Albany is a northern suburb of Auckland, one of the several cities in northern New Zealand. The name derives from Alba (Gaelic for Scotland) and its Latinisation. It is located to the north of the Waitemata Harbour, 15 kilometres northwest of the Auckland city centre. The suburb is in the Albany ward, one of the thirteen administrative divisions of Auckland City. One of the city's newest suburbs, it was until relatively recently a town in its own right, and still has a feeling of not being truly a part of the city, which lies predominantly to the southeast of it. Much of the land to the north of Albany is still semi-rural. The Māori name for the area was Okahukura (literally, 'place of rainbows' or 'place of butterflies'). The town was originally known as Lucas Creek, but was renamed in 1890 after Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, a son of Queen Victoria.
A look (from the northwest) at how the Albany Town Centre could theoretically be built up if all development were carried out to the maximum allowed around 2006
The North Shore City council has expanded Albany's parkland; in 2007, it paid $3 million for new land totalling 7,000 square metres (75,347 sq ft). There is approximately 1,200 ha (2,965 acres) of parkland across the city. Kell Park reserve next to the new Albany Village Library was known for its free-range Bantam chicken population and pirate ship flying fox playground.
A Council notice stated: "It is prohibited to abandon chickens or to uplift them from this area." It also listed chicken "re-home" options. The city has traditionally allowed chickens to roam free; according to one newspaper report, "chickens are undeniably something of a traditional presence in Albany ... Poultry have been roaming free there for more than 30 years, acquiring an iconic status and helping to attract visitors while inspiring a bronze rooster statue and a logo that's proudly emblazoned on local lamp posts." But in 2008 the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals objected, causing controversy. There were health issues as well, with bird droppings on playgrounds and seats and picnic areas and incidents of birds being run over by vehicles. But when North Shore City Council officers were ordered to shoot chickens, it caused controversy including an outburst from Auckland City Mayor John Banks, saying the shootings were "an act of wanton destruction and an animal rights outrage.'' In 2008, while Albany village continues to have a rooster on its logo, the free-roaming chicken population is no more, although there was talk of a managed population at Kell Park.