North Island

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{island, water, area}
{country, population, people}
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{city, population, household}
{water, park, boat}
{son, year, death}
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{town, population, incorporate}

The North Island (Māori: Te Ika-a-Māui) is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is 113,729 square kilometres (43,911 sq mi) in area,[1] making it the world's 14th-largest island. It has a population of 3,328,700 (June 2010 estimate).[2]

Twelve cities are in the North Island: Auckland, New Plymouth, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier, Hamilton, Hastings, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Wanganui, Whangarei and Wellington, the capital, located at the southern extremity of the island. Approximately 76% of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island.

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Naming and usage

Although the island has been known as the North Island for many years,[3] the New Zealand Geographic Board has found that, along with the South Island, it has no official name. The board intends to make North Island the island's official name, along with an alternative Māori name. Although several Māori names have been used, Maori Language Commissioner Erima Henare sees Te Ika-a-Māui as the most likely choice.[4]

The definite article is used with the names of the North and South islands, as the North Island and the South Island, like the North Sea and the Western World, but unlike Rangitoto Island or West Point. Maps, 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. When specifying that the island is where a place, person, or object is located, it is normal to use the word in rather than on, for example Hamilton is in the North Island.

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