Topic: Hutchen Place (TDN 04/09/2021)

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Hutchen Place (Daily News 15 December 1972) 

 (Daily News, 15 December 1972)

In June 1972 the first vessel was able to tie up at the brand new Blyde Wharf in Port Taranaki. Before that, a new road had been formed to provide access to the wharf. It would soon be named after a long-serving port official, Mr Bruce Hutchen.

Hutchen began farming in the Mahoe area of South Taranaki in the 1920s. During his many years living there he was secretary of the local school and on the board of the Mangatoki Diary Company. It was probably this latter role that led to his interest in Port Taranaki.

He joined the port’s management board in 1937 and became deputy chairman in 1950. He would remain in the role for the rest of his life.

Hutchen had many other civic roles, notably as a member of the Taranaki Hospital Board and chairman of the Stratford County Council. He was a steward at the Stratford Racing Club and a life member of the Stratford RSA. In 1965 he was awarded an MBE for his services to the community.

Bruce Hutchen died aged 68, in July 1970. The road named after him was officially opened in December 1972 when his wife unveiled a street sign near the base of the wharf. At the ceremony, Sir Harry Blyde noted it was appropriate that the road named after him “links the expansion and development of the port.”

Today the general public cannot visit the area and the sign no longer stands.

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