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Auckland region

The Auckland Region encompasses an area of land and sea covering more than 16,000 sq km. Auckland has a land area of approximately 4900 sq km, which represents less than 2% of New Zealand's total. In contrast, Auckland’s 2014 population of 1.53 million represents just over a third of the total New Zealand population. A 2012 remote sensing satellite survey of regional landcover showed 52% of the region was farmed rural land, 26% was covered by native vegetation, and urban and exotic forest each covered 11% of the region.

The Auckland Region has an estimated 16,500 km of permanently flowing rivers, which increases to 28,240 km when intermittent and ephemeral rivers are included. As no mainland location in the Region is further than 20 km from the coast, the catchment areas of each river are relatively small. This means that most of the rivers reach the sea before they merge with others to form large rivers. Consequently, most rivers are first and second order, meaning they are relatively small, with less than a few metres width.

The majority (63%) of rivers within the Auckland Region drain non-forested rural catchments (pastoral farming, horticulture and rural residential), followed by native forest catchments (21%), with exotic forest and urban catchments accounting for 8% each. The catchment land cover of rivers within the Auckland Region is quite different from New Zealand as a whole. These differences reflect the high population density in Auckland and the environmental pressures associated with this high population.

During the summer there is weekly monitoring at some sites. See the Auckland Council website for details.