Thursday, 19 July 2018

St Faiths Anglican Church of Ohinemutu

The Maori Church 

St Faith's was known as the Maori Church during the late 1880's to early 1900's.

1880-1881 Principal Arawa chiefs are making moves to set aside a piece of land at Ohinemutu to build a church, it was to be called St Faith’s.  Part of the Muruika Peninsula is decided on and locals called in Tuhoto to lift the tapu on the area which was a burial ground for earlier residents of that pa. 

“Reverend Ihaia Te Ahu (who has steadfastly labored amidst many discouragements as an ordained clergyman of the Church of England since 1860 amongst his countrymen, the loyal tribe of the Arawa) is very desirous of erecting a church at Ohinemutu where he resides. He feels the great want of a suitable building in which the people may assemble for public worship…. I would therefore very earnestly appeal to the English residents, and to the many visitor and tourists… to contribute towards building of a commodious and suitable Church, such as will be an ornament to the new township.” This article is followed by a subscription list of those who have already contributed. Daily Telegraph 1881-06-01, pg. 4.

Bishop of Waiapu laid the foundation stone on 5 June 1884.
St Faith’s is consecrated in 1885.

Reverend Ihaia Te Ahu is appointed 1st Vicar of St Faith’s in 1882 and remains until 1889.

Rev. F.H. Spencer (son of Seymour) took up residence there in 1887 and remains until 1895.

Showing exterior view of the old St Faiths Church at Ohinemutu
Photographer James Richardson c1895-1930s
'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-6188'

Rev. S. Ingle arrived to take the post in 1896 and Ratema Te Awekotuku is admitted as a deacon. Te Awekotuku serves there until 1902 followed by Walter Tuahangata Fraser until 1905. Frederick Augustus Bennett (born Ohinemutu 1871) is ordained as a deacon in 1896, followed by in 1897 as a priest… takes charge of St Faith’s c1905-1917 he is ordained as the 1st Bishop of Aotearoa. 

Serves until his death in 1950 and is buried under the sanctuary of ‘his’ church.  During his time the new St Faith’s was built and the older one moved and turned to face west c.1910 it was still used as a Sunday school & church hall until Feb 1936 when it collapsed during a severe gale. The pieces of the old church were then removed from the site altogether.

Showing exterior view of the new St Faiths Church at Ohinemutu
Photographer James Richardson
'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-6187' 
For more information see the St Faith's website or their Facebook page.

With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection, Papers Past and Auckland City Libraries for the above info and images.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Missionaries and Early Rotorua Churches

Missions 1831-1880's : Church of England

c.1831 Thomas Chapman & Archdeacon Henry Williams. [Church of England] His 1st Visit to this region.

Part of an Embroidered Wall Hanging, showing the Chapman family,
done by Rotorua Embroider's Guild for the Rotorua Library.
c.1835 Te Koutu Mission Station - destroyed by Te Waharoa 6 Aug 1836.


c.1838 Chapman returns with Mr & Mrs Morgan set up on Mokoia Island.  Mrs Morgan gives birth to the first European child in the district, sadly he died just months later on 16 October 1838 and is buried on Mokoia Is. She had another son 1 month prematurely before leaving the island in 1839.
The Morgan’s left Rotorua c.October 1840 after Mrs Morgan began suffering ill health and it was decided she would be better in Tauranga.

Chapman carries on without the Morgan’s and work gets underway for a new mission at Te Ngae.

1843 Bishop Selwyn arrives on 31st Oct and conducted the Confirmation within the bounds of the ‘Diocese of Waiapu’ 55 Maori were confirmed.

Chapman returns to Rotorua in 1843 and Rev. Spencer .... 

1843 Rev. Seymour M. Spencer arrived at the Te Ngae Mission and resides there until 1845 leaving the area due to ongoing unrest between tribes he moves his family to Kariri at Lake Tarawera where he establishes Te Mu, and is in residence there until c.1861 He is then posted to Auckland leaving the whole Maketu-Rotorua area in the care of Ihaia Te Ahu.     Spencer returns often but Te Kooti’s attack on Te Arawa forced the abandonment of Te Mu.

The 1870's passes without a permanent priest or church existing in the area. Periodically there were visits from various Priests - Marist, Benedictine and Franciscan. 

1876 Chapman returns to visit his Mokoia Island mission, only to die overcome by heat in Hinemoa’ s Pool on 22 Dec 1876. His body was taken to Maketu to be buried with his first wife who had predeceased him in 1855. 

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume X, Issue 1084, 30 August 1881 

from Papers Past


1880-1881 Principal Arawa chiefs are making moves to set aside a piece of land at Ohinemutu to build a church, it was to be called St Faith’s.  Part of the Muruika Peninsula is decided on and locals called in Tuhoto to lift the tapu on the area which was a burial ground for earlier residents of that pa.  

Reverend Ihaia Te Ahu is appointed 1st Vicar of St Faith’s in 1882 and remains until 1889.
St Faith’s is consecrated in 1885. The following postcard shows both the original St Faith's 1885 and the new St Faith's 1914.

Postcard : Overlooking Ohinemutu, circa 1930s. St Faith's Church is visible.
Photograph taken by Sydney Charles Smith. PAColl-5932-33 Alexander Turnbull Library.
Rev. F.H. Spencer (son of Seymour) took up residence there in 1887 and remains until 1895.


Rev. S. Ingle arrived to take the post in 1896 and Ratema Te Awekotuku is admitted as a deacon. Te Awekotuku serves there until 1902 followed by Walter Tuahangata Fraser until 1905. 

Frederick Augustus Bennett (born Ohinemutu 1871) is ordained as a deacon in 1896, followed by in 1897 as a priest… takes charge of St Faith’s c.1905-1917 he is ordained as the 1st Bishop of Aotearoa. Serves until his death in 1950 and is buried under the sanctuary of ‘his’ church.  During his time the new St Faith’s was built and the older one moved and turned to face west c1910 it was still used as a Sunday school & church hall until Feb 1936 when it collapsed during a severe gale. The pieces of the old church were then removed from the site altogether.

Find more information here on the official St Faith's website

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Matariki : The Pleiades

The Pleiades 

Quoting from Elsdon Best's "Astronomical knowledge of the Maori" c.1922. pg's 42-45.

The far-famed star group exalted and venerated by many races from time immemorial...
Maori tells us that 'Matariki' their name for the group is a female... and speak of it as if it were a single-star.  Best quotes Colenso's writings in which he says "I found that the Maori could see more stars in the Pleiades with unaided eye than I could, they see 7 sometimes 8 stars" 

Best goes on to write "Matariki's task is to keep moving in a cluster, to foretell lean and fat seasons, and bringing food supplies to man. Thus Ao-kai is applied to it.  He quotes Sir George Grey's writings that give four other sayings 'Matariki ahunga nui (provider of plentiful supplies), Matariki tapuapua (abundance of pools of water in winter), Matariki hunga nui (has numerous followers) and Matariki kanohi iti (small eyed Matariki).

Best further writes 'A notable event in Maoriland greeted in two ways, by laments for those who have died recently, and by women with singing and posture dances. It is marked by a festival of feasting and universal joy' 

This booklet by Best is available to read in the Don Stafford Room, 2nd Floor of the Rotorua Library.


Review of : "Matariki : the Maori New Year" by Libby Hakaraia.

In her introduction Libby Hakaraia gives the reader a meaning of the word Mata = eyes Ariki = God.
Libby goes on to briefly give an overview of her subject. This is great for those wanting a meaning and reason why Matariki is so important to Maori and the Maori New Year.

For those readers who want to delve deeper into the historic celebration and astronomical lore of Matariki : The Pleiades and other stars of significance to planting, harvesting and storage of food, including birds and fish traditionally caught and preserved in times past.

Throughout this book the author has drawn on research already published, but also from the memories of people such as Hapimana Rikihana (Te Arawa) pg. 30-31, who recalls learning about Matariki with the use of Mahi Whai which recreated the patterns, and facilitated the passing on of stories, cosmology and Maori star law and knowledge.

New Zealand. Tourism Department. Maori girls playing a string game. Ref: PAColl-5671-34.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22710365
Libby Hakaraia goes on in her book to inform the reader of other view points and ancient cultures who have their own legends centered around this group of stars. Throughout this book the author starts each chapter with a quote or proverb and illustrates with photographs and drawings of the traditional kite of Matariki.

This book is available to borrow from the Maori Collection on the 1st Floor at 394.2614z HAK

This amazing kite was made by children who attended the 'Avalanche of Activities'
April 2013 holiday programme at Rotorua Library

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Matariki 2018



Matariki is here again and this year, as with the last few years, 
Rotorua Library has a number of events planned to celebrate and share.



All the above graphics designed by Rotorua Lakes Council and
printed in the Winter Events Guide available from the Rotorua Library.

Some cool resources held by Rotorua Library on Matariki :
These titles are also held in the Don Stafford Room on the 2nd Floor.

  • "The Astrological knowledge of the Maori" by Elsdon Best 520 BES. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Matariki the star of the year" by Rangi Matamua. 394.2614z MAT. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Puanga : star of the Maori new year" by Sam Rerekura. 520z RER. Maori Collection 1st Floor. See also a review of this title in a previous blog post.
  • "Work of the gods : tatai arorangi : Maori astronomy" by Kay Leather 520z LEA. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Stories from our night sky" by Melanie Drewery. 398.2z DRE. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Matariki the Maori new year" by Libby Hakaraia. 394.2614z HAK. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Celebrating the southern seasons" by Juliet Batten. 398.33z BAT. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Matariki education resource" Museum of New Zealand. 394.2614z MAT. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Matariki" New Zealand Language Commission. 394.2614z MAT. Maori Collection 1st Floor.
  • "Maori and the natural world : Te Taiao" by Jennifer Garlick. 305.8994z TE. Maori Collection 1st Floor. 
There also lots of books for children and teens on the ground floor, see our "What's On" June 2018 Newsletter for some titles.

Watch out for the timetable for the School Holiday Programme, there will be some Matariki themed events and crafts to take home.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Vice Regal Tours & Duties in Rotorua 1920-1950s


NZ Governors and Governor-Generals enjoy Rotorua sights

1920 – Sir Charles Fergusson & Lady Fergusson accompanied H.R.H the Prince of Wales on his official visit to the town.




As Governor, Sir Charles Fergusson, was welcomed on the 3rd February 1926, and was kind enough to open the annual bowling tourney. The party was welcomed at Whakarewarewa by Mita Taupopoki and then an extended tour of Whakarewarewa

“A smoke concert was held at Dixieland by the Mayor C. H. Clinkard in honour of the Governor-General”   Auckland Star 8th February 1926.  

On the 27th November 1929 Sir Charles & Lady Fergusson returned to Rotorua on their farewell tour.

Click here to read the article Papers Past







1930 – Governor-General Lord Bledisloe & wife were welcomed by Mita Taupopoki.

With Thanks from the Sir George Grey Special Collections,
Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19300507-45-1 

Entertainment at Dixieland was arranged by Rotorua Mayor Mr T. Jackson & Councillors. Despite the weather (rained lots) the couple were able to visit Tikitere, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Okataina and Ohinemutu. 

Lord Bledisloe also visited several primary schools in the district as well as the King George V Hospital and before leaving visited Sir Joseph Ward (NZ Prime Minister) who was in Rotorua for treatment. In 1931 His Excellency opened the Horohoro Native School.

In 1933 Lord & Lady Bledisloe were joined by Lady Norah Jellicoe, while here they attended the A&P Show and Lord Bledisloe presented the Ahuwhenua Cup (for the encouragement of Maori Farming) to Wiremu Swinton of Raukokore at a ceremony in Ohinemutu.

1935 – Governor-General Viscount Galway with his wife visited on the 6th June. 

Large reception at Ohinemutu where the Viscount was presented a Kiwi cloak, the couple then visited the Model Pa at Whakarewarewa and guided through the hot pools etc. by Guide Rangi. The following day the party visited Waiotapu and viewed the Lady Knox geyser.  Photographs published in the New Zealand Herald 10th June 1935.

Viscount Galway returned in 1939 to present the Ahuwhenua Cup to J.Edwards at Horohoro.

With thanks to the Sir George Grey Special Collections
Auckland City Libraries AWNS_19401127_p029_i001

18 November 1940 - Viscount Galway opened the newly reconstructed Wahiao wharenui, the original being constructed by Mita Taupopoki. The carvings from the original wharenui were preserved and used in the new one, however the tukutuku panels from inside were replaced with new ones made at the NZ Maori Arts & Craft’s Institute.  The reconstruction was to be finished and opened by the end of the Centennial Year.  Two others in Rotorua were scheduled, but did not open until 1943.  See Rotorua Morning Post 18th November 1940.

1941 - Governor-General Sir Cyril Newall & Lady Newall arrived 11th Oct 1941.
The Civic Reception for His Excellency was held in the Town Hall and included a Maori Concert.
He met with a parade of returned soldiers and visited the Bath House and Rotorua Hospital.
Guide Rangi showed the couple around Whakarewarewa, the party also visited Tikitere and Lake Okataina.  

In 1943 during this ‘business’ visit Sir Cyril stayed at the Okataina Fishing Lodge. 
Opened the ‘new’ Tawakeheimoa at Awahou in the morning and the ‘new’ Tama te Kapua at Ohinemutu in the afternoon. 

Governor General Sir Cyril Newall giving his address at the opening of the Centennial Memorial meeting house Tawakeheimoa at Te Awahou Marae, Lake Rotorua. Ref: 1/4-000237-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22431643

Centennial Memorial meeting house Tawakeheimoa at Te Awahou Marae, Lake Rotorua.
Ref: 1/4-000237-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
He also presented the “Boy Scout Assn. Gilt Cross to Arawa Troop of Boy Scouts, Patrol-Leader Rihari Haira in recognition of his prompt, courageous, and meritorious action in rescuing an infant from drowning”.  Evening Post, 22 March 1943.

1946 – Lady Mountbatten visited Rotorua and welcomed at Tama te Kapua.
During her visit she went to the Services Convalescent Hospital (now QE Spa) to speak with the soldiers, some of whom, she remembered seeing in hospitals in Italy.

She also ‘took the salute and carried out an inspection of the district St John’s Ambulance, Nurses and Cadet Units.

Thanks to the K Taylor Collection
Kete Rotorua

1946 – Governor-General Sir Bernard Freyberg, V.C. and Lady Freyberg stayed at the Okataina Lodge.  15th November – 26th November for a holiday after the official visit.

A Guard of Honour of 100 from the 2nd Cadet Battalion of the Rotorua High School parade inspected by His Excellency in front of the Municipal buildings.
Civic Welcome – outside the Municipal Buildings, where the Municipal Band played the National Anthem.  The Boy and Girl Scouts in uniform will supply the Guard of Honour at the Municipal Theatre at 2.30pm.

On Monday afternoon their Excellency’s visited the Public Hospital & Services Conv. Hospital and in the evening at Tama te Kapua a full welcome by Ngati Whakaue.

On Saturday their Excellency’s inspected a parade in front of Blue Baths – of Rotorua and Ngongotaha divisions of St John’s Ambulance.  Followed by a Private luncheon at Crowther House after which Sir Bernard opened the new social hall attached to Crowther House.

Sir Bernard and family made a number of visits to ‘take the waters’ and returned for a Civic Farewell in 1952.

1949 – Sir Willoughby Norrie & Lady Norrie visit with Governor of South Australia spent a fortnight in the district enjoying bathing in the hot pools.

1953 – Governor-General Sir Willoughby Norrie & Lady Norrie with their family arrived 12th May for their first official visit.
On arrival a reception at the Airport was led by 40 members of the Rotorua Pony Club, their excellences’ and children walked along the line patting ponies and talking to riders on both sides of the walk. The club presented Sarah and Annabel Freyberg with membership badges of the club. The children met up with the club again later at the A&P showgrounds.

The Civic Reception was held on the steps of the Town Hall and the Maori Welcome at Whakarewarewa that same day.  The next day the family went sightseeing.

1958 – Governor-General Viscount Cobham and Lady Cobham arrived on the 3rd March to the obligatory Civic Reception outside the Municipal Chambers, the Daily Post records that "there were 1000 citizens present in the bright sunshine".  In the afternoon Lord Cobham was a guest a the R.S.A.

"Rotorua welcomes Lord and Lady Cobham" When he visited Rotorua in 1935 as a member of the touring M.C.C cricket team, he never imagined that one day he might return to New Zealand as the Queen's representative... When he was last here, he said, he vividly remembered stepping back rapidly from a steaming couldron of sulphurous water when Guide Rangi told him the ground on which he was standing was less than half an inch thick" Rotorua Daily Post 3 March 1958. 

The next day His Excellency visited Rotorua High School to address some 4000 children, from all the schools in Rotorua and the Boy Scouts, Cubs, Girl Guides and Brownies also in attendance in uniform. His Excellency endeared himself much to the children by asking for a holiday for the children.  "Their Excellencies then left the dais and moved about among the children....his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Durden-Smith stole the show, "large groups of wide-eyed children who were fascinated by his uniform and the pendant aiguillettes" 

In April His Excellency paid a visit to the Easter Sea Scout Camp at Te Ngae. His Excellency and family stayed at Moose Lodge for a brief holiday in 1961.


Governor General Lord Cobham at the Kelliher art exhibition. Dominion post (Newspaper) :
Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post and Dominion newspapers.
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22762499
With thanks to the Don Stafford Collection, Papers Past and DigitalNZ for the information and images.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Volcanic Eruption of Mt.Tarawera 10 June 1886

The aftermath, 1886-1948.


4 days after the eruption: “Joe Warbrick and C. Humphreys approached Rotomahana by a side route… as they neared the shore of Lake Tarawera there was heavy deposits of mud, but further inland was dry earth. Until approaching the lake once more, it became so soft; they sunk up to their thighs. Rotomahana was still throwing volumes of mud to the height of hundreds of feet. Te Tarata was invisible for steam…The southern portion of the mountain appeared rent from top to bottom. Flames were still visible. They counted seven active craters on Tarawera Peak and others on Ruawahia” Star, 14th June 1886. p.3 

 #Note: Ruawahia is just one of the domes on Mt. Tarawera, also known as the Tarawera Range. 

1 month after the eruption: “an expedition just returned from Tarawera reports that parts of the terraces are definitely destroyed. Mr Warbrick states that 600ft of made ground has been upheaved and a volcanic pit nearly 1,500 ft. deep has been excavated close to the site of the Terraces.” Thames Advertiser, 10 July 1886.

Mount Tarawera Eruption : Untitled, 20.June 1886, Bay of Plenty, 
by Charles Spencer. Gift of J Hector, 1951. Te Papa (LS.004494)

How the men got their measurements is not told, so one assumes they guessed? An official survey was done soon after the eruption by S. Percy Smith who was the Assistant Surveyor-General. You can read what was said via Papers Past, A.J.H.R online or by reading the bound version in the Don Stafford Room, 2nd Floor of Rotorua Library.

Here are some excerpts from the report :
S. Percy Smith notes some events that occurred in the thermal region some years prior to the eruption. In the Taupo Volcanic Zone as it was then known :

In March 1880 the coasts of the Bay of Plenty were strewn with dead fish of all description, with no sign of disease... the conclusion was that White Island had somehow, perhaps through a subterranean vent, spewed out sulfurous matter into the sea around or near the island.

April 1881 a sudden and unaccountable rise in the waters of the Green Lake.
October 1883 "without warning, the water suddenly rose four feet causing a flood to rush down the Wairoa Stream into Lake Tarawera, whilst at the same time the olive-green colour of the lake took on a muddy appearance"

In 1885 "the crater lake of White Island disappeared leaving a dry bed... it remained so to the present time" also "the hot springs at Mt Edgecumbe and Te Teko became much more active"

S. Percy Smith further quotes Gilbert Mair's observance of the 'Atmospheric influence in the case of Te Tarata, the White Terrace..."The great crater, which is about 90 ft. in diameter is usually full of deep-azure-blue coloured water, occasionally boiling up 10-15 ft. ; but when a keen south wind blows the water recedes and you can descend 30 ft. into the crater, which remains empty until the wind changes..."  Apparently not an uncommon event, Josiah Martin records a similar but more spectacular event on 22 November 1885.

On the 10th March 1886, S. Percy Smith was at Wairakei... "on visiting the geyser known as the Twins, he found it to be throwing up water to some 20 ft. after some years of dormancy.

S. Percy Smith concludes that "the Tarawera eruption appears to offer an example of the first stage in the formation of a volcanic mountain. It is in fact an incomplete effort to form a volcano. Whether the energy has exhausted itself in this effort, and matters will remain in a state of quiescence for long ages until it shall have again gathered strength to advance another stage remains to be seen. 1887.

Also around this time (1885) Mt Ruapehu which had previously been considered dormant by both Maori and European settlers was found by Mr W. Cussen on visiting the crater lake to be hot which meant it was no longer dormant.

We know from NZ history that there was a disastrous lahar flow from the crater lake of Mt Ruapehu on Christmas eve of 1953 at Tangiwai, another shortly after midnight on 22 June 1969, a lahar on Mt Ruapehu destroyed the kiosk at the Whakapapa ski field. Thanks to the lateness of the hour, no skiers were at risk. In 1995 from late August to September Mt Ruapehu erupted sending ash clouds kilometers into the air and debris down the mountain.   Those of us living in Rotorua at the time of the 1996 event will remember the ash cloud that descended on us, turning a bright sunny day into gloom and the gas given off from the ash. affected many residents.  (However the roses in my garden loved the ash and bloomed better than ever before in the summer of 1996.)

This photograph was taken outside the Library
around 10.30 am. on the 17th June 1996.

For those of us who live in Rotorua, Mt Tarawera seems to be dormant, however GNS predicts it will blow again at some point in the future. A report written by I.A. Nairn in 1993 gives a very detailed account of what could happen. 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Vice-Regal Tourists to Rotorua


Vice-regal tours and duties in Rotorua.  1870-1911


The first governors were junior British naval and army officers. From the 1860s most were professionals who had governed other British colonies, and from the 1890s they were minor aristocrats. In 1972 the first New Zealand resident, Denis Blundell, became governor-general. Gavin McLean, 'Governors and governors-general', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/governors-and-governors-general (accessed 8 May 2018)Until 1972 all of New Zealand’s governors and governors-general were British, including an array of minor aristocrats from the 1890s onwards. The first New Zealand resident in the job was Sir Denis Blundell, and since then a more diverse group have been appointed. The earlier ceremonial trappings of ermine robes, plumed helmets, sashes and swords have also been largely relegated to the past.

1870 - Visit with H.R.H Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred, Sir George Ferguson Bowen G.C.M.G. was Governor of New Zealand at this time.

28 Jul 1874: NZ Governor, Sir James Fergusson, Baronet P.C. visits Rotorua and Te Wairoa. His suggestion was that the waters of the springs be analysed in Wellington. This was at the beginning of his term in office. 

15 Mar 1876 – Governor ‘Marquis of Normanby’ arrived at Ohinemutu en-route for Rotomahana.

26 January 1881 – Governor ‘Hon. Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon’ visited Ohinemutu, Whakarewarewa & Rotomahana and Te Wairoa.

27th March 1884 – Governor, Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois – visited Ohinemutu for the purpose of unveiling the bust of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. He went on to Rotomahana after the ceremony.

1887 – Lord Onslow visited Rotorua although he was not officially the governor until 1889. On the 28th April 1889 Lord and Lady Onslow arrived from Auckland they were met by 300 natives who welcomed with a ‘war dance’ and the vice-regal carriage was drawn by the natives from the Utuhina Bridge to the Lake House.  Evening Post, 29 April 1889. The Utuhina Bridge at this time was approximately where it is now and was built in 1872 so the locals of Ohinemutu had to draw the carriage approximately 550m. Full story here in the New Zealand Herald.

1891 – Lord Onslow made a brief stop in Rotorua on his way to the Urewera’s to visit the principal chiefs of the district. His party camped just outside Rotorua.  24th Feb 1891.

16 Mar 1891 – The Countess of Onslow, Lady Charles Scott and Miss Gardiner accompanied Lord Onlsow on another trip through Rotorua. The party travelled across to the Ohau Channel by steamer, once there the party got out and walked overland to Lake Rotoiti, leaving the steamer to navigate the channel unencumbered. The party re-joined the launch once it arrived at the lake. This was the first time the steamer had been on Lake Rotoiti. They went over to Ruato Bay where the men disembarked to continue their trek to Ruatoki overland. The ladies of course returned to Rotorua via the steam launch and stayed at the Geyser Hotel, visiting Waiotapu the next day.  Press 16 March 1891. Countess Onslow also visited Rotorua in 1905 when the Wairoa Geyser consented to play for the visitors.

1892 - Sir George Grey K.C.B
Said to be the “first white man to see the Terraces half a century ago” NZH 5th Dec 1892.

“Flags were flown from the Palace Hotel and the Lake House in honour of New Zealand’s Grand Old Man, whose arrival caused some excitement amongst Europeans and Maoris. The Rotorua Brass Band welcomed Sir George to Rotorua as a mark of respect to the veteran statesman”  

 1894 –“Lord Glasgow and his party were met at Rotorua by Sir P. Buckley. The Town Board presented an address of welcome”.  Colonist 18 May 1894.
When visiting Mokoia Island, Lady Glasgow expressed her sympathy in the sufferings of an aged native Keepa Ngakau, who is afflicted with a huge carbuncle on the small of the back… before leaving Rotorua the Countess had a case of cordials and stout made up which she instructed Mr MacDonald to convey to the old man…” Hot Lakes Chronicle 10 June 1896.


Pringle, Thomas, 1858-1931. Pringle, Thomas, 1858-1931 :[Tamatekapua meeting house, Ohinemutu]. Ref: 1/1-003714-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22362702

The meeting house would have looked like this in 1896 until c.1943. 








1898 – Lord Hampden visited on his tour of NZ and pronounced the accommodation ‘lacking’ and the innkeepers were complaining that ‘present charges were inadequate for their needs’

1901 – Premier Seddon along with 800 Imperial troops arrived in Rotorua to make preparations for the visit of HRH Duke & Duchess of York in June.  17th Feb 1901. Premier Seddon and family were regular visitors to Rotorua for holidays also.  (See P.O. Clock)

1902 – Sir Uchter J M Ranfurly.  Presented the Arawa tribes with the flag sent by the Prince of Wales as a memento of his visit last June. While in Rotorua Sir Ranfurly visited Waiotapu.  He returned to Rotorua in 1904 as part a farewell tour of NZ before returning home to England.

1904 – Lord Plunket along with Lady Plunket and their daughter the Hon. Kathleen arrived for a holiday in Ngongotaha. Lord Plunket went trout fishing and the ladies went sightseeing.  This first visit in December of 1904 was supposedly incognito.  He arrived for an official visit as Governor in January 1905 to a Civic Reception and Guided Tour of the town.  The tour of course included Whakarewarewa where Guide Rangi showed Lord Plunket around the sites and Mita Taupopoki escorted Lady Plunket.

Lord Plunket returned for fishing holidays in 1908, 1909 and 1910. Lady Plunket returned for holidays with their daughter in 1904, 1905, 1906 and 1908.  ** Plunket Society of NZ is named after Lady Plunket.

1911 – Lord Islington chose to camp at Awahou on this visit and also in 1912 so that he could go fishing.  “The camp will be of considerable dimensions, as including the household staff, there will be over 20 people to provide for” Auckland Star 5th January 1912.

Lord Islington
From Sir George Grey Special Collections.
AWNS 19120201-p14-i005-b