Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland lies on and around an isthmus, less than two kilometres wide at its narrowest point, between Mangere Inlet and the Tamaki River. There are two harbours in the Auckland urban area surrounding this isthmus: Waitemata Harbour to the north, which opens east to the Hauraki Gulf, and Manukau Harbour to the south, which opens west to the Tasman Sea...
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Bridges span parts of both harbours, notably the Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing the Waitemata Harbour west of the Auckland Central Business District (CBD). The Mangere Bridge and the Upper Harbour Bridge span the upper reaches of the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours, respectively. In earlier times, portage paths crossed the narrowest sections of the isthmus.
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The Auckland metropolitan area or Greater Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with over 1.3 million residents, 31 percent of the country's population. Demographic trends indicate that it will continue to grow faster than the rest of the country.
Increasingly cosmopolitan, Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. and has seen many people of Asian ethnicity move there in the last two decades. Positive aspects of Auckland life are its mild climate, plentiful employment and educational opportunities, as well as numerous leisure facilities.
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Meanwhile, traffic problems (compared to other New Zealand cities), the lack of good public transport, and increasing housing costs have been cited by many Aucklanders as among the strongest negative factors of living there, together with crime. Nonetheless, Auckland currently ranks 5th in a survey of the quality of life of 218 major cities of the world (2008 data, rank unchanged since 2006). In 2006, Auckland placed 23rd on the UBS list of the world's richest cities.