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- to the north
Petone is a major suburb of the city of Lower Hutt in New Zealand. It is located at the southern end of the narrow triangular plain of the Hutt River, on the northern shore of Port Nicholson. The name, from the Maori Pito-one, means "end of the beach" or "short beach".
Petone was the first European settlement in the Wellington region and retains many historical buildings and landmarks. The first settlers arrived here in January 1840, on the ship Aurora. After the arrival of a second ship, the Cuba, plans were undertaken for the building of the settlement of Britannia on the site. As it sits in what was once the swamp, the earliest settlers found life hard, and new settlement was abandoned after only a few months. A new site was chosen around the shores of what is now the city of Wellington, New Zealand's capital.
Until the 1980s Petone was a thriving, largely working-class town and borough, and the location of large industrial sites. The majority of these, including car assembly and meat processing factories, closed in the 1980s, resulting in gradual economic decline. Petone was an independent borough until local government reform in 1989 led to its amalgamation with Lower Hutt. The suburb has since enjoyed renewed economic growth, using its early European heritage as a draw for tourists and gaining many cafes and shops.
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