Upper Hutt 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. 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.

Upper Hutt was originally part of the Hutt County, constituted in 1877. On 24 April 1908, it was proclaimed a Town Board and the first seven Commissioners were farmer GI Benge (first chairman), milkman RH Williams, farmers A Martin and JT Craig, butcher WR Keys, builder J Harrison and painter FH Wilkie. The first secretary was AJ McCurdy, an outstanding character in this areas local politics. He became first Mayor when Upper Hutt became a Borough on 26 February 1926.

On 28 May 1966 it was proclaimed a city. The northern areas of Rimutaka Riding of Hutt County were brought into the city on 1 April 1973 to give Upper Hutt the second largest land area of any New Zealand city. It grew in size again on 1 November 1988 when the former Heretaunga-Pinehaven Riding was incorporated upon the abolition of the Hutt County Council. Exactly a year later the City of Upper Hutt as it is today was constituted with the abolition of the Heretaunga/Pinehaven District Community Council.

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Last updated on 25 Sep 2014