Pattern of Settlement
The built-up area which lies within the boundaries of Auckland city extends along the southern shore of Waitemata Harbour from Port Chevalier in the west, through the suburbs of Freemans Bay, Parnell, Remuera, Mission Bay, St. Heliers, to Glendowie in the east. Contiguous and quite indistinguishable from the rest of the urban mass are the adjacent boroughs of Mount Albert, Mount Eden, and Newmarket which occupy the central portion of the land between the two harbours. The total population of this whole group approximates to 190,000 inhabitants. On the northern side of the Manukau Harbour, and again contiguous, are the county towns of Titirangi and Green Bay, the boroughs of Glen Eden and New Lynn in the west; and proceeding eastwards one passes through the boroughs of Mount Roskill, Onehunga, One Tree Hill, Ellerslie, and Mount Wellington: in all another 99,000 people. Many of the region's industrial plants are located in these latter three boroughs. The narrow piece of land between the Tamaki River and the Manukau Harbour is occupied by the borough of Otahuhu, with the boroughs of Papatoetoe, Manurewa, and Papakura extending southwards along the main highway. These four boroughs, together with the county towns of Mangere East and Mangere Bridge, account for approximately 54,000 inhabitants. At Papakura the southernmost limit of the closely built-up part is reached. To the east of the Tamaki River marked urban development has taken place in the post-war period so that the boroughs of Howick and the county towns of Bucklands and Eastern Beaches and Pakuranga now include some 10,000 residents.
Across the Waitemata Harbour are the older suburbs of Devonport, Northcote, Birkenhead (all boroughs), and Takapuna (now a city), whilst further north the more recent settlements along the coast have combined to form the East Coast Bays Borough. About 53,000 people reside in these five boroughs. Indicative of the rapid growth in this area in the post-war period are the figures for Glenfield, a county town which in 1951 had about 482 residents as counted by the census; in 1961 the population had increased to 5,683. The North Shore is immensely attractive as a residential area and the opening of the Auckland Harbour Bridge in 1959 has considerably stimulated settlement, since it has removed the necessity of a long and time-consuming trip around the Waitemata Harbour and put an end to the more frequented trip across the harbour by car ferry. In addition to the more nucleated suburbs and settlements, a considerable amount of ribbon development is taking place as city dwellers choose more northerly sites for their new homes. Some of the older villages have become suburban in character, and settlements such as Orewa are gaining popularity as weekend resorts. But in fact the Aucklanders can find their weekend relaxation as far north as Leigh.