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Petone's First 100 Years (1940)


Borough Amenities

Services Available To Petone Citizens.

Few Boroughs have reached the completed state in which Petone finds itself to-day, with every possible amenity and with a future of untold possibilities. The following details will give some idea of the progress that has been made.
Streets: Petone is justly proud of its streets, which compare favourably with any in the Dominion. There are 22 miles, 80 per cent, of which on the flat have been tarsealed, curbed and channelled. All the footpaths are permanently sealed. It is the aim of the Council to complete the whole of the tar-sealing within the next two years.
The recent completion of the widening of Jackson Street to a full chain width has made the street a thoroughfare worthy of the town.
The Council is at present concentrating upon improving the Esplanade, a fine start having been made in the vicinity of the Wellington Provincial Memorial, the beauty of which has been enhanced by the work already carried out.
Reserves: The Borough is well provided with recreational reserves. The main Recreation Ground contains 18 acres, with a first-class cycling track, children's play area, and modern grandstand. There are also North Park, containing 17 acres, and McEwan Park on the foreshore, containing 14 acres.
There is an unrivalled beach for bathing, and also the McKenzie Swimming Baths, in Udy Street. Yachting, rowing, and launching on the foreshore are exceedingly popular.
The Koro Koro Domain on the side of the hills contains 13 acres of well preserved native vegetation.
The Water Works: The Koro Koro dam, built in 1901, on the outskirts of the Borough, has a capacity of eight million gallons, with a catchment area of 2,000 acres. This gravity system is supplemented by an artesian supply, 5—6 in. and 7—3 in. artesian bores have been sunk on the Council's property in Tennyson Street. There are 21 miles of mains within the Borough.
The water rate levied in 1938–39 amounted to £4,870, and the sales of water by meter accounted for £1,326.
Sewage: The Borough is divided into five sections, each with its individual sewage reticulation and pumping station. The stations discharge the sewage into one common septic tank. Twenty miles of sewer mains have been laid and each station contains dual pumping sets.
The Library: The Library is subsidised from the General Account to the extent of £200 per annum. At the 31st March,
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Old Stormwater Drain, Jackson St.—Relaid 1930.

1939, there were 365 adult subscribers and 100 junior subscribers. It contains 8,000 books and, with few exceptions, they are all for lending.
Daily newspapers from the leading towns are taken, and the reading-room is free. The subscription is 7/6d. per annum for adults and 2/- for juniors.
Gas: The Gas Works, which were originally built by the Council, now come under the control of the Petone and Lower Hutt Gas Lighting Board, which was established under special Act.
In the event of the Petone and Lower Hutt Boroughs amalgamating the Works automatically become the property of the joined Boroughs.
The policy of the Board is to make gas available at as cheap a rate as possible, in order to foster its general use, particularly by the manufacturing concerns.
The following statistics apply to the Petone area only:
Domestic consumers 2,800
Industrial consumers 41
Domestic consumption 44 million feet.
Industrial consumption 8 million feet.
The Board recently installed, at a cost of £30,000 a Vertical Chamber Oven intermittent carbonising plant, which came into operation about 1st October, 1938, since when its performance, as compared with the previous horizontal retorts is as follows:
New Plant Old Plant
Capacity (millions) 180 120
Make per ton of coal 20,000 ft. 16,000 ft.
The new plant has worked entirely on New Zealand small coals, and has shown a saving in coal alone (apart from other savings) of 1/- per 1,000 feet of gas made.
Electricity: The Hutt Valley Power Board is responsible for the supplying of electricity to the area, including street-lighting. The extensive use of Neon lighting in Jackson Street gives it a brilliantly-lit appearance, and it is recognised as one of the best Neon-signed streets in the Dominion outside City areas.
Fire Prevention: The Petone Fire Board controls the Brigade whose personnel consists of three permanent firemen, residing at the Fire Station, a Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, and 17 auxiliaries.
The Brigade is recognised as one of the finest volunteer organisations in the Dominion. Its efficiency, allied with the high-pressure water supply has been responsible for some remarkably low fire loss averages.
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" Plant a Tree "—Arbor Day at Petone.

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Foam-flecked Waves from the Petone Beach-showing Somes Island.

The figures for the past five years are as follows:—
Year ended 31st March, 1935 £469 10 0
Year ended 31st March, 1936 £138 10 0
Year ended 31st March, 1937 £2,873 10 0
Year ended 31st March, 1938 £1,726 0 0
Year ended 31st March, 1939 £1,029 10 0
The Brigade is at present in charge of Superintendent Gaynor, whose family has been associated with it since its inception, his father being one of the original founders.

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