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Avalon, New Zealand facts for kids

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Avalon television studios, Lower Hutt, NZ.JPG
Avalon Studios
Basic information
Local authority Lower Hutt City
Population 4,662 (2006)
Northeast Taitā
East Wingate
Southeast Naenae
South Epuni
Southwest Boulcott
West Belmont

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 Studios

Avalon came to the attention of most New Zealanders as the early centre of the country's nationwide 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 Rob Muldoon.

In April 2012, Avalon Studios was sold to a consortium, Avalon Holdings, which is to officially take possession in early 2013.

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