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Lower Hutt Community Centres: Final Statement (1950)


This is the story of a bold project in community planning that failed.
It was a project to provide modern, efficient, democratically controlled consumer, health, and social, recreational, and cultural services for the new State Housing settlements of northern Lower Hutt.
As the one who conceived and initiated the project, and who was the principal architect of its development, I am in a unique position to recount its history and to assess the causes of its failure.
I believe that the primary cause of failure was not any essential unreadiness of the people of the communities concerned to accept the social and economic reforms which comprised the planning project.
On the contrary, I believe that the primary cause of that failure was the unhelpful attitude (progressively developing into hostility) of a handful of individuals - Labour politicians and senior State servants - in positions of power.
And of these, the one whose deadening, disheartening influence was most potent in wrecking the Hutt Valley community planning project was the Member of Parliament for Hutt, Right Hon. W. Nash.
W. L. R.
October, 1950

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