Situated on New Zealand's North Island, Auckland is the largest city in the country, and is home to more than 30% of the total population. The area was inhabited from around 1350 by the Maori people, but little recorded history survives before January 1832, when Joseph Brooks Weller bought the area that is now Auckland. The settlement was in a strategic position, as it had harbours on both its east and west shores, and so it quickly grew in size and importance.
'Auckland' was named in 1840, after the then Viceroy of India, the Earl of Auckland. The following year, the town was declared the capital of New Zealand. However, Wellington was seen as a better choice for the capital, due largely to its location (almost at the mid-point of the country) and as a result it was elevated to this position in 1865.