Island (pop., 2006: 3,120,303), New Zealand. The smaller of the country's two principal islands, it is separated from South Island by the Cook Strait. It has an area of 44,702 sq mi (115,777 sq km). A large and growing majority of the population of New Zealand lives on North Island, concentrated in the cities of Wellington and Auckland.
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The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, the other being the South Island. The island is 113,729 square km in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of 3,148,400 .
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. Approximately 76% of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island.
According to Māori mythology, the North and South Islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demigod Māui. Māui 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-Māui (The Fish of Māui). The mountains and valleys are said to have been formed as a result of Māui's brothers' hacking at the fish.
Nine local government regions cover the North Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters.