Waikato is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand. It covers the Waikato, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of the Rotorua District. It is governed by the Waikato Regional Council. It is usually referred to by using the definite article: the Waikato.
The region stretches from the Coromandel Peninsula in the north to the northeastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu in the south. It spans the North Island from the west coast through the Waikato and Hauraki to the Coromandel Peninsula on the east coast. Broadly, the extent of the region is the Waikato River catchment. Other major catchments are the Waihou, Piako, Awakino and Mokau rivers. The area is bounded by Auckland on the north, Bay of Plenty on the east, Hawke's Bay on the southeast, and Manawatu-Wanganui and Taranaki on the south. Waikato Region is the fourth largest region in the country in area and population.
The region encompasses all or part of eleven territorial authorities, the most of any area of New Zealand. It is centred on the Waikato, which consists of Waikato District, Matamata-Piako District, Waipa District, South Waikato District and Hamilton City. In descending order of land area, the eleven territorial authorities are Taupo District (part), Waitomo District (part), Waikato District, Thames-Coromandel District, Otorohanga District, South Waikato District, Matamata-Piako District, Waipa District, Hauraki District, Rotorua District (part), and Hamilton City.
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