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View from Winterhome Gardens, Kēkerengū
View from Winterhome Gardens, Kēkerengū

Kēkerengū village is situated near the mouth of the Kēkerengū River which runs into the sea at a rock promontory north of the Clarence River, approximately mid way between Blenheim and Kaikōura on State Highway One in the current Kaikōura District, within the historic Marlborough provincial boundaries.  The village was first established in the early nineteenth by a young Ngāti Ira chief, Kēkerengū, who was forced to flee to Omihi after falling off side with one of Te Rauparaha's lieutenants in 1829. The Kekerengu station, in its original form, was New Zealand's second largest, running between the Kekerengu River and the Clarence. An extensive illustrated diary of life on Kēkerengū Station in the 1860s was made by William Webster Hawkins, who served as a tutor for J D Tetly's sons, is held by the Alexander Turnbull Library. Two cob buildings were built in 1868 for J.D.Tetly which have since been restored and can be visited as part of a wine tour run by Sleepers Vineyard.

Following local government reforms in 1989, Kēkerengū ceased to be part of what became Marlborough District, and fell within the newly created Kaikōura District. 2013 Census data for Kēkerengū and its surrounding area records a population of 84 people spread between 30 households.

A community centre is located in Kēkerengū Valley Road, on the site of the former Kēkerengū School, and includes tennis courts, a hall, a fire station, and some children's play equipment.

The Store is a popular restaurant and cafe on State Highway One. It was closed for a period of time following the Kaikōura earthquake, however has since reopened. Before the current Store was built, a service station and convenience store existed on the site for many years.

The historic St. George's Church, opened in 1942 is reputedly the smallest church in regular use in New Zealand.

Winterhome Garden, is a spectacular privately owned formal garden to the west of State Highway One, established in 1939, and recognised as a garden of national significance.

The area was severely damaged by the November 2016 Magnitude 7.8 earthqake, with the Kēkerengū Fault experiencing the most significant displacement of any of the faults that ruptured during the earthquake, with surface displacement of up to 12 metres horizontally. Following the earthquake, for more than a year, Kēkerengū was only accessible by road from Marlborough.

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