That the Auckland region is at the centre of the country's housing and infrastructure crises was underlined last week by a Statistics New Zealand prediction.
It forecasts that Auckland could reach the 2 million milestone by early next decade.
The northern behemoth is home to a third, or 34 per cent, of the country's population now.
Housing construction sites have sprouted up across residential suburbs in the city. Further out, the urban area is seriously sprawling between Papakura and Pukekohe and spills over into the Waikato region at the bottom of the Bombays in Pokeno.
Stats NZ says Auckland, with about 1.7 million people now, "will likely have the highest average annual growth of New Zealand's 16 regions over the next 30 years".
It adds "population growth rates in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, and Northland are also important contributors to New Zealand's increasing population".
The picture is of an increasingly top-heavy country facing mounting pressures. Looking at it through the lens of a super city seems too narrow - these are multi-regional dilemmas.
Upgraded inter-city transport links are making a difference, the Hamilton to Auckland train route has begun and light rail plans have been revived.
Creative thinking, and tweaks in practises and behaviours, will also be required.
Covid-19 has accelerated existing trends and highlighted the need to fix chronic problems and invest to create more stable economies and societies.
The Biden Administration has a US$2.3 trillion infrastructure package that would reshape the US economy.
In New Zealand, hugely beneficial projects often get get trampled under the weight of political bickering, lobbying and regional rivalries.
Ireland is a country more easily comparable to New Zealand: Small, green, with about five million people and a dominating major city. And with some issues that sound familiar.
It also has struggled with housing supply and affordability. The Irish Times reports that home ownership percentages for people aged between 25 and 40 dropped from 22 per cent in 2011 to 16 per cent in 2016 and are now thought to be about 12 per cent. Pandemic restrictions there have pushed house prices up in the past two quarters.
Last month Irish ministers unveiled strategy ideas aimed at encouraging people to live in small villages and towns rather than major urban centres.
The plan involved tax breaks and setting up 400 remote-working facilities with high-speed broadband. Rural pubs could be used as work hubs during the day. A new law would give employees the right to request to work from home and the aim is for 20 per cent of public service staff to work remotely.
Minister for Rural Development Heather Humphreys said: "For decades we have seen global trends where young people leave their local communities to live and work in larger cities. Emerging from Covid-19 we will never have a better opportunity to reverse that long-standing trend."
New Zealand also has plenty of sparsely populated areas that could do with more people. That would reduce the burden on cities. Trends towards working from home, or a mix of office and house days, make that more possible.
Spreading the population evens out the load in high-demand areas. If only one or two trips to the city are needed weekly, lives can be lived further out.
However, those who would tend to favour more quality of life and quiet over the rat race would be older, and people generally still want to be near good healthcare, schools, public services and cultural events. Offices are important for social lives. City centres need foot traffic too.
Yet thinking outside the box is better than not when the challenges are big.