The Gear Homestead: Bistro & Venue

Our Services

Sadly i have sold the business and the new owners will take over in Mid December, with so much going on I have decided to close the bistro from the 14th November onwards. We will be doing Christmas parties, up until the 12th December. Thank you all for your support over the years, and the new owner will be intouch soon to let you know his plans for the place.

thanks again Lorna Shelton

At Gear Homestead Bistro & Venue we offer a variety of services for you

Book our Venue for Business, a personal Party or your special Wedding Day

Visit us in our Bistro on weekends (Friday to Saturday) Till 14th November Book now from 5 to 8 pm

Get a professional catering with Red Herring Catering working at Gear Homestead’s kitchen

About Gear Homestead

Gear Homestead ‘Okowai’ is a historic building in Porirua, New Zealand. It was listed by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (since renamed to Heritage New Zealand) as a Category 2 historic place in 1983.

Gear Homestead is significant because of its association with James Gear, a butcher who founded the Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing Company. The company was one of the largest employers in Wellington and also played a large part in the development of Petone.

Gear Homestead was acquired by chef and caterer Lorna Shelton after emigrating to New Zealand to join other family members from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Lorna established Red Herring Catering in 2003. The first Red Herring kitchen was in the picturesque Ohariu Valley, but moved to bigger premises in Newlands Mall in 2004. Once acquired, Red Herring Catering moved to the Gear Homestead kitchens and is still running today.

Gear Homestead was renovated in 2015 adding to the building new central heating and earthquake resilience protection. Working along with Red Herring Catering, Gear Homestead is now house for the Gear Homestead Bistro and Venue.


Gear Homestead was the perfect location for the type of wedding we wanted. We wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception, with the option of being indoors if the weather was bad. All of our wishes could be accommodated at Gear Homestead. We were more than happy with the beautiful setting, as well as service and food. Fortunately the weather was perfect and the day ran like clockwork, which meant we could just relax and enjoy it. We also had excellent feedback from our guests. We would have no hesitation recommending Gear Homestead as an outstanding wedding venue, and if we had to do it all again, we wouldn’t make any changes, as the day was perfect.

— Darryn & Doreen Leighton, Wedding Testimonial 2016

Think we have just found our new favourite restaurant. The food is amazing and priced really reasonably. My steak was cooked so well that it didn’t matter that I wasnt given a steak knife.
Amazing view. The best place to watch a great sunset. Cant wait for Summer and dining whilst looking at the beautiful water view. I strongly recommend everyone to go and support this amazing local business you wont be disappointed.

— Phillippa Roil Glendenning, Bistro Testimonial 2020

Thank you very much for making our party such a successful occasion. It all looked so special & it was great to be allowed to make the venue our own. Everyone we have dealt with has been pleasant & co-operative , so altogether a good experience. Please thank all of your staff who had a part before & during. Friends who hadn’t been before thought it was a beautiful venue & will keep it in mind for future celebrations.

— Armstrong Family, Birthday Party Testimonial 2017