Biggest Cities In New Zealand

A protest event at Auckland Harbor Bridge in Auckland, New Zealand's most populated city.
A protest event at Auckland Harbor Bridge in Auckland, New Zealand's most populated city.

In New Zealand, before 1989, the term city used to mean a borough council with a population of over 20,000 people. However, after the restructuring of the government in 1989, urban areas were considered cities independent of their local body limits. Presently, there is a stricter law which implies that there should be at least 50,000 residents in a given area for it to be called a city.

New Zealand's Unique Cities

The two largest Kiwi cities lie on North Island with Auckland being the lone member of the 1,000,000+ club. With a population of 1.45 million, Auckland reserves the top spot as the most populated city in New Zealand. With two natural harbors, Auckland acts as the gateway of trade to New Zealand. Auckland was also voted as one of the most liveable cities in the world. Four urban sub-areas namely: West Auckland, South Auckland, North Harbor, and Central Auckland comprise the city. The City of Sails and Regattas also hosts the country's prime tourist destinations and an international airport. Next is Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand on North Island, with a population of 0.398 million. The city is the cultural and constitutional capital of New Zealand. Although the city has major attractions, it also has a few faults, literally, the geological fault it was built on and one of the worst traffic experiences in the country. Located on South Island, Christchurch is the third most populous and oldest city in New Zealand. It has a population of 0.382 million. Hamilton city, located in the North Island with a population of 0.224 million people is an important agricultural and educational hub of New Zealand. Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island has the largest port in New Zealand and a population of 0.131 million. The city hosts a large population of expats from the United Kingdom. Napier-Hastings, located in the Hawke's Bay in the North Island has a population of 130 million in the Hawkes Bay area. Its nickname is “Bay City.” The seismically active region has confronted over 50 earthquakes in the past. Dunedin can be found in the South Island and has a population of 0.117 million and regarded as the primary city in the Otago area. It is also one of the four premier cities of the country. It used to have the most number of people living in its boundaries. The city is on top of an extinct volcano. Palmerston North of the Manawatu-Wanganui area of North Island has a population of 0.084 million and is the seventh largest city in New Zealand. It is also known for its many local and international eating places. Nelson is a city in the South Island region of New Zealand and has a population of 0.065 million people. It is the economic and cultural center in the region and also known as the second oldest city in the country. Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty is in the heart of the North Island and has a population of 0.057 people. It lies on top of the Rotorua Caldera. It is the tenth largest city in New Zealand.

More in Store

New Zealand has cities to boast of in terms of tradition and modernity, but its wild places have also beckoned explorers and ordinary tourists for generations to visit the country. These extraordinary destinations include the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Lake Taupo, Taranaki Falls, Mount Maunganui, The Remarkables, Bay of Islands, Abel Tasman National Park, Waitomo Caves, Franz Josef Glacier, and Lake Wanaka.

Biggest Cities In New Zealand

RankCity Population
1Auckland 1.45 million
2Wellington 0.398 million
3Christchurch 0.382 million
4Hamilton 0.224 million
5Tauranga 0.131 million
6Napier-Hastings 0.130 million
7Dunedin 0.117 million
8Palmerston North 0.084 million
9Nelson 0.065
10Rotorua 0.057

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