In 1991, President Elect Ron Wilson discussed with Ross Jackson of Wellington Regional Council, various ideas for a major project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Hutt, the first valley club (now called Rotary Hutt City). The outcome was an idea for a trail along the length of the Hutt River.

A project of this scale over-reached the boundaries of just one Rotary Club, so all eight Rotary Clubs in the Upper and Lower Hutt Valley got on board to mark 50 years of Rotary in the valley.

All clubs were enthusiastic and each one contributed many hours over the years to ensure the success of this initiative. It was the first co-operative project between all clubs.



The concept was to convert the berms of the Hutt River from an overgrown wilderness into a linear park with a   recreational trail along both banks – a distance of almost 60km. This needed the goodwill of the Regional Council, Upper Hutt City and Lower Hutt City all of whom adopted this project with enthusiasm.

With the final gaps on the western bank scheduled for completion over the next several years, the Hutt River Trail is almost complete – 25 years on from its inception.

Ahead there are still the challenges of providing two additional cross-river links, plus enhancing the berms and resisting berm encroachment for civic infrastructure. Also, we have the challenge of planting the berms with native and specimen trees to attract birds and create a park-like atmosphere.

The quarterly management meetings of the steering committee are chaired by Greater Wellington Regional Council, and has representatives from GW Flood Protection, GW Parks, UHCC, HCC, plus two from Rotary.

The Hutt River Trail is the integral link for the National Cycle Trail from Petone foreshore, up the Hutt Valley, over the Rimutaka Rail Trail, down the Wairarapa Western Lakes Road, and around the Wainui coast.

Rotary has also provided map boards and custom designed furniture throughout the trail.

Traffic count estimate for the Hutt River Trail is more than 1 million per year, and that number is increasing.

Rotary Hutt City considers this a successful project, one that leaves a better environment for future generations.

Robin Maud, a club member, was a driving force behind the development of the trail.  On the 27 July 2017, 50 Totara trees were planted to honour Robin and his 18-year commitment to the  Hutt River Trail project.

This was not only a special event for  Rotary Hutt City, the Hutt Valley Clubs who embraced the river trail project alongside their geographical stretch of the River, and the  Hutt Valley, but also for Rotary International. We have made a start on RI President Ian Riseley's  goal of planting a tree for every Rotarian before Earth Day 22 April 2018. 

Here is the article from the Hutt News.

Totara to honour Maud’s toil

POSTED 4 August 2017 by Nicholas Boyack

One of the bleakest sections of the Hutt River Trail is being developed in honour of Robin Maud, whose vision kick-started the project 25 years ago.

On Friday, his friends and family gathered in driving rain to open Robin Maud Totara Grove. Family members helped plant 50 totara in the area which is mostly grass and weeds.

The area between Fraser Park and the Pomare Rail Bridge is windswept and, unlike other sections of the trail, is completely undeveloped.

Maud and Rotary were the driving force behind the development of the trail, which now gets more than a million users a year, under the management of the Greater Wellington Regional Council. He held the position of the Hutt Rotary’s Hutt River Trail coordinator for 18 years until his death in 2016.

Before he died, Maud prepared a paper outlining Hutt Rotary’s vision for the trail and how the environmental and recreational values could be further enhanced. His plan for the Pomare/Taita stretch was to make it a more attractive area for nearby Pomare residents and to make it a destination in its own right.

As well as a sculpture, Maud recommended ‘‘If you talk about an environmental corridor people's eyes glaze over but if you talk about a trail they say 'that is nice'.’’