View from the Terris
March 2002

Mayor John TerrisThe City and its Heritage

There are some parts of the city where we can say that our visual heritage, in the form of old buildings more or less in their original state, has been very well preserved. I think especially of Jackson Street and other parts of Petone. They represent a wealth of Victoriana, which people come from miles around to see.

By contrast, Central Hutt lacks visible signs of the very early days of our community’s existence. That is why I am delighted that the Council has agreed to assist with the preservation of Dudley Cottage, which presently stands on the site of the Dudley Estate, in Dudley Street. It is a pretty dilapidated building, but sound in structure given it is 120 years old.

Dr Bernard Joseph Dudley was the first Medical Officer of Health in the Hutt, and he used the building as a surgery and residence. What makes him remarkable, however, was that he gifted not only the land on which his home stood, but also a very considerable amount of land around it, for the benefit of the youth of the city. Conservatively, you could place the value of the total estate at well over $1.0m.

As a city, and our youth in particular, we have benefited greatly from the likes of Dr Dudley, and will continue to do so into the future. He ranked, along with Jocelyn Vogel, in the very forefront of our city’s benefactors. From earliest times, the generosity of our citizens towards those in need has been evident, and well worth marking.

I would hope that if you are interested in historic buildings, that you will join the Trust which is being set up, to work with the Council for the relocation and restoration of this building. There are a great number of yet to be identified possibilities for its future use, including the possibility that it might find a permanent home at Hutt Park when that area is redeveloped. It is a building of considerable architectural distinction, which I would hope we can continue to enjoy for many years to come.

And on the subject of heritage …

The city now owns a portrait of former Petone Mayor, Annie Huggan, another of our distinguished citizens, and the first woman Mayor in New Zealand to see out a full term. The portrait was painted from the life by well-known Petone artist Phil Waddington.

While Annie was Mayor of Petone, she belongs to us all and like Dudley Cottage, I hope a suitable site can be found for her portrait in the near future - certainly within the precincts of the Council Building and hopefully within the Council Chamber itself - recording our debt to a fine lady who was our first woman Mayor.

It’s Crazy, It’s Zany, It’s King Toyota Wild Wheels

People are creating cool cars, spiced-up scooters and decked-out wheelbarrows and hospital beds for the second King Toyota Wild Wheels, taking off at The Dowse on 2 March. Westfield Queensgate has jumped on board with a $2000 shopping spree to the most creative set of wheels. The event will benefit Te Omanga Hospice, who receive all on-the-day proceeds and donations.

This year’s themes are - Recycled, Futuristic, Aotearoa/Pacifica and Express Yourself. It’s an opportunity for work mates, families, friends, community groups to get together and spin their wheels.

There are no limits to the kind of wheels people can enter - just as long as it has wheels!

There will also be stalls, music, performances, exhibitions, rare car displays and lots of kids’ activities to entertain.

Call Steve or Christa on 04 5601482 about entering your wheels.

God Bless,
John Terris