The Auckland metropolitan area, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with over 1.4 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. The 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland 4th place in the world on its list. In Maori Auckland's name is Tāmaki-makau-rau, or the transliterated version of Auckland, Akarana.
Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate major bodies of water.

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