Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of approximately 1.3 million, while the entire country’s population is approximately 4.1 million. The Greater Auckland area is the largest urbanized area in New Zealand. Geographically and administratively, Greater Auckland includes Auckland City, the central and most urbanized part of the city, North Shore City, Manukau City, Waitakere City, and the urbanized parts of Papakura District, Rodney District and Franklin District.
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The Maori began settling in these areas almost immediately after their arrival in New Zealand about 800 years ago. Convenient bays and fertile lands made the area extremely attractive. Fortified settlements, pa (pa), were built on almost all of the volcanoes and uplands. At its peak, the number of Maori in this region was as high as 20,000. However, by the time the first Europeans arrived here the Maori population had significantly decreased as a result of constant inter-tribal wars and migrations. Therefore, the first English settlers found the area relatively sparsely populated.
The beginning of European settlement
Captain James Cook visited these places during his voyage to the shores of New Zealand in 1769, and although he did not notice the Bay of Waitemata, he nevertheless left behind several names. The islands of Little Barriere and Great Barriere bear the names given them by the great navigator. In 1820, Samuel Marsden became the first European to survey Hauraki Bay. The first permanent European settlement arrived in 1833 at Warkworth where a sawmill was established. Some time later the first missionaries arrived here.
The year 1840 can be considered a turning point in the history of the city. In this year the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, and soon afterwards Captain William Hobson, later the first governor of New Zealand, was invited by the local chiefs to establish the capital of the new colony in this place. Hobson established a new settlement on the south shore of Waitemata Bay, which later became the temporary capital of the new colony. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on September 1, 1840. Hobson named the new settlement after George Aden, the first Earl of Auckland, his friend and immediate superior, who was then governor of India and all the eastern colonies of Great Britain. The Queen of Great Britain approved the name on November 26, 1842.
Development of the city
From the beginning the main flow of European settlers went to New Zealand through Auckland. In the early years most of the settlers were from New South Wales in Australia, but in early 1842 ships carrying settlers directly from Britain began arriving here. From 1853 until this administrative unit was abolished in 1876, Auckland was the center of the Province of Auckland.
Due to the rapid development of the South Island and the dramatically increased population, after some time the capital was moved to Port Nicholson, now known as Wellington, where it remains today. This location is undoubtedly more geographically advantageous, being practically in the center of the country.
However, Auckland continued to be the economic capital of New Zealand. The country’s gold rush and, in particular, the discovery of gold deposits on the Coromandel Peninsula were the main reason for the city’s rapid population growth in the late 19th century.
During World Wars I and II, the city was home to one of Britain’s main naval bases in the South Pacific. In addition, a fairly large U.S. military contingent was stationed here during World War II.
The city’s development was aided by the expansion of the railroad network, and then by roads. The construction of a bridge connecting the northern and southern shores of Ouaithemata Bay enabled the development of the northern suburbs, and, in fact, allowed for the connection of disparate areas into a huge metropolis.
The population continued to grow largely through emigration. Gradually, however, the number of immigrants coming here from outside the British Isles became predominant, and this gradually made Oakland a truly cosmopolitan city. Auckland is now home to the largest Polynesian community in the world, making it the unofficial capital of Polynesia.
The city is located on the North Island of New Zealand on a huge plateau. It is surrounded by two mountain ranges, three sea bays, 48 extinct volcanoes and more than 50 islands. Auckland lies between Hauraki Bay on the Pacific Ocean side to the east, the low mountains of Hanuya to the southeast, Manukau Bay to the southwest, and the Uaitakere Mountains to the west and northwest.
Oakland is located in the Oakland Volcanic District. Within its boundaries are about 48 extinct volcanoes, preserved today in the form of mountains, lakes, lagoons and islands. Many of these volcanoes, most of which have been destroyed by erosion or human activity, are surrounded by vast fields of frozen lava.
The last and most violent volcanic eruption that created Rangitoto Island was about 1,000 years ago. A second eruption occurred about 700 years ago, destroying a Maori settlement on the adjacent island of Motutapu. Rangitoto’s size, regular proportions, and prime location at the entrance to Waitemata Bay make this volcanic island one of Auckland’s major natural attractions.
Oakland is located on an isthmus less than 2 kilometers wide at its narrowest point, between Mangeri Bay on the Tasman Sea side and the Tamaki River on the Pacific side. This isthmus, within the urbanized areas, is washed by the waters of two bays. Ouitemata Bay is on the north, adjacent to Hauraki Bay on the east. The southern shore of the isthmus is bordered by Manukau Bay, which is connected to the Tasman Sea through a narrow strait at the western end. It is one of the few cities in the world that has access to two bays that belong to different seas.
The shores of both bays are connected by several bridges. The most famous is the Auckland Harbour Bridge, which crosses Ouietemata Bay in the western part of Auckland’s Central Business District. In the southern part of the city, the Manukau Bridge spans the bay of the same name. The road that connects the central part of the city to Oakland International Airport passes over this bridge.
Several islands located in Hauraki Bay are managed by the Central Oakland administration, although their territory is not officially part of the Greater Oakland area. The most densely populated parts of Ouahiki Island function almost as regular urban areas, while the numerous smaller islands scattered around Oakland are used primarily as nature reserves and recreation areas.
Auckland is located in a moderately warm climate zone characterized by warm, humid summers and cool and rainy winters. It is the warmest major population center in New Zealand, and for the past three years Auckland has also been the sunniest city in the country, averaging 2,170 hours of sunshine per year. The average maximum daytime temperature is 23.7 °C in February and 15.5 °C in July, respectively. The absolute maximum temperature recorded in Oakland is 30.5 °C and the absolute minimum is -2.5 °C. It rains in Oakland almost all year round, and the average annual precipitation reaches 1,240 mm, which falls on approximately 137 rainy days. Climatic conditions vary somewhat from one part of the city to another, primarily due to the proximity of mountains and the ocean. The only snowfall was recorded in Oakland on July 27, 1939.
The main peculiarity of the city’s climate, as well as that of New Zealand as a whole, is high humidity. This is due to both its geographical position (the city is surrounded by water on all sides) and the rather high level of precipitation that falls here. High humidity manifests itself in frequent fogs and low cloudiness. In addition, precisely because of the high humidity, the temperature changes are felt most keenly. In summer, even at a temperature of a little over 25 ° C, the atmosphere in the city is very stifling. The only relief is the fresh breeze from the surrounding mountains and ocean. During the winter months, the opposite is true. Even relatively low temperatures can cause a piercing sense of cold.
It should also be noted that the weather in Oakland is very changeable. Weather forecasts can be trusted here only with a certain stretch. In conversations with visitors, locals often say, “If you don’t like the weather in Oakland, wait 10 minutes. In this respect, the weather in the city copies the weather in St. Petersburg, Russia, Melbourne, and Vancouver quite closely.