Edward Hutt became Director of the Botanic gardens in February 1947. Prior to this he was Director of Parks in Lower Hutt.
Before coming to New Zealand, he had trained in two commercial firms, Henry Cannell and son, Swanley, Kent; and Dobbie and Co, Edinburgh.
On becoming director Hutt wasted no time in reorganising the department and getting new projects up and running. He immediately produced a report detailing a plan for the reorganisation of the department, including the organisation of the Directors office, which had no adequate filing system or any evidence of early landscape plans for the development of parks and reserves. The plans available referred only to the engineering side of developments. This recommendation meant that any future development of parks and reserves were to involve the preparation of detailed plans for their layout and became the responsibility of the Director.
Under Hutt the Wellington Parks Department was the first horticultural concern in the country to take on women as full horticultural apprentices. Traditionally they had provided a cheap workforce without the benefits of equal pay, or the rights to the educational opportunities that accompanied indenture by the 1950's. It was a move that subsequent experience fully justified. Under Hutt they prospered career wise.
Throughout the 1950's Hutt focused on tidying up the Main Garden, installing stone walls and establishing the present Camellia and Peace gardens.
In 1957, Hutt proposed having a landscape architect because the planning and design of parks and reserves was now the Director of Parks' responsibility. Previously such work was done by the Engineers Department. This request had no initial outcome, and the Department was not to get its first landscape architect until the late 1960's.
Hutt, originated the plan for the development of the Garden of Remembrance, but the idea dated back to 1949, when the Citizens' War Memorial Committee initiated a competition and invited registered architects to design a plan for a garden to honour the fallen in two world wars. The project was made possible by public donations. Unfortunately, the winning design was too expensive, and the project lapsed until 1958. When the garden was finally built it was quite different to the original proposal, and modest in terms of cost and elaboration, but made the most of the existing resources of the site. The Garden of Remembrance typifies the development under Hutt where access routes followed the ridges. He was a forceful character, and this formal complex expresses vividly his personality and approach to garden design.
The rose garden complex together with the Begonia House was planned by Director Edward Hutt. It was certainly the largest addition to the Botanic Garden established during his directorship. A scheme to develop a rose garden and begonia house was expressive of a forceful new director and a community moving to reclaim its open spaces many of which had been appropriated by the military during the Second World War. It was also expressive of an affluent post-war Parks Department which compared to the 1920's and 1930's had money to burn.
In 1965 at the end of Hutt's reign Wellington had the best funded parks department in the country.