The City of Lower Hutt lies north-east of New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, with a population of about 100,000.

Lower Hutt (Hutt City)
Urban Area Population 75,000 (2001)
Extent Lower Hutt Valley from
Petone to Pomare
and lower slopes of Western
Hutt Hills, plus
Naenae and Stokes Valley; and
Wainuiomata valley
Name Hutt City
Population 95,500 [1] (2001)
Land area 380 km2
Extent Includes the eastern shore of
Wellington Harbour south to
Eastbourne and Pencarrow
Mayor David Ogden
See also Porirua
Upper Hutt
Name Greater Wellington

Its City Council ("Hutt City Council") has adopted the name Hutt City to refer to the city, but currently the NZ Geographic Board does not accept the revised name (2006), nor does the Local Government Act recognise it.

The alternative name can lead to confusion, as two separate cities exist in the Hutt Valley: Lower Hutt and its neighbour Upper Hutt. The Upper Hutt City Council objects to the name of Hutt City adopted by the Hutt City Council. Furthermore, one should not confuse Hutt City with the former Hutt County, whose territory originally covered much of the area of both present-day Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt and areas now in Kapiti Coast, Porirua, and Wellington.

Lower Hutt forms part of the Wellington Region. It is the ninth-largest city in New Zealand in population terms, and covers an area of 380 km2.


The city focuses on the lower (southern) valley of the Hutt River. The valley widens as the river nears its mouth, meaning that the central urban area of the city forms a triangle with its widest side along the shoreline. In the upper reaches of the city, the twin ranges of the Western and Eastern Hutt Hills become closer, culminating in the narrowing known as Taita Gorge at the northern end of Lower Hutt. This gorge separates the city from its neighbour, Upper Hutt.

Lower Hutt also includes the cluster of small settlements which extend along the eastern coast of Wellington Harbour. Prominent among them are Eastbourne, which was for many years the headquarters of a borough by that name, and Days Bay, whose wharf is the harbour ferry's eastern terminal. Also included is the large township of Wainuiomata (inland from Eastbourne) . The city also includes a large area of sparsely-populated land to the east of the harbour, extending to Pencarrow Head and into the Rimutaka Ranges, and a few other rural valleys, as well as a substantial part of the Belmont Regional Park to the north-west, which is shared with Porirua City.

Beyond the mainland, Lower Hutt also encompasses islands in the northern half of Wellington Harbour, the largest of which, Matiu/Somes Island, is commonly referred to by its former name of Somes Island.

Hutt RiverEdit

The Hutt River forms one of the most significant features of the city, which occupies the lower regions of the river and its flood plain. Modern occupation during the 20th century has led to the construction of stopbanks to contain the river, but the threat of flooding as the result of heavy rainfall persists. This threat came to pass in the flood of 1985, but the river has not burst its banks since then, even though smaller streams and storm-water drains have caused occasional problems when rainfall persistently exceeds average levels.

Much of the land adjacent to the river is protected as reserve and provides a much appreciated recreational feature with walking tracks and grassed areas over the approximately ten km of river bank encompassed by the city.,


The central urban area of Lower Hutt has a population of around 75,000, or 95,500 including the area around and between Wainuiomata and Eastbourne. In either case, it forms the eighth largest city in New Zealand.


Listed north to south:

West of the riverEdit

Haywards; Kelson; Belmont; Harbourview; Normandale; Alicetown; Maungaraki; Ava; Korokoro; Petone

Main valley north-east of Central Business District (CBD)Edit

Pomare; Stokes Valley; Taita; Wingate; Naenae; Avalon; Boulcott; Epuni; Fairfield

Main valley south-east of CBDEdit

Waterloo; Woburn; Waiwhetu; Gracefield; Moera; Seaview

East of the harbourEdit

Wainuiomata; Lowry Bay; Days Bay; Homedale; Rona Bay; Eastbourne; Muritai


Main article: Lower Hutt:History

Before European settlement, the Hutt Valley was thickly forested, with areas of marshland close to the river's mouth. Maori inhabited the shoreline, with a pa at each end of Petone (originally "Pito-one") beach.

The Maori welcomed the arrival of the New Zealand Company ship Tory in 1839, and William Wakefield (the company's agent) negotiated with local chiefs to allow settlement.

The first immigrant ship, the Aurora, arrived on 22 January 1840, still celebrated every year as Wellington's Anniversary Day. The settlement, Britannia, was established close to the mouth of the Hutt River, and settlers established the country's first newspaper and bank.

The city got its name from the river, which was named after the founding member, director, and chairman of the New Zealand Company, Sir William Hutt.

Within months of settlement, however, the Hutt River flooded, and the settlers decided to move the new colony to Thorndon, in what is now the heart of Wellington, though some settlers remained at the north end of the harbour.

In 1846 there was conflict between settlers and Maori which led to skirmishes (see Hutt Valley Campaign). In 1855 a major earthquake raised part of the lower valley, allowing land to be reclaimed from swamp.

The arrival of the railway north from Wellington in 1874 and the subsequent location of the railway's engineering works at Petone led to a rapid expansion of the area's population and economy. Other industries were soon attracted to the district.

In 1987-89 the policy of the Government of the day forced local authorities to become more efficient through consolidation, which led to Lower Hutt amalgamating with the adjacent Boroughs of Petone and Eastbourne and the Wainuiomata District (which had had its own independence for barely a year).

Culture and leisureEdit

Several education and research facilities of national significance are in the southern half of the city. Cultural facilities include the Dowse Art Gallery and the former Avalon Television studios, now used for world-class cinematic purposes.

The city possesses civic administration buildings constructed in the 1950s that are regarded as representative architecture of the era. A building of national significance is Vogel House, a two-storey wooden residence that was the official residence of the Prime Minister of New Zealand for much of the 20th century.

The city is popular for outdoor sports, especially mountain biking, hiking, fishing, recreational walking and swimming.


Historically, Petone and nearby parts of Lower Hutt acted as the principal area for light industry in this region, with industries including meat processing and freezing, motor vehicle assembly, and timber processing. This activity has been significantly diminished or discontinued in recent decades with either the transfer of industrial activity to the more heavily populated area of Auckland or cessation at a national level. Such movement has often resulted from competitive pressures on commercial organisations for increased efficiency, as a result of opening up the New Zealand economy to international competition since the mid-1980s.

Nevertheless, Lower Hutt acts as the main location for light industrial activity in the Wellington Region. The city largely lacks heavy industry, however. Trends over the past 25 years have seen service, distribution, and consumer oriented activity replace the industrial activity previously a feature of the Petone area.

Lower Hutt also continues to act as one of Wellington's dormitory areas and a significant proportion of the population commutes to the commercial and Government offices in Wellington 12 km to the south-west.

David Ogden was elected Mayor in 2004, replacing John Terris.

Fauna and floraEdit

Hills to about 350 m (1000 ft) line both sides of the valley within the city limits. The western hills have been populated as residential areas, but the eastern side is protected and clad in native bush and scrub, including the ubiquitous gorse in areas that have been cleared as a result of scrub fires or earlier human activity.

Large areas of reserve land with native bush is held in both the western and eastern hills and certain species of native bird life are common, including the wood pigeon (kereru), tui, fantail, waxeye, shining cuckoo (in season), grey warbler, morepork (native owl) as well as introduced species such as blackbird, song thrush, sparrow, goldfinch, chaffinch, starling, and magpie.


See Lower Hutt:Education.

Eating and drinkingEdit


The City Centre contains a large restaurant named "Jade Flower".

A little-known oriental treasure in the heart of suburbia is the Wah Loong Chinese Restaurant at the corner of Taita Drive and Mabey Road in Avalon, within easy walking distance of the Shona McFarlane Retirement Village.

Function centresEdit

External linksEdit

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Lower Hutt. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. See Cities Wikia:Licensing.
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