Avalon, New Zealand
|Local authority||Lower Hutt City|
|Population||4,662 (2006 )|
Avalon is a suburb of Lower Hutt in New Zealand, formed as a private residential development in the 1970s on land formerly occupied by market-gardens on the left (eastern) bank of the Hutt River. It features mostly California-inspired designed houses, often split-level, with 3 or 4 bedrooms.
The Hutt City Council formally defines Avalon as the area bounded by Percy Cameron Street and the Wingate Overbridge in the north, the Hutt Valley rail line in the east, Fairway Drive and Daysh Street in the south, and the Hutt River in the west.
Avalon came to the attention of most New Zealanders as the early centre of the country's nation-wide television broadcasting production, particularly with the opening of the purpose-built Avalon Studios in 1975. Given that New Zealand started regular public television-broadcasting for the first time in 1960, and instituted networked television in 1973 with only a single (and State-owned) channel available to viewers, the sole provider of television-broadcasting acquired a monopoly position of immense influence within the New Zealand mass media, and the name "Avalon" summarised and expressed that clout for many years.
Avalon also became the focus of New Zealand film-production (through and building on the National Film Unit), which Peter Jackson bought in the late 1990s and incorporated into his Park Road Post facility. Avalon was the filming location for the 2002 television show 100 Hours.
Television New Zealand inherited the Avalon real-estate and maintains some functions from Avalon, even though its corporate centre now operates in Auckland. Avalon has continued to produce television-shows such as Good Morning and the New Zealand Lotteries Commission's live Lotto draw.
However, in 2011 TVNZ announced that it would be selling off the site for good by 2013, and shifting its remaining shows to Auckland, thus consolidating the broadcaster's Auckland focus. According to Wellington-based TV personalities, the northward drift began in 1980 with the formation of TVNZ, and the subsequent relocation of the TV One newsroom and headquarters to Auckland under then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.
Avalon has five schools.
- Avalon Intermediate School is a state intermediate (Year 7–8) school, and has 164 students as of March 2014.
- Avalon School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school, and has 180 students as of March 2014.
- Kimi Ora School is a state special school for students with physical disabilities, and has 49 students as of March 2014.
- Naenae College is a state secondary (Year 9–13) school, and has 771 students as of March 2014. The school opened in 1953.
- Naenae Intermediate School is a state intermediate (Year 7–8) school, and has 334 students as of March 2014.
- Hutt City Council - 2006 Hutt City Demographic Profile Retrieved: 7 January 2009
- "Hutt City Wards and Suburbs". Hutt City Council. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "TVNZ moving Good Morning, selling Avalon studio". The Dominion Post. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Tom Hunt and Paul Easton (11 April 2011). "The rise and fall of Avalon". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Drinnan, John (17 December 2010). "Mallard sees red over Avalon Studios". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Hank Schouten (2012-04-28). "New owners for Avalon Studios". The Dominion Post.
- Media3, 29 September 2012
- "Directory of Schools - as at 1 April 2014". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 3 April 2014.