Story: Sport and society

Wairarapa races, 1852

Wairarapa races, 1852

This watercolour by John Pearse shows horse races on the Ruamāhanga plains, south Wairarapa, in 1852. The spectators include both Europeans and Māori. The painting suggests how quickly organised sports events such as horse races or cricket games spread to settled areas of the country. This event took place within a few years of Europeans establishing homes in the area.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: E-455-f-070-1
Watercolour by John Pearse

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Greg Ryan, 'Sport and society - Sport comes to New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Greg Ryan, published 5 Sep 2013