South Auckland is a common name for a part of Auckland, New Zealand. South Auckland is not a recognised political region, but the term is in common usage amongst New Zealanders, as it covers an area which shares certain key similarities.
Primarily understood to mean the area covered by Manukau, it also includes Papakura, and a tiny bit of Auckland City. South Auckland generally includes the urban area from Penrose, or at the very least the narrowing of the isthmus at Otahuhu, southwards to Papakura.
Although South Auckland is the least wealthy area of Auckland, it contains the industrial heart of the city (Penrose, Mangere, Otahuhu, Manukau, Mount Wellington, and the Port of Onehunga). Other suburbs considered part of South Auckland include Otara, East Tamaki, Middlemore, Papatoetoe, Manurewa, and Papakura.
The area has a large Polynesian population, and a goodly mixture of Maori and Asians, as well as a large number of Pakeha (Europeans). With a much higher proportion of racial minorities that most of the country's urban areas, it - not surprisingly - also has a very cosmopolitan feel and a thriving culture, especially at street level.
The Counties Manukau rugby team mainly draws players from South Auckland.
Although in the same general area, the suburbs of Howick, Pakuranga, and Panmure, and those areas not contiguous with the Auckland urban area such as Pukekohe, Clevedon, and the Franklin district are not usually considered a part of South Auckland; despite their southern location, these regions either have a different socio-economic mix to those listed above, or are rural, and thus out of the ken of most Auckland urbanites.
Area Map (http://www.manukau-libraries.govt.nz/whatwehave/Journey/photos/map.htm)