Governors Bay is named after Governor George Grey who legend would have it, moored his ship in our Bay when welcoming immigrants from the first four ships in 1850.  Our hotel came into existence not long after in 1870 and was named the Ocean View Hotel up until 1980 when it was renamed the Smugglers Arms.  There is actually no recorded evidence that the Governor was ever here and in 2021 who really cares.  Prior to it's renaming, the Bay was also known as Dyer's Bay after John Dyer who helped engineer Dyers Pass and had a guesthouse called Waitahuna which is a grand house not far from the hotel.  

Recently it became known to us that the original Te Reo name for our area was Ōtoromiro, this translates to "the place of the Miro (a native NZ brown pine) or "the place to collect Miro". It is thought that the area was once heavily forested in these trees and that the Māori came here to collect these trees for their whare and to trap the kereru (native wood pigeon) who were attracted to the Miro's distinctive red berries. After consultation with our local marae, we changed the name of hotel to the Õtoromiro Hotel in December 2020 to mark our 150 years and to honour our joint history in Aotearoa. 

The early European settlers in the area were a hardy bunch of mainly farmers who subsisted off the land and aside from beef, sheep and pork there was an abundance of kai from the Bay and fruit and vegetables from the land.  For them, a trip to Christchurch was a rare occasion.  Due to it's maritime climate in the mid-twentieth century the Bay area increasingly became the market gardens of Christchurch and there was an abundance of orchards.  It also became increasingly popular as a honeymoon destination much like a modern day version of Fiji (lol).

Throughout the hotel's existence, it has chiefly relied on the patronage of visitors from over the hill, Otautahi/Christchurch, as the small population of Governors Bay is not enough to support the hotel throughout the year.  This is still very much the case and although we love our locals very much in times like this, post-Covid, it is especially nice that we continue to attract many "flatlanders" over the hill supporting our hotel and the Harbour House cafe across the road from us.

Ocean View Family Hotel

Thomas Butler 1872

John Burrell 1874

Alexander McMillan 1875

J.E. Fitzgerald 1876

Thomas Blythe 1876 -77

Samuel Neale 1877

Frederick Bashford 1879

Mr Pymm 1881

H. Kennedy 1884

C. Hill 1884

M. Clarke 1889

A. Constable 1892 – 97

Thomas Daly 1898

Joseph Bower 1898-1902

E.J. Brownie 1903

J.R. Couzens 1904

T.P. Fox 1904-1905

John Jackson 1907

Peter Hartshorn 1907-1908

George Parsons 1908-1909

Daniel J. Kelleher 1910-11

W.J.A. Clay 1912-1913

Alan Vincent Dodd 1913

Alfred Isherwood 1914 -1916

G.R. Whittington 1917

Peter Bamford 1918-1921

Arthur Wellwood 1922-1923

C. Holland 1923-24

H.J. Jack ?

G.L. Columbus 1925-1927

Stewart Peters 1928

Jack Steel

Roy Scott

Ron McGee

Tom Blumsky

Dave Rogers 1940-1965
Lance Haywood 1965

Pat & Judy McCarthy 1965-1975

Smugglers Arms

Dave Sturrock

Julie Adams

Dave Fraser

Ron Smart

Neville Cowles

Tony Leconte


Governors Bay Hotel

Tony Adcock 2000-2003

Jeremy & Clare Dyer 2003-2020

Ōtoromiro Hotel

Jeremy & Clare Dyer 2020 - present