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For the dance of the same name, see Nae Nae.
Basic information
Local authority Lower Hutt City
Population 8,292 (2006[1])
Train station(s) Naenae Railway Station
North Wingate
Southwest Epuni
West Boulcott
Northwest Avalon
Naenae is located in New Zealand Wellington
Location of Naenae within Wellington

Naenae (/ˈnn/, occasionally spelled NaeNae) is a suburb of the city of Lower Hutt in the North Island of New Zealand. It lies on the eastern edge of the floodplain of the Hutt River, four kilometres from the Lower Hutt Central business district. A small tributary of the Hutt, the Waiwhetu Stream, flows through the suburb.

Naenae has a population of around 8,000 people. It has several schools, including Naenae College (previously the second largest in Lower Hutt), Naenae Intermediate, Naenae Primary, Rata Street School, St. Bernadettes' and Wa Ora Montessori.

Naenae's shopping centre contains an Olympic-size swimming-pool, built when New Zealand hosted an international diving championships. The pool has three diving boards. Originally open-air, the complex gained a roof due to overwhelming public support, making it accessible all year round. A hydroslide adjacent to the main pool attracts more people. The toddlers' paddling pool remained open-air for a few years more.

Naenae or nae-nae is a translation from the Māori, meaning "mosquito" or "sandfly", recalling a time prior to the draining of the area, when the mosquito population predominated.


As Lower Hutt expanded after the end of World War II in 1945, the Labour government under Peter Fraser selected Naenae as an ideal site to become a "designer community", a model suburb of sorts, where a suburban state housing estate would complement a substantial shopping centre. This community centre would serve as a social hub for the greater area. The planners hoped that nuclear family life could manifest itself in such a scheme. Due to the increasing urbanisation of New Zealand, demand for housing outstripped the need for such centres, leaving the scheme only partially realised.

Ernst Plischke, an Austrian architect, designed plans for the new community centre between 1942 and 1943. However the design was later drastically changed by government architect Gordon Wilson.[2][3]

Naenae railway station (opened 1946), on the Hutt Valley section of the Wairarapa Line, adjoins Naenae's shopping centre.

Naenae's post-modern Post Office officially opened in 1966, paying homage to the Art Deco era Main Post Office in Lower Hutt town centre.

A re-zoning of Naenae made it partly industrial in the 1960s, but it was principally a residential area. At its peak, Naenae boasted two manufacturers with strong Dutch connections:

  1. Philips, which produced televisions and radios, see pictures here. This industry closed down during the 1980s: Resene Paints now occupies the buildings.
  2. Rembrandt Suits Ltd, formed following the Second World War by Dutch tailors. It now exports mainly to Australia, and has major contracts throughout the world.


Naenae has four schools.

  • Naenae School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school serving the southern half of the suburb. It has 192 students as of February 2017.[4]
  • Rata Street School is a state contributing primary (Year 1–6) school serving the northern half of the suburb. It has 348 students as of February 2017.[4]
  • St Bernadette's School is a state-integrated Catholic full primary and intermediate (Year 1–8) school. It has 127 students as of February 2017.[4]
  • Wa Ora Montessori School is a state-integrated Montessori composite (Year 1–10) school. It has 247 students as of February 2017.[4]

State intermediate students (Year 7–8) and secondary students (Year 9–13) are served by Naenae Intermediate School and Naenae College respectively, which despite their names are located in the adjacent suburb of Avalon.


  1. ^ Hutt City Council - 2006 Hutt City Demographic Profile Retrieved: 7 January 2009
  2. ^ Bowman, Ian. "The challenge of change: dealing with the legacy of the modern movement". Translating the New Old-World into the New New-World - Reassessing Ernst Plischke's plan for Naenae, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Retrieved 4/05/2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "The Importance of Being Ernst". New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Retrieved 4/05/2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d "Directory of Schools - as at 6 March 2017". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 

Coordinates: 41°12′01″S 174°57′09″E / 41.2002°S 174.9525°E / -41.2002; 174.9525