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The isthmus on which Auckland resides was first settled around 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land.
The Māori population in the area is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans.
After a British colony was established in 1840, William Hobson, then Governor of New Zealand, chose the area as his new capital.
He named the area for George Eden, Earl of Auckland, British First Lord of the Admiralty.
Today, Auckland's central business district is the major financial centre of New Zealand.Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west.The surrounding hills are covered in rainforest and the landscape is dotted with dozens of dormant volcanic cones.However, even in 1840 Port Nicholson (later renamed Wellington) was seen as a better choice for an administrative capital because of its proximity to the South Island, and Wellington became the capital in 1865.After losing its status as capital, Auckland remained the principal city of the Auckland Province until the provincial system was abolished in 1876.