Aro Valley

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Suburb: Aro Valley
City: Wellington
Island: North Island
Surrounded by:
 - to the north: Kelburn
 - to the east: Te Aro
 - to the south: Brooklyn
 - to the west: Mitchelltown, Taitville, Mount Pleasant

The Aro Valley forms a small inner-city suburb of Wellington in New Zealand.


The Aro Valley runs between the hills of Brooklyn to the south and those of Kelburn to the north. By some reckonings it includes the side-valley of Mitchelltown. It takes its name from the Aro Stream which flowed down Epuni Street, and which since 1926 has been confined to a drain. The Aro (Wai-Mapihi) Stream first appeared in a plan in 1843.

The Valley comprises part of the bed of the Wai-Mapihi Stream. Aro Street runs through the whole valley, from Willis Street in the east to Raroa Road in the west; major side-streets include Devon Street, Epuni Street, Adams Terrace, Mitchelltown's Holloway Road and Taitville's Norway Street.


Houses along Aro St

First developed by settler Wellingtonians as a working-class residential suburb in the late 19th century, the Aro Valley featured small, narrow sections with closely built wooden or corrugated-iron houses. It gained a reputation for political radicalism and for shady extra-legal dealings.

Gentrification affected the Aro Valley from the 1970s, boosted by urban-renewal planning (the Comprehensive Urban Renewal Area or CURA) after the rejection of a proposal to turn the valley into a main arterial road route: it became a desirable suburb, seen as close to the centre of Wellington and boasting notable community spirit.


The Valley also adjoins parts of Victoria University (mainly to the north), and a large number of Valley residents study there or at Massey University to the east. Despite the "yuppification" of the suburb, it keeps its reputation as a home to politico-social radicals. Politically, it has become a stronghold of the Green Party.

Prominent features[edit]

  • Aro Park (site of the former Matauranga School)
  • Aro Valley Community Centre (complex with public hall and pre-school; former site of Holy Family School)
  • William Booth Memorial College (formerly a Salvation Army officer-training establishment)
  • Mickey Mouse Motors (as featured in Goodbye Pork Pie, ceased trading since 2003)
  • Mitchelltown War Memorial (at the top (west end) of Aro Street)
  • Te Aro School (Primary School providing education from years 1 through to 8)
  • Lola the Aro Park Cat


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°17′43″S 174°46′3″E / 41.29528°S 174.76750°E / -41.29528; 174.76750