Te Ika-a-Māui (Māori)
|Area||113,729 km2 (43,911 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||2,797 m (9177 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Ruapehu|
|Largest settlement||Auckland (pop. 1,463,000)|
|Population||3,925,800 (June 2021)|
|Pop. density||34.5/km2 (89.4/sq mi)|
The North Island, also officially named Te Ika-a-Māui, is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the larger but much less populous South Island by the Cook Strait. The island's area is 113,729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi), making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of 3,925,800 (June 2021), 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 Whangārei, Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Hastings, Whanganui, Palmerston North, and New Zealand's capital city Wellington, which is located at the south-west tip of the island.
Although the island has been known as the North Island for many years, in 2009 the New Zealand Geographic Board found that, along with the South Island, the North Island had no official name. After a public consultation, the board officially named the island North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui in October 2013.
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". Maps, headings, tables, and adjectival expressions use North Island without "the".
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 right up 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, Aotearoa was an alternative Māori name for the North Island. In present usage, Aotearoa is a collective Māori name for New Zealand as a whole.
The North Island has an estimated population of 3,925,800 as of June 2021.
Ever since the conclusion of the Otago Goldrush in the 1860s, New Zealand's European population growth has experienced a steady 'Northern drift' as population centres in the North Island have grown faster than those of New Zealand's South Island. This population trend has continued into the twenty-first century, but at a much slower rate. While the North Island population continues to grows faster than the South Island, this is solely due to the North Island having higher natural increase (i.e. births minus deaths) and international migration; since the late 1980s, the internal migration flow has been from the North Island to the South Island. In the year to June 2020, the North Island gained 21,950 people from natural increase and 62,710 people from international migration, while losing 3,570 people from internal migration.
At the 2018 New Zealand census, 65.7% of North Islanders identified as of European ethnicity, 18.5% as Māori, 17.0% as Asian, 9.7% as Pacific Islanders, 1.6% as Middle Eastern/Latin American/African, and 1.2% as another ethnicity (mainly 'New Zealander'). Totals add to more than 100% since people may identify with multiple ethnicities.
The proportion of North Islanders born overseas is 29.3%. The most common foreign countries of birth are England (15.4% of overseas-born residents), Mainland China (11.3%), India (10.1%), South Africa (5.9%), Australia (5.5%) and Samoa (5.3%).
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:
|% of island|
The sub-national GDP of the North Island was estimated at US$102.863 billion in 2003, 79% of New Zealand's national GDP.
Nine local government regions cover the North Island and its adjacent islands and territorial waters.
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|
|Waitematā District Health Board (Te Wai Awhina)||Auckland Region||525,000|
|Auckland District Health Board (Te Toka Tumai)||468,000|
|Counties Manukau District Health Board (A Community Partnership)||490,610|
|Waikato District Health Board (Waikato DHB)||Hamilton City, Hauraki District, Matamata-Piako District, Ōtorohanga 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, Ōpōtiki District||214,170|
|Lakes District Health Board (Lakes DHB)||Rotorua Lakes, Taupo District||102,000|
|Tairāwhiti 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)||Whanganui 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|