North Shore City
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
|North Shore City|
|Territorial authority of New Zealand|
|Forrest Hill. Auckland City can be seen in the background.|
|• Total||129.81 km2 (50.12 sq mi)|
|Population (2006 census)|
|• Density||1,600/km2 (4,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
North Shore City is a former territorial authority district in the Auckland region of New Zealand, which was governed by the North Shore City Council from 1989 until 2010. The city had an estimated population of 229,000 at 30 June 2010, making it the fourth most populous city in New Zealand prior to the November 2010 reorganisation. 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 councils over the years, in the most recent past the North Shore City Council. On 1 November 2010, North Shore City Council and the six other local councils and Auckland Regional Council merged to create Auckland Council.
The administrative area of North Shore City Council 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 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. 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 the Albany and North Shore wards, which are two of the thirteen administrative areas in the 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.
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 - 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 1 November 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. In January 2009, the Northern Busway began trial runs featuring New Zealand's first "bus-dedicated roadway."
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. 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."
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. Mayor Williams voiced strong opposition to Transit New Zealand's delays regarding bus lanes. He was a proponent of the $300 million joint busway venture. 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. There is a pattern of conflict between local authorities and Auckland city officials regarding many matters, such as transportation, land purchases  and decay of wharf facilities. 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.
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: all electorates except Northcote are considered safe National Party seats. Northcote meanwhile is considered a bellwether seat, swinging left and right with the nation as a whole.
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.
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.
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", 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. 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.
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", with most of this group having identified itself as European in former Census surveys.
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.
- Wayne "Buck" Shelford - All Black Legend (Rugby Player)
- Frank Sargeson - Writer
- Rachel Hunter - Actress/Model
- Judy Bailey - Retired Newsreader
- Rosita Vai - NZ Idol 2 Winner
- Sir Peter Blake - Yachtsman
- Ian Ferguson - Olympian
- John Hood - Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford
- Dean Barker - Yachtsman
- Peter Montgomery - Broadcaster
- Luke McAlister - Rugby Player
- Ian Jones - Ex All Black Rugby Player
- Bert Sutcliffe - New Zealand Cricketer
- Danny Morrison - New Zealand Cricketer
- Nick Evans - Rugby Player
- Kirk Penney - Basketball Player
- Winston Reid - Footballer
- Lorde - Singer/Vocalist
North Shore City was a sister city of:
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- "Park & Ride Stations". North Shore City.
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- WAYNE THOMPSON (25 July 2003). "How ARC ignored rates advice". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
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- Wayne Thompson (6 September 2006). "Lessons from the history of local body amalgamation". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- "Growth in the Number of Businesses" (PDF). Quality of Life Project.
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- Anne Gibson (2005-02-25). "Auckland's luxury homes draw buyers to a stellar market". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- "One in 10 New Zealanders live in Auckland city: Census". New Zealand Herald. 2 April 2002. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- Quickstats about North Shore City
- "Emigration to New Zealand from South Africa" (webpage). Emigrate New Zealand.
- "Sister City". North Shore City Council. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
- "A new sister city for North Shore City". North Shore City Council. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for North Shore City.|
- Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development ('ATEED') (business association website)
- Takapuna Beach (business association website)