The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






North Island


The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, the other being the South Island.

Several important cities are in The North Island, notably New Zealand's largest city Auckland, and Wellington, the capital, located at the southern extremity of the island. Around 76% of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island.

Māori mythology says that the North and South Islands of New Zealand came from the time of Maui, who was a demigod.

The story goes that he 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 the Māori name for the North Island is Te Ika a Maui (The Fish of Maui). The mountains and valleys are said to have been formed as a result of Maui's brothers' hacking at the fish.

The island is the world's 14th largest island.

A grammatical note: New Zealanders refer to them with a definite article as "the North Island" and "the South Island", like "the North Sea" and "the Western World", but unlike "Rangitoto Island" or "West Point". Maps, and headings or tables, and adjectival expressions use "North Island", whereas "the North Island" is used after a preposition or before or after a verb, e.g. "my mother lives in the North Island", "the North Island is smaller than the South Island", or "I'm visiting the North Island".

Cities and towns in the North Island

(Smaller urban areas are found on the List of towns in New Zealand)

Geographic features

North Island (Chinese: 北島 Běi dǎo) is another name for Zhifu Island.

Last updated: 06-02-2005 04:51:48
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