gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in). The line is double track between Wellington and Waikanae (apart from an 8.7 km (5.4 mi) single track section between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki), between Hamilton and Te Kauwhata (except for the single track Waikato River Bridge at Ngaruawahia), and between Meremere and Auckland Britomart. Around 460 kilometres (290 mi) (approximately 65%) of the line is electrified in three separate sections: one section at 1600 V DC between Wellington and Waikanae, and two sections at 25 kV AC: 412 km (256 mi) between Palmerston North and Te Rapa (Hamilton) and 34 km (21 mi) between Papakura and Auckland Britomart.

The first section of what became the NIMT opened in 1873 in Auckland. Construction at the Wellington end began in 1885. The line was completed in 1908 and was fully operational by 1909. It is credited for having been an economic lifeline for the young nation, and for having opened up the centre of the North Island to European settlement and investment. In the early days, a passenger journey between Wellington and Auckland could take more than 20 hours; today, the Northern Explorer takes approximately 11 hours.The NIMT has been described as an "engineering miracle", with numerous engineering feats such as viaducts, tunnels and a spiral built to overcome large elevation differences with grades suitable for steam engines.

North Island brown kiwi

The North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli; Apteryx australis or Apteryx bulleri as before 2000, still used in some sources), is a species of kiwi that is widespread in the northern two-thirds of the North Island of New Zealand and, with about 35,000 remaining, is the most common kiwi. This bird holds the world record for laying the largest eggs relative to its body size.

North Island robin

The North Island robin (Petroica longipes) is a species of Australasian robin endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. It and the South Island robin (P. australis) of the South Island and Stewart Island were once considered conspecific (and called the "New Zealand robin"), but mitochondrial DNA sequences have shown that the two lineages split prior to the Pleistocene and support the classification as two different species.

South Island

The South Island, also officially named Te Waipounamu, is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand in surface area; the other being the smaller but more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, and to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean. The South Island covers 150,437 square kilometres (58,084 sq mi), making it the world's 12th-largest island. It has a temperate climate.

It has a 32 percent larger landmass than the North Island, and as a result is nicknamed the "mainland" of New Zealand, especially by South Island residents, but only 23 percent of New Zealand's 4.9 million inhabitants live there. In the early stages of European (Pākehā) settlement of the country, the South Island had the majority of the European population and wealth due to the 1860s gold rushes. The North Island population overtook the South in the early 20th century, with 56 percent of the population living in the North in 1911, and the drift north of people and businesses continued throughout the century.


A supervolcano is a large volcano that has had an eruption of magnitude 8, which is the largest value on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI). This means the volume of deposits for that eruption is greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles).Supervolcanoes occur when magma in the mantle rises into the crust but is unable to break through it and pressure builds in a large and growing magma pool until the crust is unable to contain the pressure. This can occur at hotspots (for example, Yellowstone Caldera) or at subduction zones (for example, Toba). Large-volume supervolcanic eruptions are also often associated with large igneous provinces, which can cover huge areas with lava and volcanic ash. These can cause long-lasting climate change (such as the triggering of a small ice age) and threaten species with extinction. The Oruanui eruption of New Zealand's Taupo Volcano (about 26,500 years ago) was the world's most recent super eruption at a VEI-8 eruption.

North Island
South Island

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