Albany (Māori: Ōkahukura) is one of the northernmost suburbs of the contiguous Auckland metropolitan area in New Zealand. It is located to the north of the Waitematā Harbour, 15 kilometres (9 mi) north-west of the Auckland city centre. The suburb is in the Albany ward, one of the thirteen administrative divisions of Auckland Council. One of the city's newest suburbs, it was until relatively recently a town in its own right, and still has a feeling of not being truly a part of the city, which lies predominantly to the south-east of it. Much of the land to the north of Albany is still semi-rural. The Māori name for the area was Okahukura (literally, 'place of rainbows' or 'place of butterflies').
Albany has become, in some respects, a substantial shopping and retail zone within the north-western Auckland area. The Albany Town Centre area is fast growing in terms of its population and the development of the built environment, following planning decisions and land sales made by central and local governments in the 1980s and 1990s. Through the 1990s industrial and retail areas were rapidly produced, predominantly owned and occupied by local and foreign corporate capital. Westfield Albany is a major shopping centreof over 53,326 m², with 2,400 carparks and about 140 retailers including Farmers, Kmart, New World and JB Hi-Fi.
Albany Mega Centre covers an area of 33,792 m2, with 1300 carparks and 25 retailers including Farmers and The Warehouse. || 1300 It has occupied the site since at least 2003.< There has been development of a substantial retail project anchored by a 10,000 square metre Mega Mitre 10 store on Oteha Valley Road, across from the North Harbour Stadium, run by Symphony Projects Management.
Albany has been the site of a $500 million so-called Super City showcase development project. Plans in 2006 featured a 200-room hotel, apartment complex with three 30-storey towers, and up to 15 office blocks rising 10 levels high. But in the economic downturn of 2008–09, the project was in dire straits; one report suggested up to 350 investors (many elderly) risked losing up to $20 million.
Albany has a site for Sky Television's Prime TV, as well as the Broadcast Centre for Sky PPV. A large furniture store opened in May 2009 creating up to 30 jobs. High tech firms such as Garmin, a firm specialising in satellite navigation and communications technology, has a showroom in Albany. Albany also has upscale restaurants, and an outlet store of surf-wear fashion retailer Billabong.
Albany has a population of over 9,894 people. Albany also forms part of the wider Auckland metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,717,500 people.