Statistics New Zealand defines New Zealand urban areas for statistical purposes. The urban areas comprise cities, towns and other conurbations of a thousand people or more. In combination, the urban areas of the country constitute New Zealand's urban population. At the 2001 census, the urban population made up 86% of New Zealand's total population.
There are three classes of urban area:
- Main urban areas, with a population of 30,000 or more. These 16 areas mostly correspond to the places known by New Zealanders as cities.
- Secondary urban areas are the 14 urban areas with a population of 10,000 to 30,000.
- Minor urban areas make up the remainder of the urban population of the country, towns with 1,000 to 10,000 people.
Statistics New Zealand also defines rural centres with a population of 300 to 999 people. While these do not fit the standard international definition of an urban population, they serve to distinguish between true rural dwellers and those in rural settlements or towns.
Description of Main Urban Areas
Population figures are Statistics New Zealand estimates for the usually resident population at 30 June 2003.
- Whangarei (48,000): from Hikurangi to Portland.
- Auckland (1,199,300) is divided into four urban zones:
- Northern Auckland Urban Zone (244,200):
- the part of Rodney District known as the Hibiscus Coast, from Waiwera south, including Orewa and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula
- all of North Shore City
- Western Auckland Urban Zone (191,000):
- the part of Rodney District around Kumeu
- the urban part of Waitakere City
- Central Auckland Urban Zone (406,000): Auckland City, excluding the Hauraki Gulf islands
- Southern Auckland Urban Zone (358,000):
- the urban part of Manukau City
- Papakura District
- Whangapouri Creek and Runciman in Franklin District
- Hamilton (179,000) is divided into three urban zones:
- Hamilton Urban Zone (150,400): all of Hamilton City and neighbouring parts of Waikato and Waipa districts including Ngaruawahia, Taupiri and Ohaupo
- Cambridge Urban Zone (14,650): includes Leamington
- Te Awamutu Urban Zone (13,900): includes Kihikihi
- Tauranga 103,600: Omokoroa to Papamoa Beach
- Rotorua 55,100: Ngongotaha to Owhata
- Gisborne 32,800: Makaraka to Okitu
- Napier-Hastings (118,400) is a conurbation of two urban zones:
- Napier (56,700): Napier City, Eskdale and Waiohiki
- Hastings (61,700): includes Havelock North and Flaxmere, extends from Omahu to Te Awanga, from Pakowhai to Pakipaki
- New Plymouth (49,500): Oakura to Bell Block
- Wanganui (40,000): Westmere to Marybank
- Palmerston North (77,600):
- Palmerston North City excluding rural areas in the Tararua foothills
- Longburn, Kairanga and Stoney Creek in the Manawatu District
- Kapiti (35,900): Pekapeka to Paekakariki
- Wellington (363,400) is divided into four urban zones:
- Upper Hutt (35,700): Te Marua to Pinehaven
- Lower Hutt (99,500): includes Wainuiomata, Petone and the eastern bays, excludes farmland adjacent to Wainuiomata
- Porirua (50,100): all of Porirua City except Paekakariki Hill and Mana Island; includes Pukerua Bay and Pauatahanui
- Wellington (178,000): from Linden south, includes Horokiwi but excludes Makara and Ohariu
- Nelson (57,700): from Glenduan to the Wairoa River, excludes Whangamoa
- Christchurch (358,000): Christchurch City, Kaiapoi, Prebbleton and Lyttelton Harbour including Diamond Harbour
- Dunedin (113,600): from Mosgiel, Brighton to Pine Hill, Aramoana
- Invercargill (48,200): Makarewa to Woodend and west to Otatara
List of towns in New Zealand
- Urban area 2004 (http://www.stats.govt.nz/statistical-methods/classifications/urban-area-2004.htm) at Statistics New Zealand (http://www.stats.govt.nz/)