Avalon Park

The development of Avalon Park began in 1962 and the pavilion was opened in 1967.The park was upgraded in the early 1970s with a comprehensive planting programme. The confidence course was added in 1974, followed by the lake and fort in 1975 and 76.

The fort at Avalon Park, 1975
Avalon Park Boating Lake, 1976
Mayor Kennedy Good, Councillor Gibbs and Brent Rollinson (project convenor) test the commando course at Avalon Park, 1975

In 1963 a competition was held to name the park. The name was already in use in the area. In 1922 James Stellin gave this name to his subdivision on the eastern side of Taita Drive. This development also included Avalon Crescent. That street was named after his daughter Beatrice Avalon Hart Stellin. The Council purchased the land for the current Avalon Park from Stellin.

Part of the subdivision advertisement for Avalon Park subdivision in 1922 (from Hutt City Libraries collection)

In 2001 descendants of early settlers, William and Grace Milne, proposed to the Council that the name be changed to Milne Park. Council consultation with local Maori resulted in a counter proposal to call the park Avalon Motutawa.

Research carried out by the Wellington Tenths Trust placed Motutawa Pa within the bounds of the park. This pa belonged to the Ngati Tama hapu of Ngati Awa. Ngati Tama left the area in 1846 after an agreement with Governor George Grey promised them new reserves further up the Hutt Valley. The land was then occupied by settlers such as Thomas Mason, whose famous gardens were located here.

Mason’s Gardens, 1912

In the 1940s and 50s the site was used by the Taita Speedway.

Site of the Taita Speedway, now Avalon Park, 1956

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