I decided to have a look at our back door.
Like most cities, Lower Hutt has a central business district surrounded by the leafy homes and gardens of suburbia and they in turn, are surrounded by the grittiness of the businesses that provide wealth and employment. Lower Hutt has very little serious or heavy industry, and what there is seems to be dying on its feet. On the other hand there are many small businesses that provide services or supply products on a local scale. Lower Hutt’s business districts are scattered around, mainly though Petone, Seaview Naenae and Wingate. In Petone , industry is located in the historic narrow streets at the Western end, and to a lesser extent in the East near the river.
Industries come in all shapes and sizes, and for some the building is nothing more than a structure that provides physical security and shelter from the weather. For others, the appearance of the building is part of their marketing strategy, whether or not you agree with their colour sense.
A feature of many of the small operations is the extent to which the ubiquitous shipping container has become a more or less permanent part of the organizations storage, or in some cases, makeshift workshop extensions.
In some countries, town planning laws impose a certain degree of beauty or even uniformity. Haphazard development from the earliest colonial settlement days resulted in narrow streets and a casual approach to architectural norms.
Another aspect of the industrial area of Petone is that it was once cheek by jowl with working class settler cottages, and the quaint cottages and narrow streets reflect this. In Scholes Lane, the factories back on to the garages and work sheds added later. There was insufficient space at the house frontage for these.
In these days of seismic sensitivity, there remain some buildings that you have to wonder about. Perhaps they are unoccupied. Perhaps, if they are not knocked down, they will fall down. Who knows?
That will do for now.