Meremere is a small town in the northern Waikato region in the North Island of New Zealand. It is located on the east bank of the Waikato River, 50 kilometres north of Hamilton.

Meremere is located in North Island
Coordinates: 37°19′S 175°04′E / 37.317°S 175.067°E / -37.317; 175.067Coordinates: 37°19′S 175°04′E / 37.317°S 175.067°E / -37.317; 175.067
CountryNew Zealand
DistrictWaikato District
 • Total468

Meremere was the site of fighting in 1863 during the New Zealand Wars, at which time the settlement (then known as Mere Mere) was the site of a Māori defensive outpost.

For a number of years a coal-fired power station operated in Meremere, and much of the workforce lived in the town. The station was the first government-built large scale thermal power station, opening in 1958 and was a notable landmark for travellers along State Highway 1, which runs past the town. An aerial ropeway carried buckets of coal to the station from the Maramarua coal mine. The station closed in 1991 and there were plans during the 1990s to convert the station into a waste to energy plant, using waste from Auckland. These plans, known as the Olivine project, did not eventuate. In more recent times plans were in place for the station to be dismantled, however the remains of the station have been granted a reprieve and a 10-year agreement is now in place to use the site as a recycling center.[1]

In the 2013 New Zealand census the population was 468, an increase of 6 people from the previous census in 2006. The town's population is predominantly Māori (about 57% in the 2013 census).[2]

Drag stripEdit

Meremere Dragway,[3] New Zealand's only permanent drag racing facility, is nearby and hosts many popular motorsports events throughout the year including Import All-Stars, 4&Rotary Nationals, Nostalgia Drags, the IHRA[4] Championships and Nightspeed Dragwars. In addition, a new motorsports circuit has been constructed alongside State Highway 1 to the south of Meremere at Hampton Downs.


Panorama taken from the site of the historic in 2012, facing the highway and river. The power station is on the right.