Satellite image of the North Island
|Area||113,729 km2 (43,911 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||2,797 m (9,177 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Ruapehu|
|Largest settlement||Auckland (pop. 1,534,700)|
|Population||3,677,200 (June 2017)|
|Pop. density||32.3 /km2 (83.7 /sq mi)|
The North Island (Māori: 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 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 3,677,200 (June 2017).
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.
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-Maui in October 2013.
In prose, the two main islands of New Zealand are called the North Island and the South Island, with the definite articles. It is 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 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 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.
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.
Nine local government regions cover the North Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters.
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.
|Urban areas of the North Island by population|
|Urban area||Region||Population (June 2017)||Urban area||Region||Population (June 2017)|
|4||Tauranga||Bay of Plenty||137,900||14||Taupo||Waikato||24,500|
|7||Rotorua||Bay of Plenty||58,800||17||Whakatane||Bay of Plenty||19,700|
|New Zealand European||1,934,037||63.4|
|European (not further defined)||20,955||0.7|
|Cook Islands Maori||56,910||1.9|
|Middle Eastern/Latin American/African||39,510||1.3|
|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|