Kelson, New Zealand

Kelson is a suburb of Lower Hutt in Wellington, New Zealand. It is situated on the western hills of the Hutt Valley. To the west of the suburb lies the Belmont Regional Park, while to the east runs the Hutt River and State Highway 2.

Coordinates: 41°10′46″S 174°55′57″E
CountryNew Zealand
Local authorityHutt City
Electoral wardWestern
Haywards and Manor Park
Belmont Avalon


Kelson takes its name from George Kells, the original settler owner of the land, and from his son Bill who directed the subdivision, hence the name "Kelson". It was advertised in 1961 as "the gateway to a new suburb".[2]

During the 1960s, the lower parts of Kelson were built on. Residential development did not commence on any large scale until about 1973-1974, when approval was given for its boundaries to be extended into the western hills.[3][4]

The population trebled between 1971 and 1976, making it the fastest-growing suburb in Lower Hutt during that period.[5]


Kelson forms part of the western hills of the Hutt Valley, with the Hutt River to the east.

The suburb is adjacent to Speedys Reserve, Kelson Bush, and the wider Belmont Regional Park. Speedys Reserve contains lowland forest on hill country, with diverse canopy species. It features Tawa forest with large specimens, and large numbers of bird species. Kelson Bush is a representative example of relatively unmodified lowland mahoe forest, with large numbers of bird species, including kereru.[6]


Kelson Playground is situated on Taieri Crescent behind Kelson Kindergarten and next to Kelson School.[7] It was opened in May 1976 by John Kennedy-Good, the mayor of Lower Hutt at the time. The playground was designed and constructed by the Western Hills Lions Club in association with the Belmont Womens Organisation.[8]

Kelson Community Centre is situated on Timaru Grove and run by the Kelson Community Association. After a local family gifted the section to the community, it was built and opened in March 1986 with community-raised funds and council assistance. The centre hosts public meetings, fairs, quiz and bingo evenings, children's birthday parties, fundraisers, corporate functions, engagement parties, church groups, theatre groups, and a regular playgroup.[9][10]

Discovery Elim Christian Centre is an Elim Pentecostal Church located on Major Drive. It originated as Kelson Christian Centre, with the first service held at the Kelson Community Centre in November 1996. As the congregation expanded, it moved services to Kelson School. Subsequently, the purpose-built facility currently in use was built and commenced use on 11 February 2007. The name was changed to Discovery Christian Centre, and an adjoining Early Learning Centre was opened in April 2007. A few years later, the church joined the Elim movement, and held their inaugural service as Discovery Elim Christian Centre on 1 May 2011.[11]


Kelson Kindergarten, situated on Taieri Crescent, provides education and care for children from two to five years of age. The kindergarten is licensed for up to 45 children.[12] It originates from a Kelson committee formed in 1973 to establish a kindergarten in the area. Work commenced immediately, and the name of Taieri Crescent was decided. Tenders were called prior to December 1974, and it was in use by 1975.[13][7] The kindergarten was extended in 1982 to include a wet-weather activities area, paid for exclusively by fundraising.[14]

Also situated on Taieri Crescent is Kelson School, a co-educational contributing primary school. It was opened on 22 May 1978 with a roll of 113.[15] In 2017 it had a roll of 209 and a decile rating of 10.[16]

Public services

A community recycling station operates on Major Drive off State Highway 2. It is free and generally open at all times.[17]


  1. Hutt City Council - 2006 Hutt City Demographic Profile Archived 2008-12-27 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 7 January 2009
  2. "Kelson the gateway to a new suburb : 48 sections". National Library of New Zealand Catalogue. 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  3. Body, G.N. (1982). Public Transport Needs of a Lower Hutt Hillside Suburb. p. 89.
  4. "Lower Hutt grows again on March 31". Hutt City Libraries Catalogue. 1973. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  5. "Kelson leads Hutt growth". Hutt City Libraries Catalogue. 1978. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. "Ecological Impact Assessment for Earthworks Consent". Waipounamu Residential Development. 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  7. "Kelson Playground". Hutt City Libraries Catalogue. 1976. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  8. Kelson Playground (Plaque outside playground). Kelson: Lower Hutt City Corporation. 1976.
  9. "About". Kelson Community Centre. 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. "Helpers needed to keep Kelson Centre running smootly". Dominion Post. 2009-01-31. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  11. "Who We Are". Discovery Elim Christian Centre. 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  12. "Kelson Kindergarten - 24/06/2015". Education Review Office. 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  13. Lockhart, Patricia (1975). Kindergartens in New Zealand, 1889-1975 (PDF). p. 51.
  14. "Kelson Kindergarten". Hutt City Libraries Catalogue. 1982. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  15. "Kelson School". Hutt City Libraries Catalogue. 1978. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  16. Education Counts: Kelson School
  17. "Recycling station locations". Hutt City Council. 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
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