North Island

North Island
North Island
Te Ika-a-Māui (Māori)
Location New Zealand
Coordinates 38°24′S 175°43′E / 38.4°S 175.717°E / -38.4; 175.717
Area 113,729 km2 (43,911 sq mi)
Area rank 14th
Highest elevation 2,797 m (9,177 ft)
Highest point Mount Ruapehu
New Zealand
Largest city Auckland (pop. 1,354,900)
Population 3,328,700 (as of June 2010 estimate)
Density 29.3 /km2 (75.9 /sq mi)

The North Island (Māori: Te Ika-a-Māui) is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is 113,729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi) in area,[1] making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of 3,328,700 (June 2010 estimate).[2]

Twelve cities are in the North Island: Auckland, New Plymouth, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier, Hamilton, Hastings, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Wanganui, Whangarei and Wellington, the capital, located at the southern extremity of the island. Approximately 76% 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,[3] 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 Commissioner Erima Henare sees Te Ika-a-Māui as the most likely choice.[4]

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 and the Western World, but unlike Rangitoto Island 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, 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 Māori usage, Aotearoa is a collective 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.[5]


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 cover the North Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters.

Cities and towns in the North Island

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

Geographic features

The North Island, in relation to the South Island

See also


External links

Coordinates: 38°24′S 175°43′E / 38.4°S 175.717°E / -38.4; 175.717

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • North Island — N island of the two main islands of New Zealand: 44,702 sq mi (115,778 sq km); pop. 2,553,000 …   English World dictionary

  • North Island —   [ nɔːθ aɪlənd], die Nordinsel Neuseelands …   Universal-Lexikon

  • North Island — Den Namen North Island bzw. Nordinsel tragen zahlreiche Inseln, etwa Nordinsel (Neuseeland) (engl. North Island), eine der Hauptinseln von Neuseeland North Island, eine der Titi oder Muttonbird Islands in der Nähe von Steward Island in Neuseeland …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • North Island — the northernmost principal island of New Zealand. 2,268,393; 44,281 sq. mi. (114,690 sq. km). * * * Island (pop., 2001 est.: 2,849,724), New Zealand. The smaller of the country s two principal islands, it is separated from South Island by the… …   Universalium

  • North Island — Île du Nord Île du Nord North Island (en) Géographie Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • North Island — North Is|land one of the two main islands of New Zealand, which includes Wellington, New Zealand s capital city →↑South Island …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • North Island — North′ Is′land n. geg the northernmost principal island of New Zealand. 2,438,249; 44,281 sq. mi. (114,690 sq. km) …   From formal English to slang

  • North Island — noun the smaller but more populous of two main islands of New Zealand; separated from South Island by Cook Strait • Instance Hypernyms: ↑island • Part Holonyms: ↑New Zealand, ↑New Zealand Islands …   Useful english dictionary

  • North Island — geographical name island N New Zealand area 44,297 square miles (114,729 square kilometers), population 2,553,413 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • North Island — /nɔθ ˈaɪlənd/ (say nawth uyluhnd) noun one of the two main islands of NZ, separated from the South Island by Cook Strait. About 114 700 km2 …   Australian-English dictionary

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