Largest city in New Zealand, in the north of North Island, in an area of impressive volcanic scenery; population (2001 est) city, 377,400, urban agglomeration, 1,064,700. It is the main commercial and industrial centre and one of the most rapidly growing cities of the country. It fills the isthmus that separates its two harbours (Waitemata, the site of the main deepwater port and container terminal, and Manukau), and is part of the largest conurbation in the country which includes the cities of Manukau, North Shore, and Waitakere. Industries include iron and steel plants, engineering, car assembly, textiles, clothing, fertilizers, food processing, sugar refining, and brewing. Exports include the products of pastoral farming such as dairy products, meat, and leather. Auckland was officially founded as New Zealand's capital in 1840 and remained so until 1865.
History Auckland was founded in 1840 on the site of a small 1830s whaling settlement by Captain William Hobson, the first governor of New Zealand. From the 1970s, industrial development was aided by the supply of natural gas, delivered by pipeline from the Maui field.
Features The town has many parks, libraries, and art collections, and is the seat of Auckland University (1882), the largest university in New Zealand, and of Auckland University of Technology (founded as Auckland Technical Institute 1964; granted university status 2000). Cultural attractions include the Auckland Institute and Museum (1868), the Toi o Tamaki/Auckland Art Gallery (1888), the Melanesian Mission Museum (1859), the Museum of Transport and Technology (1964) and the War Memorial Museum (1929).
Auckland also contains the Sky Tower (1997), the country's tallest building, with a height of 328 m/1,076 ft. The city's port, which is also the home of a naval base and of a large fishing fleet, is at Waitemata Harbour, with a second port at Manukau on the west coast, only 10 km/6 mi away. The Auckland Harbour bridge was opened in 1959 and widened in 1969. There is an international airport at Mangere.
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