Searching for the location of the Great Feast of Remuera – Have we found the site?
The Great Māori Feast at Remuera – what was its location?
Tony Batistich, heritage geographer, gave a fascinating talk on 12 August 2022 analysing the various view points on the location of the Great Feast at Remuera in 1844.
There are no maps available from the 1840s to record the site – we have only the Joseph Jenner Merrett’s lithographs and newspaper reports of the time and later analyses by experts of the potential site.
Tony used current geographic technology to graphically display viewshafts to identify the ‘amphitheatre’ described in the newspaper reports of the time.
The most likely site is that identified by Dr Bruce Hayward on land where Dilworth College is today. This has become the preferred site [especially as Te Kōpuke Mt St John has been identified as the focal hill in the painting and, therefore, the lithograph]. It is between Mt Hobson and Mt St John and therefore in the 1840s area of “Remuera”, which was different from today’s understanding of what is Remuera.
It is an ongoing search to identify such significant sites because we now know you cannot separate the history from the land – as people, both Maori and pakeha, we are all affected by both to understand our common heritage.