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The province covered roughly half of the North Island of New Zealand. It was the largest of the six initial provinces, both by area and population. The southern boundary was mostly along the 39th latitude, which was an arbitrary line, with the country's interior little visited by Europeans.1 It was not subdivided during its existence;1 the Taranaki Province was the other one that kept its boundaries (although it had been renamed from New Plymouth Province).2
The six original provinces were established in 1853. At that time, about 30,000 Europeans were living in New Zealand, and a third of them were based in the Auckland Province. An estimated 70% of the Māori population was within the Auckland Province. Although the population of Otago Province (triggered by the Central Otago Gold Rush) and then also the Canterbury Region surpassed Auckland's, the northernmost area of the country became most populous again by 1901.1
The provincial system was abolished in 1876. Auckland Province was from then on used as an administrative district by the Department of Lands and Survey, but the area was eventually subdivided into North Auckland, South Auckland, and Gisborne. The 39th latitude was subsequently replaced by boundaries that took landforms into account, and as a consequence, areas that belonged to Wellington and Hawke's Bay Land Districts are now located in what used to belong to Auckland Province, and areas of the South Auckland Land District now belongs to what used to be the Wellington Province.1