The North Island officially named Te Ika-a-Māui, is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the larger but much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island's area is 113,729 square kilometres, it has a population of 3,749,200. Twelve main urban areas are in the North Island. From north to south, they are Whangarei, Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, the capital, located at the south-west extremity of the island. About 77% of New Zealand's population lives in the North Island. Although the island has been known as the North Island for many years, in 2009 the New Zealand Geographic Board found that, along with the South Island, the North Island had no official name. After a public consultation, the board named the island North Island or Te Ika-a-Maui in October 2013. In prose, the two main islands of New Zealand are called the North Island and the South Island, with the definite articles, it is normal to use the preposition in rather than on, for example "Hamilton is in the North Island", "my mother lives in the North Island".
Maps, headings and adjectival expressions use North Island without the. According to Māori mythology, the North and South Islands of New Zealand arose through the actions of the demigod Māui. Māui and his brothers were fishing from their canoe when he caught a great fish and pulled it from the sea. While he was not looking his brothers fought over the fish and chopped it up; this great fish became the North Island and thus a Māori name for the North Island is Te Ika-a-Māui. The mountains and valleys are believed to have been formed as a result of Māui's brothers' hacking at the fish; until the early 20th Century, an alternative Māori name for the North Island was Aotearoa. In present usage, Aotearoa is a collective Māori name for New Zealand as a whole; the sub-national GDP of the North Island was estimated at US$102.863 billion in 2003, 79% of New Zealand's national GDP. The North Island is divided into two ecoregions within the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome, the northern part being the Northland temperate kauri forest, the southern part being the North Island temperate forests.
The island has an extensive flora and bird population, with numerous National Parks and other protected areas. Nine local government regions cover the North Island and all its adjacent islands and territorial waters. Northland Auckland Waikato Bay of Plenty Gisborne Taranaki Manawatu-Wanganui Hawkes Bay Wellington The North Island has a larger population than the South Island, with the country's largest city and the capital, accounting for nearly half of it. There are 28 urban areas in the North Island with a population of 10,000 or more: Healthcare in the North Island is provided by fifteen District Health Boards. Organised around geographical areas of varying population sizes, they are not coterminous with the Local Government Regions. Bay of Islands Bay of Plenty Hauraki Gulf Hawke Bay Ninety Mile Beach North Taranaki Bight South Taranaki Bight Lake Taupo Waikato River Whanganui River Coromandel Peninsula Northland Peninsula Cape Palliser Cape Reinga East Cape North Cape Egmont National Park Tongariro National Park Waipoua Kauri Forest Whanganui National Park and many forest parks of New Zealand Mount Ruapehu Mount Taranaki Volcanic Plateau Waitomo Caves Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu List of islands of New Zealand Media related to North Island, New Zealand at Wikimedia Commons North Island travel guide from Wikivoyage
The Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana is a coastal feature of the North Island of New Zealand. It has an area of 4000 km², lies between, in anticlockwise order, the Auckland Region, the Hauraki Plains, the Coromandel Peninsula, Great Barrier Island. Most of the gulf is part of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. Hauraki is Māori for north wind. In 2014, the gulf was named Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana; the gulf is part of the Pacific Ocean, which it joins to the east. It is protected from the Pacific by Great Barrier Island and Little Barrier Island to the north, by the 80-kilometre-long Coromandel Peninsula to the east, it is thus well protected against all but northern winds. Three large channels join the gulf to the Pacific. Colville Channel lies between the Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier, Cradock Channel lies between the two islands, Jellicoe Channel lies between Little Barrier and the North Auckland Peninsula. To the north of Auckland several peninsulas jut into the gulf, notably the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
Tiritiri Matangi Island is near the end of this peninsula. Further north, Kawau Island nestles under the Tawharanui Peninsula. Numerous beaches dot the shores of the gulf, many of them well known for surfing. During the last glaciation period the gulf was dry land, with the sea level being around 100–110 m lower than at present; the gulf was submerged. In the west of the gulf lie a string of islands guarding the mouth of the Waitematā Harbour, one of Auckland's two harbours; these include Ponui Island, Waiheke Island, Tiritiri Matangi and the iconic dome of Rangitoto Island, connected to the much older Motutapu Island by a causeway. The islands are separated from the mainland by the Tamaki Rangitoto Channel. Other islands in the gulf include Browns Island, Motuihe Island, Pakihi Island, Pakatoa Island, Rakino Island, Rotoroa Island in the inner gulf, around Waiheke and Rangitoto. At the southern end of the gulf is the wide shallow Firth of Thames. Beyond this lie the Hauraki Plains, drained by the Waihou River and the Piako River.
The Hunua Ranges and hills of the Coromandel Peninsula rise on either side of the Firth. Some particular common or known animals include bottlenose and common dolphins, the latter sometimes seen in "super schools" of 300-500 animals or more, while various species of whales and orcas are a common sight. There are 25 species of marine mammals in the gulf. Nearly a third of the world's marine mammal species visit the Marine Park. Among larger cetaceans, Bryde's whales are residents and common in the Gulf, their presence in these busily travelled waters leads to a large number of ship strikes, with sometimes several of the whales dying each year from collisions with shipping vessels or sport boats; the population remaining is estimated to be between 100-200. In recent years, increases in numbers of migrating baleen whales are confirmed long after the end of hunting era; these are humpback whales, southern blue whales, pygmy blue whales, southern minke whales. Less fin whales and sei whales are seen as well.
For southern right whales, these whales will become seasonal residents in the gulf as the populations recover. Sperm whales visit occasionally. Many of the islands are official or unofficial bird sanctuaries, holding important or critically endangered species like kiwi, brown teal and grey-faced petrel. Centred on the main conservation island of Tiritiri Matangi and Little Barrier Island, numerous bird species that were locally extinct have been reintroduced in the last decades, while there have been some occurring bird "re-colonisations" after introduced pests were removed from breeding and nesting grounds; the gulf is a vibrant natural environment, which has seen significant damage during the 20th and early 21st century from human use. A major study by the Hauraki Gulf Forum in 2011 found that all environmental indicators were still worsening or stable at problematic levels, leading a major newspaper to title the gulf a "toxic paradise". Damaging were the introduction of industrialised fishing, with for example snapper fishing peaking in the 1970s at more than 10,000 tonnes a year.
This severe overfishing, which unbalanced the marine environment by the removal of a main predator in the food chain, led to further degradation, such as a widespread disappearance of kelp beds as they were overtaken by kina barrens. Trawler fishing in general is seen as damaging the gulf, lobster stock are reported as not rebuilding, it is estimated. Damaging are the results of nitrogen carried into the gulf from surrounding agricultural land, with 90% coming from the dairy-farming runoff into the Firth of Thames. Other exploitation such as the dredging of the mussel beds of the Firth of Thames, reaching its height in 1961 with an estimated 15 million mussels taken have led to damages which have not been recovered forty years possibly due to the dredging having destroyed the underwater surfaces, sediment drainage from the agriculture in the Firth of Thames affecting the mus
Otahuhu is a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand - 13 kilometres to the southeast of the CBD, on a narrow isthmus between an arm of the Manukau Harbour to the west and the Tamaki River estuary to the east. The isthmus is the narrowest connection between the North Auckland Peninsula and the rest of the North Island, being only some 1,200 metres wide at its narrowest point, between the Otahuhu Creek and the Mangere Inlet; as the southernmost suburb of the former Auckland City, it is considered part of South Auckland. The suburb's name is taken from the Māori-language name of a volcanic cone known as Mount Richmond; the name refers to "the place of Tāhuhu" -- Tāhuhu-nui-a-Rangi, who settled the area. In colloquial speech, locals sometimes shorten the name to "Otahu"; the suburb was established in 1847 as a fencible settlement, where soldiers were given land with the implied understanding that in wartime, they would be raised as units to defend it. Most early features from this time have disappeared, such as a stone bridge built by the fencibles that had to make way to a widening of Great South Road.
Otahuhu was home to the country's first supermarket, Otahuhu College, to which several famous personalities went, including heavyweight boxing champion David Tua, former prime minister David Lange, ex-Manukau City Mayor, Sir Barry Curtis. Otahuhu had a local government just like other suburbs of Auckland at that time; the local government was called Otahuhu Borough Council, which started in 1912 and merged into Auckland City Council in 1985 amalgamated into Auckland Council in November 2010. Alfred Sturges, 1912–1915 James Atkinson, 1915–1917 Alfred MacDonald, 1917–1921 Robert Black Todd, 1921–1929 Hubert Thomas Clements, 1929–1935 Charles Robert Petrie, 1935–1944 Albert Murdoch, 1944–1950 James Deas, 1950–1954 John "Jack" David Murdoch, 1954–1962 Robert G. Ashby, 1962–1965 Aubray Thayer Bedingfield, 1965–1970 Claude H. D. Handisides, 1970–1977 Niall Frederick Burgess, 1977–1985 Otahuhu, in its position on a narrow section of the Auckland isthmus, is an important part of Auckland's southern transportation approaches for both road and rail, containing a combined bus interchange and Otahuhu railway station.
The new bus-train interchange opened on 29 October 2016 as a joint Auckland Transport and New Zealand Transport Agency initiative costing NZ$28M."The station is at the heart of the Southern New Network", said Auckland Transport’s Chief AT Metro Officer, Mark Lambert. “Auckland is moving towards a more connected network of local feeder services connecting with frequent bus and train services. Bus and train transport hubs like Otahuhu are at the heart of this transformation." The old bus interchange, badly neglected, had received increased attention from early 2011 on for vandalism/graffiti prevention measures is now closed and a smaller bus stop has been installed on the main road near the town centre. The importance for transportation extended to pre-European times; the aptly named Portage Road runs across the isthmus in Otahuhu and was used by Māori to move their waka between the Manukau and Waitemata harbours for raids and trading. In fact, the area known as Te Tō Waka, was considered the most important portage of all of New Zealand.
Otahuhu nowadays is synonymous with industry and along with its neighbouring suburbs Favona, Mangere East, Mt Wellington and Westfield forms an industrial conglomerate zone that spans much of the Mangere Inlet. The community and town centre flourishes as the crossroad to Central and South Auckland and is home to a sizable Pacific Island populace. Otahuhu is home to the Otahuhu Leopards rugby league club. Photographs of Otahuhu held in Auckland Libraries' heritage collections
Auckland City is the part of Auckland urban area covering the isthmus and most of the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. The core of Auckland City is the Auckland CBD, a major financial and commercial centre, surrounded by many suburbs, it was the name of a local authority district, governed by Auckland City Council. Auckland City was disestablished as a local government district on 1 November 2010, when Auckland City Council was amalgamated with other councils of the Auckland Region into the new Auckland Council. Auckland City was the most populous district in the country, with a population of 450,000 at 30 June 2010. In 2009, Auckland was rated the fourth-best place to live in the world, in human resources consultancy Mercer's annual survey; the mainland part of Auckland City occupied the Auckland isthmus known as the Tāmaki isthmus. The Waitematā Harbour, which opens to the Hauraki Gulf, separated North Shore City from the isthmus; the Manukau Harbour, which opens to the Tasman Sea, separated Manukau City from the isthmus.
The distance between the two harbours is narrow at each end of the isthmus. At the western end, the Whau River, an estuarial arm of the Waitematā Harbour, comes within two kilometres of the waters of the Manukau Harbour on the west coast and marks the beginning of the Northland Peninsula. A few kilometres to the southeast at Otahuhu, the Tamaki River, an arm of the Hauraki Gulf on the east coast, comes just 1200 metres from the Manukau's waters. Being part of the Auckland volcanic field, much of the isthmus is mantled with volcanic rocks and soils, several prominent scoria cones dot the isthmus. Many Hauraki Gulf islands were part of Auckland City; such islands of the inner gulf included Rangitoto, Browns Island, Rakino and Waiheke, while the outer gulf islands included Little Barrier Island, Great Barrier and the Mokohinau Islands. In November 1989, central government restructured local authorities throughout New Zealand. After substantial protests and legal challenges, Auckland City was merged with eight smaller local authorities to form a new Auckland City Council.
The new Auckland City had double the population of the old. However, forced onto local authorities against their will, was criticised to have led to less democracy and higher rates for the same services. A further restructuring and amalgamation brought all seven councils in the area and the Auckland Regional Council into one "SuperCity", starting 1 November 2010. Auckland City was the most populous city of New Zealand. In 2010 it was made up of 188 ethnic groups, making it New Zealand's most diverse city, more diverse than in 2007, when 185 ethnic groups had been counted. In 2010, the life expectancy was 83 years for women, 79.6 years for men, while the average age of the population was 33.4 years, with 35.9 years for the whole country. In the year to March 2009, Auckland City had 353,000 jobs, of which 26.3% was held by property and business services, as well as 65,655 businesses, making up 13.1% of New Zealand's businesses and 16.2% of New Zealand's jobs. Over 2009 to the month of March, Auckland City's unemployment rate increased to 5.6%, compared to the overall New Zealand unemployment rate of 4.5%.
In addition the city's economic output declined by 2.4%. Gareth Stiven, the economic manager of Auckland City, stated that this was because the city's economy was involved with service industries, such as banking and insurance, which were affected by financial crises. However, over the last five years of its existence, Auckland's economic growth averaged 1.4% each year, higher than the average of the region and the nation. In 2003 three of the ten largest companies in New Zealand were headquartered in Auckland City. Many large corporations were housed within the central part of Auckland City. Air New Zealand has its worldwide headquarters, called "The Hub", off Beaumont and Fanshawe Streets in the Western Reclamation. In September 2003 Air New Zealand was the only one of the largest corporations in New Zealand to have its headquarters within the Auckland CBD; these lists of suburbs are arranged electorally, starting from the west. Note: CBD - central business district For the suburbs of the other cities within the Auckland urban area, see North Shore, Manukau and Papakura.
Dominion Road – an arterial road running north–south across most of the central isthmus Great North Road – begins as a continuation of Karangahape Road and runs south-westward before crossing into what was Waitakere City Great South Road – runs south from Epsom and crosses from Otahuhu into what was Manukau City Karangahape Road – a commercial street running west–east and intersecting Queen Street at the southern edge of the CBD Portage Road – in Otahuhu, the southernmost suburb, following the path of a former Maori canoe portage between the Tamaki River and the Manukau Harbour, intersecting Great South Road Queen Street – the main commercial street, running south, uphill from Queens Wharf through the CBD Tamaki Drive – a coastal road running eastward from the eastern edge of the CBD to Saint Heliers Auckland City had six sister cities and two friendship city relationships. All of these cities except Hamburg are located around the Pacific Rim. Auckland waterfront A Complete Guide To Heraldry by A.
C. Fox-Davies 1909. Auckland City Council website, the local authority for Auckland History of Auckland City by Graham Bush Heart of the City website by the Auckland CBD business' association Heritage Walks: The Engineering Heritage of Auckland, historic text, 360° panoramas
The Auckland Council is the local government council for the Auckland Region in New Zealand. The governing body consists of 20 councillors, elected from 13 wards. There are 149 members of 21 local boards who make decisions on matters local to their communities, it is the largest council in Oceania, with a $3 billion annual budget, $29 billion of ratepayer equity, 9,870 full-time staff as of 30 June 2016. The council began operating on 1 November 2010, combining the functions of the previous regional council and the region's seven city and district councils into one "super council" or "super city"; the Council was established by a number of Acts of Parliament, an Auckland Transition Agency created by the central government. Both the means by which the Council was established and its structure came under repeated criticism from a broad spectrum during the establishment period; the initial Council elections in October 2010 returned a centre-left council with Len Brown as mayor. Brown was re-elected in October 2013, again with a supportive council.
The 2016 mayoral election was won by Labour MP Phil Goff, who had a landslide victory with his nearest rivals, Victoria Crone in second place, followed by Chlöe Swarbrick. The Auckland Council took over the functions of the Auckland Regional Council and the region's seven city and district councils: Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, Waitakere City Council, North Shore City Council, Papakura District Council, Rodney District Council and most of Franklin District Council; the Auckland Regional Council was formed in 1989. One of the mainstays of its work was expanding the parks network, it brought into the Auckland Council 26 regional parks with more than 40,000 hectares, including many restored natural habitats and sanctuaries developed in co-operation with the Department of Conservation and volunteers. A variety of public transport-focused projects like the Northern Busway as well as significant rail and public transport investments were realised through the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, much of it supported by retaining Ports of Auckland in public hands to fund the improvements with the dividends.
Until 2010, the Auckland Region had seven "City/District" authorities, plus one "Regional" authority. In the late 2000s, New Zealand's central government and parts of Auckland's society felt that this large number of Councils, the lack of strong regional government were hindering Auckland's progress, that a form of stronger regional government, or an amalgamation under one local council, would be beneficial. Others pointed to the fact that a previous integration of the many much smaller Borough Councils did not bring the promised advantages either, reduced local participation in politics, with editorialists pointing out that the proponents of the'super city' have not made any promises of savings in light of past rises in rates and utilities bills. In 2007, the government set up a Royal Commission on Auckland Governance to report on what restructuring should be done; the report was released on 27 March 2009 and the government subsequently announced that a "super city" would be set up to include the full metropolitan area under an Auckland Council with a single mayor and 20–30 local boards, by the time of the local body elections in 2010, though it changed some key recommendations of the Royal Commission.
Some recommendations of the Royal Commission which have not been adopted or implemented: 6A The Auckland Council should include a vision for the region in its spatial plan. 6B The Mayor of Auckland's annual "State of the Region" address should describe progress towards the attainment of the vision. 19C: "Leadership support and development programmes for elected councillors should be strengthened." 21D: Auckland Council CCOs and their statements of intent should be subject to performance review by the proposed Auckland Services Performance Auditor. 21A 22A Two Māori members should be elected to the Auckland Council by voters who are on the parliamentary Māori Electoral Roll. 22B There should be a Mana Whenua Forum, the members of which will be appointed by mana whenua from the district of the Auckland Council. 22D The Auckland Council should ensure that each local council has adequate structures in place to enable proper engagement with Māori and consideration of their views in the local councils’ decision-making processes.
Where appropriate, current structures and/or memoranda of understanding should be transferred to local councils. 24F Auckland Council should consider creating an Urban Development Agency, to operate at the direction of the Auckland Council, with compulsory acquisition powers. The Auckland Council should determine the extent to which responsibilities for the delivery of stormwater services are shared between local councils and Watercare Services Limited. 26I Watercare Services Limited should be required by legislation to promote demand management. 26M Watercare Services Limited should be required to prepare a stormwater action plan. 27D The Auckland Council should prepare an e-government strategy as an intrinsic part of its proposed unified service delivery and information systems plan. 28A The Auckland Council should work with consumers, the industry, central government agencies to develop a climate change and energy strategy for the region, including monitoring and reviewing electricity security of supply performance, industry planning and regulation impacting the Auckland region.
30A The Auckland Council should develop a Regional Waste Management Strategy, including strategies for management of organic waste and integration o
The Manukau Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in New Zealand by area. It is located to the southwest of the Auckland isthmus, opens out into the Tasman Sea; the harbour mouth is between the northern head located at the southern end of the Waitakere Ranges and South Head at the end of the Awhitu Peninsula reaching up from close to the mouth of the Waikato River. The mouth is only 1800 metres wide, but after a nine kilometre channel it opens up into a square basin 20 kilometres in width; the harbour has a water surface area of 394 square kilometres. There is a tidal variation of up to 4 metres, a substantial change since the harbour, being silted up with 10 million years of sedimentation, is rather shallow itself; because of the large harbour area and narrow mouth between the Manukau Heads, tidal flow is rapid and a bar at the mouth makes navigating in or out of the harbour dangerous. New Zealand's most tragic shipwreck occurred on the bar in 1863 when HMS Orpheus ran aground in clear weather with a loss of 189 lives.
For this reason, along with the harbour's shallowness, it is not Auckland's favoured port, with only one short wharf, the facilities at Onehunga are tiny compared to the other Ports of Auckland facilities on the Waitematā Harbour along the northeast of the isthmus. The harbour has three main arms; the Mangere Inlet at the northeast lies close to Auckland's central city area, with the inner suburbs of Onehunga and Te Papapa situated close to its northern shore. The Otahuhu and Mangere urban areas lie south of this arm, crossed by the Mangere Bridge. In the southeast is the Papakura Channel, which extends into the urban area of Papakura. In the southwest a further inlet known as the Waiuku River reaches south to the town of Waiuku; the harbour reaches into Mangere Lagoon. Auckland Airport is located close to the harbour's eastern shore; the harbour was an important historical waterway for Māori. It had several portages to the Pacific Ocean and to the Waikato River, various villages and pā clustered around it.
Snapper, mullet, scallops and pipi provided food in plentiful amounts. Cornwallis, beside the Puponga Peninsula, was the first site for the future city of Auckland. However, because of fraudulent land sales and rugged conditions, the settlement was abandoned in the 1840s; the surrounding bush clad hills had vast amounts of kauri removed for milling and shipped from a wharf on Paratutai to either the other end of the harbour at Onehunga for use in house building in the new city of Auckland, or along the coast to other New Zealand settlements. The last mills were abandoned in the early 1920s. European settlement of the area was thus often an outgrowth of the Waitematā Harbour-centred settlement, as these settlers spread south and west through the isthmus and reached the Manukau Harbour. One of the few separate earlier European settlements was Onehunga, from where some raiding of enemy settlements occurred during the New Zealand wars, which became a landing point for kauri and other products landed by ship and canoe from the south, the shipping route being shorter than the one along the east coast to the Waitematā Harbour.
However, the combination of the difficult entry into the harbour, which limited ships to about 1,000 tons maximum, the extension of the railway to Onehunga in 1873 made naval traffic on the harbour less important again, though the Port of Onehunga can trace its origins to this time. Construction of a canal between the Manukau and the Waitemata was considered in the early 1900s, the Auckland and Manukau Canal Act 1908 was passed to allow authorities to take owned land for this purpose. However, no serious work was undertaken; the act was reported as technically still being in force as of 2008, but was repealed on 1 November 2010. A 2,700 ft canal reserve, 2 ch wide, remains in place; the harbour is popular for fishing, though entry to the water is difficult with few all-tide boat ramps. The harbour houses five active sailing clubs, three on the southern side, one near Mangere Bridge, one on the northern side. Since 1988, there has been an annual interclub competition, hosted by each club in rotation.
Despite all, precious about the Manukau, it is under ongoing threat from constant development and growth, with the pollution and damage that brings. According to the State of Auckland Marine Report Card, the harbour has a D-rating overall, based on water quality and sediment, ecology. Careful and integrated management of land-based activities, such as development through good land-use practices, commitment to a programme of integrated management is required to reverse this situation and secure a healthy and sustainable resource for everybody now and for future generations. In response to concern about the deteriorating state of the Manukau Harbour and the urgent need for a collaborative response to improve its condition, the Manukau Harbour Forum was created in November 2010 to advocate for the restoration of Manukau Harbour
The Tamaki River or Tamaki Estuary is an estuarial arm and harbour of the Hauraki Gulf, within the city of Auckland in New Zealand. It extends south for 15 kilometres from its mouth between the suburb of Saint Heliers and the long thin peninsula of Bucklands Beach, which reaches its end at Musick Point; the inlet extends past the suburbs of Glendowie, Wai o Taiki Bay, Point England, Glen Innes, Tamaki and Otahuhu to the west, Bucklands Beach, Halfmoon Bay, Farm Cove and Pakuranga to the east. It has several smaller "tributary arms" which extend from it: the Pakuranga Creek and Otara Creek in the east, the Otahuhu Creek and Panmure Basin in the west; the Otahuhu Creek forms the eastern shore of the narrowest point on the Auckland isthmus: here it is about 1.25 kilometres to the waters of the Manukau Harbour, an arm of the Tasman Sea. It was called Te Wai o Taiki, meaning "The Waters of Taiki"; the name Taiki is a shortened form of the name of an ancestor of Ngāi Tai. Portage Road is the location of one of the historical portage overland routes between the two coasts.
Here the Maori would beach their waka and drag them overland to the other coast, thus avoiding having to paddle around North Cape. A second portage was named Karetu and went between the extreme north-east corner of the Manukau harbour to a bay close to the site of the newest bridge across the Tamaki, about 1 kilometre south of the Panmure basin; the portages made the area of immense strategic importance in both pre-European times and during the early years of European occupation. In 1865, the estuary was first crossed by a steel swing bridge, located at Panmure, to improve connection between Auckland and Howick; the location is 20 metres to the left of the left hand bridge shown in the photo. The circular base swivel was only removed in the 1980s from the southern shore. Stones and steel had been imported from Australia reflecting the still basic nature of industrial construction in the young colony. In the 1890s the mouth of the river was used as a safe anchorage for ships carrying explosives.
One such ship, anchored in the mouth of the estuary, exploded with loss of life. After this the explosives buoy was moved into a more open area east of Browns Island, where it is still located. In 1925 a 1.9-metre leopard that had escaped from the Auckland Zoo three weeks earlier was found dead in the Tamaki river by a fishing party in Karaka Bay. Due to its extent north–south and its position between Auckland City and its eastern neighbour Manukau City, the river is a natural barrier to traffic as only three bridges cross it, all trafficked and incapable of taking the peak hour flows; the Eastern Busway is a project, designed to resolve this bottle-neck as one of its goals. The Tamaki River has a marina / ferry wharf at Half Moon Bay, from where commuter ferries depart for the Auckland CBD and car/passenger ferries for Waiheke Island. Many yachts are moored in its well protected interiors; the river channel is marked with large green buoys. Deep draught vessels should stay close to the buoys as the channel, although averaging 20 metres deep is narrow in many places.
Near the large Point England sand spit there are numerous mudflats which are covered at high tide. The speed limit in the river is 10 km/h. Rocks at the western mouth of the river at St Heliers are marked by a distinctive barber's pole. Vessels of more than 4-metre draught should not attempt the opening between Musick Point and Browns Island; the channel in this area is marked by starboard markers about 20 metres apart. It is 0.5 kilometres northwest of Musick Point. Large mussel beds extend out 200 metres from Browns Island into the river. Photographs of Tamaki River held in Auckland Libraries' heritage collections