Lower Hutt

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Lower Hutt (Māori: Awakairangi) is a city in the Wellington region of New Zealand. Its council has adopted the name Hutt City Council, but neither the New Zealand Geographic Board nor the Local Government Act recognise the name Hutt City. This alternative name can lead to confusion, as there are two cities in the Hutt Valley, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. The Upper Hutt City Council objects to the name of Hutt City. The former Hutt County included much of the area of both Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt.

Lower Hutt is in the Wellington Region. It is the tenth largest city in New Zealand in population, and covers an area of 376.74 km².



The city centres on the lower (southern) valley of the Hutt River, to the northeast of Wellington. The valley widens as the river nears its mouth, so the central urban area of the city forms a triangle with its longest side along the shoreline. In the upper reaches of the city the Western and Eastern Hutt Hills become closer, culminating in the Taitā Gorge at the northern end of Lower Hutt, separating the city from neighbouring Upper Hutt.

Lower Hutt includes the cluster of small settlements that extend down the eastern coast of Wellington Harbour. These include the two large townships of Wainuiomata (inland) and Eastbourne (on the coast). 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.

Lower Hutt includes the islands in Wellington Harbour, the largest of which, Matiu/Somes Island, is commonly referred to by its former name of Somes Island.

Hutt River

The Hutt River is one of the most significant features of the city, which occupies the lower regions of its flood plain. In the 20th century stopbanks were built to contain the river, but the threat of flooding as the result of heavy rainfall persists. In 1985 the river bursts its banks, and since then floods have been on a smaller scale. Smaller streams and storm-water drains have also caused occasional problems when rainfall persistently exceeds average levels.

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