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# Auckland, New Zealand

 Auckland Sky Towerclick for larger version

Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. The greater Auckland region includes the cities (it should be noted that "cities" refers to official and administrative divisions; the separate sections of Auckland are not taken seriously as separate cities outside of academic and governmental circles) of Auckland City, North Shore City, Manukau City and Waitakere City, with a total population about 1.1 million. The majority of inhabitants are of European (roughly 60%), predominantly British, descent, but there are also substantial Maori and Pacific Island communities. In fact, Auckland is described as the largest Polynesian city in the world. Comparably-sized communities of people of eastern Asian origin also live in Auckland, due to New Zealand's world-leading level of immigration, which primarily flows into Auckland. Ethnic groups from all corners of the world have a presence in Auckland.

At 37 degrees south latitude, Auckland is situated between two major harbours. The Manukau Harbour[?] opens to the Tasman Sea on the west. The major port is on the Waitemata Harbour[?], which opens to the Hauraki Gulf[?] of the Pacific Ocean on the east. A narrow isthmus of land separates the two harbours. This constriction creates some rush-hour traffic problems. However recent initiatives by an enlightened Regional Council by boosting public transport may see this situation alleviated. However, the narrowness of the isthmus also permits views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman sea from the tops of several of the volcanic cones dotting the city.

The city's climate is warm-temperate, with warm summers and slightly cooler but lengthy winters. January temperatures average 21-24 °C. (February and March are typically warmer than January, however), and July temperatures average 14-16 °C. High levels of rainfall occur almost year-round (over 1000mm per year), especially in winter.

The Sky Tower[?] in Auckland is the tallest building in New Zealand and Australasia and in fact in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 metres.

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