Saturday, 2 June 2018

Regions of New Zealand – Starting with Auckland

A new series for you – this time about my own country – New Zealand.  Historically there were 10 provinces (now divided up into 16 regions).  So I am going to look at each region in turn – in alpha order they are – Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato, Wellington and West Coast.

Location – As you will probably know, New Zealand is found towards the bottom of the Pacific Ocean some 2000k (or approx. 1300 miles) to the East of Australia.  Auckland is the second region from the top and is by far the most populous (just under 2 million of a total population of just under 5 million).  Auckland region consists of an isthmus between 2 harbours and of some islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

Origin of name – Named for the Earl of Auckland, then British First Lord of the Admiralty.  Its Maori name is Tamaki Makarau

Pronounciation – awk-land

Nicknames – City of Sails (current holder of the America's Cup). 

Aucklanders are sometimes known as JAFA's in the rest of the country – an unflattering appellation that has been almost adopted with pride.  Email me if you can't work out what it stands for.

Main City – Auckland – the largest city in New Zealand, it was the capital for a while (25 years) until that honour went south to Wellington.

Sport – I won't bother with this heading for other regions – there really is only one sporting obsession throughout NZ – Rugby Union.

Rangitoto Island

Places to visit – Rangitoto Island, One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie), Auckland War Memorial Museum, Sky Tower, Auckland Harbour Bridge, Waiheke Island, Awhitu Peninsula

Famous businesses/brands – Fonterra (dairy products), Air New Zealand, Mainfreight

Famous people from the Auckland Region

And also from the Auckland Region –

John Walker - runner
Jonah Lomu – rugby player
Bruce McLaren – race car driver, McLaren team
Lydia Ko - golfer
Martin Crowe - cricketer
Nalini Singh – author of numerous novels
Pamela Stephenson – psychologist and comedienne – married to Billy Connelly
Rachel Hunter – super model (an ex of Rod Stewart)
Split Enz – successful band from the 70s/80s

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