Duvauchelle: Escaping utu for a burnt derriere – Akaroa Harbour history…

Where memories of a massacre dominate:

ON HIGH: Looking out to Akaroa Harbour from the Summit Rd above Duvauchelle.

The Press archives
HISTORIC: Duvauchelle Hotel in 1978.

Senior Press writer Mike Crean has been writing about South Island settlements for nearly a decade. The collection is now published in full online in an interactive map, including this story about one of Christchurch’s favourite holiday spots, Duvauchelle.

Heartland: Is your favourite South Island settlement here?

Did you hear about the French settler who escaped an angry Maori chief by floating in a barrel on Akaroa Harbour? It may sound far-fetched but Hotel Duvauchelle proprietor Steve Smyth has evidence to back the story.

Smyth told tourists from a cruise liner anchored at Akaroa that one of the two Duvauchelle brothers, who had arrived at Akaroa with the first French settlers, had an affair with a Maori chief’s daughter. When the couple quarrelled, the fiery Frenchman picked the woman up and sat her on a hot stove, scorching her derriere.

The woman complained to her father, who demanded utu (revenge). The panic-stricken Frenchman jumped into an empty barrel, which his brother rolled into the sea, where it bobbed its way to a ship in the harbour.

The ship weighed anchor and, some weeks later, landed at Hawaii. There Monsieur Duvauchelle married and made his home.

As Smyth finished talking, one of the tourists exclaimed that he knew a man from Hawaii who claimed an ancestor had escaped death in New Zealand by floating in a barrel.

The tourist had scorned the Hawaian’s claim. Now he felt he owed the Hawaiian an apology.

Some months later, a car pulled up at Hotel Duvauchelle and a Hawaiian couple entered the bar. They explained they were descendants of the Hawaian Duvauchelle and had come to seek their Akaroa roots.

It is not surprising the hotel at Duvauchelle should have some stories to tell. Smyth claims it is the oldest pub in New Zealand. Its licence was issued before 1850 and a hotel has traded on the site ever since.

Read more here:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Look Within Yourself


What's it like to be a deacon in the Church of England? Look no further!

Content Catnip

Quirky internet wunderkammer

The Claire Violet Thorpe Express

Where Claire Violet Thorpe's stories come to life!

Just Stimming...

A land we can share (a place I can map)

Turbokitty's Blog


Imperator Fish

A blog about the media, the law, politics, and big fish


Stuff worth sharing


Looking for choice morsels of currents affairs, culture, and politics to chew on. Or spit out hastily. It depends.

Nonoy Manga

Manga, Hand Drawn, Animation, Drawing Lessons.

Oyia Brown

A WordPress site to share a smile; then an anthology showing how things really are.

Friendly Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and Poetry Celebrating Magic and Nature for Kids of all Ages

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom


Il n'y a pas meilleur que ce blog pour les infos



Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

%d bloggers like this: