The Founding Years in Rotorua A History of Events to 1900 by D. M. Stadford


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The town of Rotorua, in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island and the centre of its thermal region, was established over 100 years ago. . In Rotorua the distinctions are unusual: major Maori habitation, abounding thermal activity and a consequent flow of tourist visitors, lakes as waterways and gracious amenities, a period of guerilla warfare, dense forest that gave an early timber industry and yielded to abundant agriculture, isolation and terrain that made transport difficult, and government involvement that was mainly expressed as a difficult and distant bureaucracy. Rotorua’s birth came with the introduction of the Thermal Springs Districts Act and 1882 saw its infancy begin. It was not a birth that was entirely welcomed. The earlier European settlers bitterly resisted attempts to prize them away from the ‘old town’ at Ohinemutu. There was no joy for the Maori either, for the grand scheme to lease the new township to a host of clamouring would-be investors turned sour and left the Maori owners lamenting. However, despite this inauspicious start, economic depression and the devastating eruption of Mount Tarawera, the settlement survived and gradually prospered. Major aspects of its success have been the blending of Maori and European cultures and the absence of serious conflict in the town since the two first met. Those who built Rotorua were remarkable people. They persevered in the face of heavy odds to establish themselves in a challenging area, and turned a steaming, scrub-covered wilderness into a bustling town that was soon to see royalty in its midst. Their joys, woes, achievements and disappointments from the earliest times to the end of the 19th century are recounted in this volume, based on the records left by its Maori and European inhabitants. The result is an historical record of a unique city and region in its colonial period, supported by many illustrations

Hardback, 1986, 448pages, very good condition