The Beautiful City of Upper Hutt (a shameless promotion)

My Dad lived most of his life in Upper Hutt long before it became a city (which was in 2 May 1966 - 2 days before my parents' 9th wedding anniversary). He loved living here, built our family home in Mangaroa Hill Road, where he and Mum lived for 48 years before they "downsized". He never wanted to live anywhere else. Let me tell you a bit about Upper Hutt (courtesy of the Upper Hutt City Council website at

Upper Hutt is a city of 38,500 just 25 minutes' drive or a 40-minute scenic train ride north from Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.  It derives its name from an English Member of Parliament, Sir William Hutt, who was a director of the New Zealand Company (formed in the late 1830s) that organised the settlement of the Wellington and Hutt Valley areas, beginning with the arrival of the first immigrant ships from 1840.

The southern boundary is Silverstream and the northern boundary the top of the Rimutaka Hill, covering an area of 53,962 hectares and making Upper Hutt one of the largest city councils by area in New Zealand. Nestled by the Hutt River - unique in the world for its pristine condition and trout fishing grounds despite flowing through two cities - Upper Hutt is set amongst bush-clad hills with easy access to recreational pursuits ranging from quiet native forest and riverside walks, fishing and hunting, tramping and mountain biking.

It is the home of the internationally-recognised Royal Wellington Golf Club at Heretaunga and the Wellington Racing Club at Trentham.  The annual Karapoti mountain-biking event also attracts competitors from around the world.

The city is renowned for its many parks, recreation areas and rural attractions which range from both native and exotic birds, animals to public gardens, art and heritage areas.

History of Our City

Orongomai is the old Maori name of the area where Upper Hutt now stands. It means "the place of Rongomai". He was an ancestor and patron of the tribes whose ancestors came in the Kurahaupo canoe. According to their traditions the captain was Whatonga, ancestor of the Ngai Tara and Rangitane tribes. By his first wife Whatonga had a son, Tara-ika and his descendants, the Ngai Tara, were the first people known to live in the Wellington/ Hutt Valley area and the harbour was named for Tara.

The Ngati Rangi came and were defeated by the Ngati Ira, who in turn were defeated by Tamiti Waka Nene of Ngapuhi and Te Rauparaha of Ngati Toa at Pa-Whakataka across the bank from what is now Te Marua.  Eventually the Taranaki people, Te Atiawa, occupied all of the Hutt Valley shortly before the Europeans came, with villages at Te Hau-Karetu (Maoribank) and Whirinaki (Silverstream). Early Maori names for the river were Te-Awa-Kairangi and Heretaunga.

Upper Hutt was settled right at the beginning of the European colonisation of Wellington. Richard Barton, its first resident, arrived in 1840 on the "Oriental", the second of what is known as the first four ships.  He made his home at Trentham in 1841 in the area now known as Bartons Bush.  The first town settler was James Brown in 1848.

Sure, I've visited and lived for a short time in other cities, but Upper Hutt is a place to come home to, a place to raise your family, to enjoy the great outdoors, friendly neighbours - a place to call home. We are rich in history, rich in beauty, and you will be richer in spirit from having visited our fair city - so come on over to Upper Hutt and say hi - you'll be very welcome.