Auckland (Māori: Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the North Island of New Zealand. The most populous urban area in the country. It is located in the Auckland Region which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. While Europeans continue to make up the plurality of Auckland's population, the city is multicultural and cosmopolitan, with Asians accounting for 31% of the city's population. Auckland is also home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki Makaurau, meaning "Tāmaki desired by many", in reference to the desirability of its natural resources and geography.
Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf to the east, the Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitākere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The surrounding hills are covered in rain forest and the landscape is dotted with 53 volcanic centres that make up the Auckland Volcanic Field. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitematā Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have a harbour on each of two separate major bodies of water.
The isthmus on which Auckland sits was first settled c. 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. Auckland continued to grow, initially because of its port and the logging and gold-mining activities in its hinterland, and later because of pastoral and dairy farming in the surrounding area, and manufacturing in the city itself. It has been the nation's largest city throughout most of its history. Today, Auckland's central business district is New Zealand's leading economic hub.
The University of Auckland, founded in 1883, is the largest university in New Zealand. The city's significant tourist attractions include national historic sites, festivals, performing arts, sports activities, and a variety of cultural institutions, such as the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Museum of Transport and Technology, and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Its architectural landmarks include the Harbour Bridge, the Town Hall, the Ferry Building and the Sky Tower. The city is served by Auckland Airport, which handles around 2 million international passengers a month. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Auckland is recognised as one of the world's most liveable cities, ranking third in the 2019 Mercer Quality of Living Survey and at first place in a 2021 ranking of the global liveability index by The Economist.
Auckland is the major economic and financial centre of New Zealand. It has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance, commerce, and tourism. Most major international corporations have an Auckland office; the most expensive office space is around lower Queen Street and the Viaduct Basin in the Auckland CBD, where many financial and business services are located, which make up a large percentage of the CBD economy. The largest commercial and industrial areas of the Auckland Region are Auckland CBD and the western parts of Manukau, mostly bordering the Manukau Harbour and the Tamaki River estuary.
According to the 2013 census, the primary employment industries of Auckland residents are professional, scientific and technical services (11.4 percent), manufacturing (9.9 percent), retail trade (9.7 percent), health care and social assistance (9.1 percent), and education and training (8.3 percent). Manufacturing is the largest employer in the Henderson-Massey, Howick, Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Ōtara-Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Papakura local board areas, retail trade is the largest employer in the Whau local board area, while professional, scientific and technical services are the largest employer in the remaining urban local board areas.
The sub-national GDP of the Auckland region was estimated at NZ$93.5 billion in 2016, 37.2 percent of New Zealand's national GDP. The per-capita GDP of Auckland was estimated at NZ$58,717, the third-highest in the country, and above the national average of NZ$54,178.
Auckland Council maintains relationships with the following cities Brisbane, Australia • Guangzhou, China • Ningbo, China • Qingdao, China • Hamburg, Germany • Galway, Ireland • Fukuoka, Japan • Tomioka, Japan • Shinagawa, Japan • Kakogawa, Japan • Utsunomiya, Japan • Busan, South Korea • Pohang, South Korea • Nadi, Fiji • Taichung, Taiwan • Los Angeles, United States
Auckland is rated Beta + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy.
Auckland is ranked #164 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Auckland is rated C+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. C+ cities are strong international gateway cities. Auckland was ranked #59 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Auckland has a population of over 1,470,100 people. Auckland also forms part of the wider Auckland metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,717,500 people. Auckland is the #230 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.2467 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.