Hutt City Library Online Database
Main Title: Hutt Vallley Housing extension
Notes: Indexes: Filing Cabinet
Summary: Photograph of housing: 1500 Waddington State houses, 1000 Naenae houses and some Taita houses.
Subject: Western Hutt Road
Main Title: Plans to house 10,000 people in Taita area
Notes: Indexes: Filing Cabinet
Hutt City Library Online Database
Main Title: Search for old photos; State house history [newspaper article]
Author: Airey, Yvonne
Source: Hutt News 25-03-2008, p. 30
Notes: Local history research project
Subject: Terris, John, Mayor
Hutt City Library Online Database
Main Title: State house re-jig could reduce risk of ”ghettos” [newspaper article]
Author: Wood, Simon
Source: Hutt News 26-06-2007, p. 1
Subject: Housing New Zealand
Hutt City Council
Housing Corporation/Housing NZ
Hutt City Library Online Database
Main Title: Tireless worker in the new community of rural Taita
Notes: Indexes: Filing Cabinet
Summary: Obituary of Vivienne Ellis, wife of the late Dr Robert Ellis and the occupier of one of the first six state houses erected by Fletcher Construction in the newly developed Taita housing division.
Subject: Ellis, Vivienne Emily
Ellis, Robert Henry, Dr
Biographies — Ellis
Hutt Valley History
Evening Post 5 April 1939
LAND TO BE TAKEN
SITES FOR HOUSING
NORTH OF WATERLOO ROAD
On February 27, 1937. there was published in the “Evening Post” an article by “Foresight,” criticising the proclamation the Government had placed upon land at Taita on the ground that from a town-planning point of view, the land over which the proclamation had been made was separated by a serious gap from the borough of Lower Hutt, which would mean that roads, sewers, and other services would not link up with the borough services.
This fault, from a town-planning point of view, has now been remedied by a further proclamation which includes the land immediately north of the Waterloo Railway Station and lying on each side of the proposed extension of the railway, and comprising an area of over 500 acres.
The land lies largely in the Hutt County, being roughly that portion of the flat land in the country north of Waterloo Road, up as far as Park Avenue, and includes the Epuni settlement and the Waddington soldier settlement. The land is at present largely owned by market gardeners, though there are quite a number of building sections (some built upon) in the area. In many cases deep sections, with houses on the frontages, have had proclamations placed on the rear portions only, leaving the houses unaffected. In some-of these cases the owners are objecting on the ground that the houses will not be of value to them if their living as market gardeners is taken away from them.
From negotiations which have already taken place between Government officers and the owners of some of the properties, it is evidently the intention of the Government to proceed immediately with the roading of the new area, and the opportunity is being given to owners to come to terms for an immediate sale.
A difficulty arises, where houses are in the line of the new planned roadways, about getting “vacant possession” of the properties. One owner has four homes and a workshop on his land, and the trouble will be for him to find another house for himself and the three tenants of his other dwellings. Another person, who owns a section in Witako Street, has just completed plans and specifications for a house and obtained a permit from the Hutt County, and now finds himself unable to build.
There are many cases of individual hardship, but where possible, the Housing Department is meeting the persons concerned, but where the property lies in the way of the proposed road and rail extensions, the properties are being definitely taken over. This makes the third proclamation over land in this vicinity, the first being that made when the Waterloo deviation was projected. That proclamation still stands and the recent one extends the area east and west of this line.
Evening Post 28 April 1939
GARDENS OR HOMES?
TAKING OVER CONDEMNED
LOSS OF FOOD SUPPLY
The action of the Government in placing proclamations over Taita land with the intention of using the area for the building of State houses was severely condemned by a large gathering of market gardeners and other owners of property in the district, held under the auspices of the Hutt Valley Producers” Association last evening. There were also present Messrs. F. B. Stevens and Greig, of the State Housing Department, members of the Wellington Fruit Brokers” Association and the Wellington Fruit Retailers” Association, and Mr. H. E. Combs, M.P.
Mr. B. V. Cooksley, Dominion president of the Commercial Growers” Association, occupied the chair.
The chairman said he hoped the discussion would deal with the economic aspect of the position and that no attempt would be made to introduce a political party aspect.
Two years ago a portion of the area had been proclaimed and a few weeks ago another large area, and then more recently the Government had appointed a Town Planner to deal with the area. Surely that was the wrong order; the town planning should have come first. The line of the railway had been projected through the very best market gardening land, while on either side was poorer land which could well have been used for railway and housing purposes. The Town Planner had approached the Producers” Association asking for answers to a series of questions regarding the value and area of land for market gardening purposes, and he hoped the meeting would set up a committee to furnish the information.
“BEST IN NEW ZEALAND.”
The question not only affected the men and their families, he continued, but the citizens of Wellington and indeed other districts as far away as Auckland, where Hutt tomatoes were today bringing 6s 6d per case against 3s 3d for Auckland-grown.
Mr. J. Weir said the best market gardening land in New Zealand was going to be used for building 1000 houses. An acre of land, which would hold five houses, would supply 1000 persons with tomatoes, lettuces, and other vegetables, and that was allowing only 17 1/2 tons of tomatoes to the acre, whereas a usual production was 20 to 25 tons.
Mr. F. S. Hewer supported Mr. Weir”s statement, and said it was economically wrong to build houses on such valuable land, which it would be hard to equal anywhere in New Zealand.
Mr. A. J. Tilbury produced the photograph of an acre of cabbages from which 1000 cases had been taken. At the same time and from the same seed cabbages had been a failure when grown at Otaki. It had been proved that neither cabbages grown in late summer nor spring,cabbages could be grown at Otaki, owing to green fly. If not produced at Taita they could be got nowhere else handy to Wellington. A great factor at Taita was the ease with which water for irrigation could be obtained. Mr. D. K. Pritchard, formerly a Taita grower but now of the Department of Agriculture, stated that land equal to the Taita land for market gardening was not procurable anywhere in the Wellington Province. At the instance of the Housing Department a soil survey was at present being made of the Taita land.
SOME STRIKING FIGURES.
It would take years to make even the best land outside Taita anytihrig like its equal, said Mr. Pritchard. He had gone carefully over all the land up to Wanganui and through to Hawke”s Bay, and could find no land that was not at present being used for market gardening which would be fit to take the place of the Taita land. Tomatoes from Taita could command their own price anywhere in the Dominion, and could be produced at the rate of even 40 tons to the acre. At even 25 tons to the acre an acre would give 5 lb of tomatoes per week to 8960 families, or at 30 tons to the acre to 13,440 families. Twenty-five acres would produce 5 lb per week for 17 weeks for 17,920 families, or 1 lb per week for every man, woman, and child in Wellington. Similarly one acre would give four lettuces per week for 10,000 families, while 52 acres would give a like amount to 40,000 people.
It would be a serious matter not only for the people who would have to walk off their holdings, but for the supply of the city with vegetables. He was sure the Government had not given the position the serious consideration it warranted.
The chairman stated that one of the largest sauce and canning firms in the world was considering the establishment of a factory in the district and demands were being made from Nelson and local firms for produce which could be successfully grown only in the Taita district.
Mr. A. Jacobs spoke of the value of Taita-grown vegetables on account of their quality, freshness, and ease of access. Sudden orders for ships, etc., could be quickly and efficiently supplied, and it would be a most serious matter if this suorce of supply were destroyed. It would certainly greatly increase the price of vegetables.
Mr. F. Brown (Laery and Co.) endorsed the remarks of Mr. Jacobs, and said that though vegetables came to Wellington from other sources the amount of Taita produce exported from Wellington greatly exceeded the imports. He did not know where brokers would be able to place orders for shipping and for other ports in New Zealand if Taita produce was not available. Prices would rise greatly. Nine-tenths of the grapes used in the Wellington hospital were grown at Taita.
Messrs. Holland, Wong She, and Bennett, of the Wellington Fruit Retailers” Association, said that today the demand for vegetables exceeded the supply. From, a dietetic point of view the value of Taita vegetables was unique. The value of vegetables free from green fly was also a strong point. Ohakune vegetables had been mentioned, but these were definitely inferior to those grown at Taita. The need for supplies during the Exhibition was stressed.
Mr. F. B. Stevens, of the Housing Department, said the Department was most anxious to do the right thing, and, in order to report to the Government, was desirous of having all the information available.
Mr. H. E. Combs, M.P., said he was totally opposed to the taking, for housing, land which was at present serving a better purpose. It was true that there were 6000 applications for State houses and many of them urgent cases, but there was plenty of other land, on the Wellihgton-Johnsonville line for instance, which could be quickly made available for housing. Tawa Flat could accommodate the whole of the 6000 families and was more easily accessible than Taita. There was also land under the eastern hills in the Hutt Valley which could be used without interfering with Taita land. He was afraid the Housing Department was taking the easy way out, and he hoped a deputation, which he would be happy to introduce, would show the Minister that it was a mistake to disturb very useful people like the market gardeners of Taita. (Applause.)
It was arranged to set up a committee to place the economic position before the officers of the Housing Department and also to arrange for a representative deputation to the Minister for Housing.
Votes of thanks to Mr. H. E. Combs and others who had assisted were passed.
Evening Post 14 July 1939
Evening Post 6 November 1940
Evening Post 11 July 1944
HOMES IN VALLEY
OVER 4000 PROJECTED
Tucked away in a semi-circular bay in the hills off Naenae Road, Lower Hutt, is what is known as the Waddington settlement, a fairly extensive area of gently-sloping land facing the sun. The settlement was originally intended to follow the lines of the British scheme propounded by Mr. Joseph Chamberlain and known popularly as the “three acres and a cow” scheme, which followed the South African War. The Epuni scheme in Lower Hutt, on similar lines, was quite successful, but at Waddington, owing to the poorness of the soil and difficulties of drainage, the land remained largely a derelict area, supporting only a few families, established along its one road, Seddon Street, running north and south. In its search for sites for State houses the Housing Department investigated the settlement as an area for intensive building, and decided, in spite of some drawbacks, to develop it, and plans were made to house over 1000 families there.
There were considerable initial difficulties to overcome, the prime one being that of drainage, and this was complicated by the fact that, as the hills form a semi-circle, there is a considerable run off and seepage into the flat, and, secondly, the soil is largely peat and pug, both highly water retaining. The principal drainage problem was met by what is practically a continuation of the Waiwhetu Stream, by means of an open drain some twenty feet wide and twelve feet deep, now commonly known as the Waddington canal, into which, at intervals along its route, smaller open drains and also piped drains, from 9in to 40in in diameter, discharge. These will take the run off and seepage from the hills as well as storm water from house roofs and streets. The next problem was that of roads, of which there are between four and five miles.
It is usual practice for road making to precede building operations, especially in such conditions as those at Waddington, but so urgent is the demand for houses that an attempt is being made to carry on both roading and building at the same time, and that, too, during the winter. Both road makers and builders suffer, from this procedure; road makers from damage to partly-formed roads by builders” transport, and builders by difficulties of haulage on surfaces axle deep in pug. Even Seddon Street, formed many years ago, is in most parts a long clay puddle. Roading has, of course, to be preceded by sewers, minor storm-water drains, and other services. In parts ordinary wheeled vehicles are useless, and caterpiliar tractors hauling sledges are being used to carry supplies to the jobs. The roading and drainage is being carried out by the Public Works Department on behalf of the Housing Department, and both Government Departments in conjunction with the engineering staff of the Lower Hutt Council, which, when the work is completed, will be asked to take over the roads and services and maintain them. The plans and specifications had in the first place to be approved by the City Council, and it is the duty of council officers to see that all the conditions are fulfilled.
The work is a revelation of the value of modern road-making machinery — bulldozers, huge carry-alls, trench diggers, Diesel shovels are to be seen working in what look like impossible positions, some on the faces of precipitous hillsides, where they appear to be in danger of toppling over, while fussy little tractors dodge here and there amidst the seeming confusion.
Most of the houses are to be of the prefabricated, or partially prefabricated, type, and are brought on to the job in sections. Already, before the worst of the winter weather is here, builders are complaining of the conditions under which they work, and if the weather gets worse building operations may become impossible.
THE MAIN HOUSING BLOCKS.
Another area where housing is in progress is a block stretching up to Cemetery Road from Naenae Road. The only portion of this block where development has taken place is immediately north of Naenae Road, where some fifty-two chains of streets have been formed and where about 500 houses are to be constructed, but the greater part of this block will be left for later development as the country is considered bad from a road-making point of view. The area will probably supply sites for another 1000 homes. On the west of the main road from Park Avenue to Mabey Road the State development, except for some 150 houses facing sixty chains of streets just north of Stellin Street, has not been large.
The bulk of the development west of the main road lies north of the Taita Hotel, in an area not yet within the Lower Hutt City boundaries, but which it is proposed to include. This area will probably provide sites for some 1600 homes, and already over two miles of streets are under construction. Road construction here, as compared with Waddington, is simple. There is no hill water to contend with, the land is level, and the soil porous, with a shingle foundation. In this block winter building and road making could more easily go hand and hand, and it is possible that building work may be transferred from Waddington to this area.
There has also been development along the extensions of Cambridge and Oxford Terraces, which continue for about a mile beyond Waterloo Road. This portion and some short subsidiary streets have been built up. Along this portion of Cambridge Terrace some twelve hostels are in occupation, housing girls sent from other parts of New Zealand to work in Hutt Valley essential industries. When the need for these hostels ceases they will be altered to serve their original purpose of multiple unit houses.
Along the railway reserve which runs between these two terraces ballast is being laid and is now ready to receive the permanent way for the continuation of the Waterloo line. In this connection the question arises as to the provision of a ramped road in Waterloo Road. It has been the policy of the Railways Department not to allow level crossings in urban areas. At the present time, owing to the position of five large stores facing Waterloo Road the construction of a ramp would appear impracticable.
Evening Post 16 March 1945