consists of a large number of islands. The two main islands, which are much larger than the rest and where most of the population lives, are the North Island
, or Te Ika-a-Maui
, and the South Island
, or Te Waipounamu
. The latter is often referred to as the "mainland", especially by its residents, because it is somewhat larger (but with a smaller population). However, in general practice, the mainland refers to both North Island and South Island as opposed to the smaller offshore islands. Stewart Island/Rakiura
is by far the biggest of the smaller islands, although Waiheke Island
has the largest population of the smaller ones.