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Upper Hutt (Wellington, New Zealand)


Last modified: 2013-06-07 by ian macdonald
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Presentation on Upper Hutt

Upper Hutt is one of the four cities that make up the Wellington Urban Area. It is located at the north of the valley of the Hutt River, which flows into the northern end of Wellington's Port Nicholson harbour. With a population of about 35,000, it is slightly smaller than its southern neighbour (and fierce rival) Lower Hutt.

Upper Hutt was originally known as Orongomai, and was the home of Ngai Tara and Te Atiawa Maori in pre-European times. The first European settlers arrived shortly after 1840, and the settlement of Upper Hutt was founded in 1848 by James Brown. It was declared a town in 1906, and proclaimed a City in 1966.

The city is sited at a point where the Hutt River first widens into a floodplain after travelling through rough hill country, and as such it is better connected to the cities of Lower Hutt and Wellington to the south than with centres to the north. A winding highway crosses the Tararua Ranges to the northeast, connecting the city with the cities of Napier and Hastings on the North Island's east coast. The railway connection with these cities is via one of the country's longest rail tunnels, although until the 1950s a mountain railway system operated across the slopes of the Rimutakas.

The city is long associated with the New Zealand Army, who have operated a training camp in the suburb of Trentham for many years.
James Dignan, 13 July 2006

Description of the flag

The flag of the City of Upper Hutt in New Zealand is described at the council page on the arms:

The City in 1982 produced, with the consent of the New Zealand Herald, a flag to be flown on appropriate occasions. One is on permanent display in Council Chambers and another is flown outside the Civic Administration Building during office hours. It consists of the City colours (gold across maroon quarters) with the shield in the middle."
Valentin Poposki, 12 July 2006

Description of the coat of arms, from the same page:

The arms are made up of a shield, a crest, supporters, and a motte scroll. In front of the rock in the Crest, a New Zealand Falcon is portrayed. The New Zealand Falcon (Bush Hawke - Karearea) was very prevalent in the Upper Hutt Valley in earlier times and some still survive in the area. It preys on the forest birds including the pigeon depicted in the Arms and is described as probably the most fearless of all this country's native birds.

The two birds in the Shield are Pigeons (Hemiphaga Novaeseelandiae) also representing the early bird life in the Valley's bush, also in existence. The wavy band is a representation of the Hutt River and indicates its importance in the City of Upper Hutt.

The bottom portion shows a Totara tree (Podocarpus Totara) which symbolises the original vegetation that abounded on the Valley floor. Some are still preserved in Trentham Memorial Park and in early days many of these trees in the valley measured in metres across the butt and were a hundred feet in height before a branch appeared from the trunk.

Finally, the Motto translated into English means "Nothing higher nor more beautiful". This was chosen to record that the City has special physical features and a lovely setting.

The mountainous nature of some of the terrain (the City boundaries extend to the top of the Rimutakas and Akatarawas), the presence of the hills and trees that form so many of the views, the close affinity of the City and farm, and the varied beauty of the river valleys, form a combination within the City boundaries which is most unusual and could well be unique in the context of world Cities.

The Council's advisors on the question of the adoption of the Motto felt that it was not appropriate to indulge in superlatives, and what has emerged is not an extravagant claim but a simple justified statement.

Valentin Poposki, 20 December 2008

Would I be correct in thinking they mean a gold cross and maroon quarters? That is a maroon field with a gold cross, and the escutcheon (without crest and motto) in the centre of the cross?
Laurence Jones, 13 July 2006