Auckland is a city in New Zealand's North Island. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of 1,495,000,. It is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,614,300. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world. The Māori language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions. It has also been called Ākarana, the Māori pronunciation of the English name.
The Auckland urban area (as defined by Statistics New Zealand) ranges to Waiwera in the north, Kumeu in the northwest, and Runciman in the south. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The surrounding hills are covered in rainforest and the landscape is dotted with dozens of dormant volcanic cones. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata 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 resides was first settled around 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. Māori population in the area is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. After a British colony was established in 1840, the new Governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, chose the area as his new capital. He named the area "Auckland" for George Eden, Earl of Auckland, British First Lord of the Admiralty. It was replaced as the capital in 1865, but immigration to the new city stayed strong and it has remained the country's most populous urban area. Today, Auckland's Central Business District is the major financial centre of New Zealand.
Auckland is classified as a Beta + World City because of its importance in commerce, the arts and education. The University of Auckland, established in 1883, is the largest university in New Zealand. Auckland's landmarks such as the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower, and many museums, parks, restaurants and theatres are significant tourist attractions. Auckland Airport handles around one million international passengers a month. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Auckland is ranked third on the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, making it one of the most liveable cities.