North Shore City

North Shore City
North Shore City
—  Territorial authority of New Zealand  —
Looking south over North Shore City from Forrest Hill. Auckland City can be seen in the background.
North Shore City within the North Island of New Zealand
North Shore City (in orange) within the Auckland metropolitan area.
Country New Zealand
Island North Island
Region Auckland
Seat Takapuna
 - Total 129.81 km2 (50.1 sq mi)
Population (2006 census)
 - Total 205,605
 - Density 1,583.9/km2 (4,102.3/sq mi)
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
 - Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)

North Shore City (usually informally the North Shore, or sometimes just The Shore) was the name of a city that existed in the Auckland region of New Zealand from 1989 until 2010. The city had a population of 229,000 at the June 2010 estimate,[1] making it the fourth most populous city in New Zealand prior to November 2010. The former city was also the country's fourth largest city in land, with an area of 129.81 square kilometres and a coastline of 141 kilometres. It was also the most densely populated city in the country because, unlike other New Zealand cities, most of the city's area is urban or suburban in character.



The North Shore comprises a large suburban area to the north of downtown Auckland; linked to the rest of the greater Auckland metropolitan area by two harbour bridges - the Auckland Harbour Bridge crosses the inner Waitemata Harbour to Auckland City, while the Upper Harbour Bridge provides a connection to Auckland's western suburbs Waitakere across the northern stretches of the harbour.

The North Shore has been administered by various forms of council over the years, most recently as North Shore City. On 1 November 2010, North Shore City, along with the six other local councils and the Auckland Regional Council merged to create Auckland Council.

The former administrative area of North Shore City was bounded by Rodney District to the north, Waitemata Harbour to the south and the Rangitoto Channel of the Hauraki Gulf to the east. The seat of the North Shore City Council was in Takapuna. The city was divided into three wards, Harbour, Northern and Central, and each ward is further divided into two community boards. Inner suburbs include Milford, Takapuna, Belmont, Devonport, Bayswater, Northcote, Birkenhead, Highbury, Hillcrest, Glenfield, Wairau Valley, Westlake and Forrest Hill. Outer suburbs include Birkdale, Beach Haven, North Harbour, Albany, Greenhithe, Long Bay*, Torbay*, Waiake*, Browns Bay*, Rothesay Bay*, Murrays Bay*, Mairangi Bay*, Campbells Bay*, Sunnynook and Castor Bay.[2] Those here with an asterisk, along with several other beaches on the Hauraki Gulf coast, are collectively known as East Coast Bays.

Today, the entire area has been divided into two wards, named Albany and North Shore which are just two of the thirteen new administrative areas in the newly amalgamated Auckland Council.


The European history of the North Shore was initially dominated by very rural settlement, with people from the "main" Auckland generally venturing there only during weekends, when the beaches and many coastal settlements were favourite daytripper goals reached by the ferries connecting the North Shore to Auckland. By the 1950s, only about 50,000 people lived on the Shore, and its growth rate was still about half that of the areas south of the Waitemata, partly because few jobs were on offer.[3]

This changed significantly with the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959, which opened up the Shore for Auckland expansion - vehicle volumes on the bridge became three times the forecast volume within the first decade[4] - and began turning parts of it into a dormitory town for people working in the Auckland CBD or further south. Eventually the growth became significant enough for the North Shore to be considered a city in its own right, though densities remained (and remain as of the 2000s) still below what is typical south of the Harbour.

On November 1, 2010 the North Shore boundaries were amalgamated with the rest of the entire Auckland Region, and the North Shore City Council was abolished and replaced by a single unitary city authority. All council services and facilities are now under authority of the Auckland Council.


Looking north from North Head, near Devonport.

Commuting within the North Shore itself can be done relatively easily, but those who commute to Auckland City and need to cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge face severe traffic congestion. The alternative route through western suburbs is also prone to nose-to-tail traffic at peak times.[5] As with the greater Auckland area, there has been much discussion regarding the problem at both national and local government levels, but very little concrete action, mostly related to the high cost and difficulty providing additional crossings over the Waitemata Harbour. Several options for new bridges and tunnels have been studied in depth, but at the moment, the official position is to mitigate congestion effects instead of providing new infrastructure.[6]

Public transport has been upgraded in an attempt to reduce the city's car dependence. The Northern Busway along the Northern Motorway, together with new park and ride facilities in Albany and Constellation Drive (completed in late 2005), is to serve as the spine of a bus-based new rapid transit system for North Shore City and Hibiscus Coast citizens. In 2003, there were indications that the early stages of the busway project were generally regarded as a success but that important tasks regarding integration of bus lines were unresolved.[7] The North Shore City Council increased the number of these facilities with more park and ride stations in Sunnynook, Smales Farm and Akoranga park. These were completed in February 2008.[8] In January, 2009, the Northern Busway began trial runs featuring New Zealand's first "bus-dedicated roadway."[9]

A number of North Shore suburbs have a regular ferry service to Auckland City, including Devonport, Stanley Bay, Bayswater, Birkenhead. Others are planned for Takapuna and Browns Bay.[10] A plan to turn the city's streets into a venue for a three-day V8 supercar race has generated controversy; traffic experts were hired by the North Shore City Council to assess whether such a race was possible "without causing mayhem on the roads."[11]

Local government

The city was run by a 15 member council (North Shore City Council) and mayor, democratically elected every three years using the First Past The Post voting system. The last mayor was Andrew Williams. The mayor was a strong critic of the 'Super City' proposals which would see North Shore City amalgamated into a larger Auckland authority.[12] Mayor Williams voiced strong opposition to Transit New Zealand's delays regarding bus lanes.[13] He was a proponent of the $300 million joint busway venture.[13] While the Auckland Regional Council has power to impose property tax rates on suburban areas such as North Shore City, local residents have voiced strong opposition.[14][15] There is a pattern of conflict between local authorities and Auckland city officials regarding many matters, such as transportation, land purchases [16] and decay of wharf facilities.[17] The issue of whether Auckland should be a single city, or a collection of autonomous cities, has been a subject of debate in recent years.[18]

For the purposes of general elections, the city contained three whole electorates, being Northcote, North Shore and East Coast Bays. The electorate of Helensville also takes in portions of the northwest of the city. Politically the city tends to lean to the right: in the 2005 and 2008 General elections, all four electorate MPs were the National Party candidates.


There are over 22,000 businesses located in North Shore City, contributing to over 6% of New Zealand's GDP. The city also tops the nation's growth rates for numbers of businesses, growing 29.3% between 1998 and 2002.[19]

The last five years have seen tremendous growth in the Albany area. This once quiet rural suburb has become the commercial centre of the North Shore. A number of retailers like Westfield are building or have built "super stores" in the area, anticipating ongoing commercial growth and expansion. The area has also experienced the construction of intense cheaper housing, and thousands of acres of farmland has been turned into mini-suburbs comprising hundreds of houses all of a similar design. As such, the Albany area has attracted hundreds of millions of investment dollars.

The Royal New Zealand Navy has its main base in Devonport which is a significant employer and industry.

Residential development on the North Shore continues to rapidly sprawl northwards. The Rodney township of Orewa and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, 25 kilometres north of Takapuna, was once something of a holiday resort. It is now linked by the Northern Motorway and may eventually be continuous with the North Shore's northward urban expansion.

Some parts of the North Shore boasts some of the most expensive real estate in New Zealand. The stretch of coast that runs North from Takapuna Beach to Milford, often referred to as the "Golden Mile",[20] has many properties there have sold for several million dollars (NZ$) particularly because of the beaches, Lake Pupuke, popular schools and shopping centres. In 2005, one beachfront property sold for $12.8 million.[21] Rents in North Shore City, as well as property prices, are high in relative terms, with average weekly rents (in 2002) of $243 versus $237 for Wellington and $236 for Auckland.[22]


In the 2006 census, the median income for North Shore residents over 15 years was $29,100, compared with a national average of $24,400.

The racial makeup of the city was 67.5% European, 18.5% Asian, 6.3% Māori, 3.4% Pacific Islander, and 1.8% from the Middle East, Africa or Latin America. Just under 10% gave their ethnicity as "New Zealander",[23] with most of this group having identified itself as European in former Census surveys.

A notable amount of South African expatriates have made North Shore their home, where some estimates have them as 10% (or more) of the total population with most residing in the East Coast Bays.[24]


North Shore City is the onscreen home of New Zealand's most successful soap opera: Shortland Street (It was previously primarily filmed there but still has scenes on the North Shore). Go Girls is another popular show set on the North Shore. Prime TV channel has its studios and base in Albany.

Association football

North Shore City is home to North Shore United who compete in the Lotto Sport Italia NRFL Division 2.

Notable people

Sister cities

North Shore City is a sister city of:


The southern Hauraki Gulf coast of the city.
  1. ^ "Subnational population estimates at 30 June 2010 (boundaries at 1 November 2010)". Statistics New Zealand. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (25 May 2009). "The history of the Auckland Harbour Bridge". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Editorial: Bridge at 50 uniting the city at last". The New Zealand Herald. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Auckland Congestion Monitoring Map 2007". Transit NZ. 
  6. ^ "Waitemata Harbour Crossing Study 2008". North Shore City. 
  7. ^ JOEL CAYFORD (Apr 08, 2003). "Only big-picture solutions will set the wheels rolling". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  8. ^ "Park & Ride Stations". North Shore City. 
  9. ^ "Busway starts trial run". North Shore Times. Jan 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  10. ^ "Ferries". North Shore City. 
  11. ^ BERNARD ORSMAN (Jul 27, 2004). "North Shore City hires expert to assess V8 races". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  12. ^ "Andrew Williams: Downsize this Super City madness". The New Zealand Herald. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Bus lane closure delayed". North Shore Times. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  14. ^ THERESA GARNER and NATASHA HARRIS (Jul 24, 2003). "North Shore City Council backs ARC rate revolt". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  15. ^ WAYNE THOMPSON (Jul 25, 2003). "How ARC ignored rates advice". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  16. ^ WAYNE THOMPSON (Sep 01, 2003). "Auckland's bid for Viaduct land hits snag". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  17. ^ Brian Rudman (Jul 25, 2008). "Brian Rudman: Go-it-alone North Shore leaves historic wharf on its last legs". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  18. ^ Wayne Thompson (Sep 06, 2006). "Lessons from the history of local body amalgamation". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  19. ^ "Growth in the Number of Businesses" (PDF). Quality of Life Project. 
  20. ^ "City attractions". North Shore City. Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  21. ^ Anne Gibson (2005-02-25). "Auckland's luxury homes draw buyers to a stellar market". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  22. ^ "One in 10 New Zealanders live in Auckland city: Census". New Zealand Herald. Apr 02, 2002. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  23. ^ Quickstats about North Shore City
  24. ^ "Emigration to New Zealand from South Africa" (webpage). Emigrate New Zealand. 
  25. ^ "Sister City". North Shore City Council. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  26. ^ "A new sister city for North Shore City". North Shore City Council. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 

External links

Coordinates: 36°48′S 174°45′E / 36.8°S 174.75°E / -36.8; 174.75

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