Friday, 4 September 2020

Tulips in Rotorua

History of tulips

The tulip was originally a wild flower growing in Central Asia. It was first cultivated by the Turks as early as 1000AD. 

The Turkish word for tulip is lale. It is believed that the botanical name tulipa is derived from the Turkish word for turban. Although it is not known if this is reference to the flower's shape or because Turks often wore the flower tucked into their turban.

Tulips were introduced to Western Europe and the Netherlands in the late 16th century. Today tulips are largely associated with Holland. Tulip festivals are well known in Holland and Holland is often called the 'flower shop of the world'.

Settlers introduced flowers to New Zealand and tulips were being advertised for sale as early as 1850. The Christchurch Horticultural Society highlighted tulips at a flower show in 1883.

Wellington Independent, 5 June 1850. Courtesy of Papers Past.
Wellington Independent. 5 June 1850. Source: Papers Past.

Tulips in Rotorua

When Governor-General, Sir Cyril Newall and Lady Newall visited Rotorua in October 1941 Lady Newell was presented a bouquet of tulips by the Mayoress.

Rotorua has always had great displays of tulips blooming around the inner city, Government Gardens, and Kuirau Park.

Tulips in Kuirau Park. Source: Rotorua Photo News, Oct 24, 1970.

Government Gardens opening day of croquet season. Source: Rotorua Photo News, Dec 14 1963

Rotorua hosted a Tulip Festival in 2014. The event was hosted annually for another 3 years. The festival saw over 100,000 tulips planted throughout the city and series of public events held.

Below are a selection of photos from the Rotorua Tulip Festival. To see more visit the library to see our September 2020 display.

Photo: Alison Leigh

Photo: Rachael Reid

Photo: Rachael Reid

Photo: Rachael Reid

Photo: Alison Leigh

This blog was written by Graeme. With thanks to the Rotorua Library Heritage Collections and Archives. Also thank you to Abigail Hartevelt, Alison Leigh, Dave Moulden, Kowhai Epapara, Kathy Nicholls, Rachael Reid (, and Trish Brown.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Family History Month 2020

The Kusabs family of Rotorua

August is known as Family History Month so this year I thought, why not select a family that had deep and wide connections in Rotorua. I'd noted the Kusab building on the corner of Arawa and Tutanakei Street, and of course the beautiful big house at the top of Fenton Street, once the Landmark Restaurant, that had connections to the Kusabs family. Then there are the street names, Kusabs, Edmund, Nairn, etc. So I began searching and looking to see what I could uncover about this family. And isn't that the way it is with even your own family research - certain things jump out at you, and then it draws you on. My apologies to the present day Kusabs family members for any mistakes and gaps, and thanks to Andrew Kusabs who filled in some of my gaps and provided interesting snippets of the family. So, let's begin our journey back in the 1800s. 

I'm starting with Henry and Emily Kusabs. Born in the 1830's, Henry Edmund Kusabs was from Eastern Prussia. Part of the German Navy, Henry traveled to China where he left the navy and sometime in 1858 came to New Zealand. Naturalised in 1863, for some years he was involved in coastal shipping. Henry settled in Ohaupo where he milked 50 cows and established sawmills where he processed local trees and sold the timber. He was involved in local body matters, business, education and the Anglican Church. 

Article supplied by Andrew Kusabs

His wife, Emily Prentice came to New Zealand with Bishop Selwyn. Whether to be governess to his children, or to teach at the school he established, I'm not sure. They met at the Cathedral, fell in love and eventually married. When she and Henry moved to Ohaupo, she taught her sons and other local children in her home. Eventually a school was built and she was appointed the head teacher.

Photo from Winds of change: a history of the European settlement of 
 Ohaupo by Valerie Millington for the Ohaupo School 125th Jubilee Committee

All the books I checked talked about the three sons they had, George Arthur, Andrew Ernest and Charles Edmund.  However, in the Historic Birth, Death and marriage records, I discovered the birth of a fourth son, born between Andrew and Charles, Michael Herbert. He died of tetanus aged 7. Then I discovered a fifth son, Frederick William, who died as a three year old.

Waikato Times 18 January 2014

Sons Andrew Ernest and Charles Edmund leased land in Mamaku where they had a saw-milling business. However, by 1901 the company had been sold with the tramway being sold in 1905. A timber yard was established in Hinemoa Street for genuine dry land timber. Henry and Emily followed their sons to Rotorua in about 1905.

Hot Lakes Chronicle, 13 November 1895, p 3
Papers Past

George Arthur, an accountant, married Phoebe Emmeline Hardwick had 3 daughters, and eventually moved to Auckland. One of his daughters, Lillian, married an American serviceman and moved to the States. When she died another daughter, Phyllis, went to the States and brought the children back to New Zealand where she raised them.

Andrew Ernest, timber merchant, married Lucy Ngamihi Dansey, daughter of Roger Delamere Dansey, who was the postmaster during the Tarawera eruption, 1886. When they married in 1898 Andrew presented Lucy with Moeranga Villa in Pukaki Street as a wedding dowry.  This building was added on to overtime, passing out of the family and eventually becoming the Regent Hotel.

Regent Hotel (original Kusabs house) north east corner Rangiuru/Pukaki streets, circa 1940,
Photographer unknown, Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (CP-2729) 

Unfortunately Lucy died in 1906. leaving two young boys, Roger and William (Billy). Andrew later remarried, Louisa Lillian Phipps who managed the tea rooms in the Government Gardens, and they had another son, Samuel. It was Andrew who built the Kusabs building on the corner of Tutanekai and Arawa Street. Andrew also owned a launch business, the Rotorua Oil Launch Company. 

Kusabs Building on corner of Tutanekai and Arawa Streets

Photo of launch on Lake Rotorua early 1900's, supplied by Andrew Kusabs

Charles Kusabs married Cora Amelia Penn, and they had one son. After Cora died, Charles married a widow, Mrs Dorothea Nairn (where Nairn Street comes from). Charles moved into the car business. He ran tours, taking tourists around the Hot Lakes district and also owned a garage. His son Arthur was one of his drivers and eventually took over the business. Charles was also responsible for building the beautiful house at the top of Fenton Street. His love of golf drove him to be involved in the establishment of the Golf Course, where he was practicing on the day he died. 

Charles Kusabs, wife Cora and son Prentice in car outside their house, south east
corner Fenton and Meade streets, circa 1906, photographer unknown, Rotoura
Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (CP-2729)

During 1918 Prentice Arthur trained as a pilot but he did not go overseas. He expanded the car tourism business to include buses running from Rotorua to Opotiki.  Arthur, went on to become the Mayor of Rotorua during the war years, 1942-43.

Arthur Kusabs and mates. Arthur sitting on left side of plane
Photograph supplied by Andrew Kusabs

Rotorua Borough Council, 1946, Panora Studio (Moore & Thompson), 
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa(OP-6426)

Thank you for reading this brief blog about an early Rotorua family. I hope you'll come into the library, and visit the 2nd floor where we have a display on the Kusabs family, including a family tree which I know is incomplete. However, family stories are always growing, often waiting for another member to provide a link.  We also hope you will be able to attend some of our Family History Events during the month of August.

With thanks to Papers Past, Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa, Peggy Allen, Bryon Somervel and the Don Stafford Collection. Many thanks to Andrew and Hazel Kusabs for sharing some family stories and photographs with me. 

Written by Trish

Friday, 3 July 2020

Norma Mae Evans: Through the Decades

Norma and Bob Evans: Early Settlers of Rotomahana

Norma, and her husband Bob, arrived in the Rotorua area in 1955, from Kurow, North Otago, where they settled on a farm in Rotomahana.  The farm was a returned servicemen’s settlement. In Norma’s own words “Everyone worked very hard, coped with the mud, the deficiencies and lived on £7 per week.” 

Each dairy unit consisted of about 120 acres and 60 cows, the units had a ‘part house’ a shed and a walk through cow shed.   Norma describes the ‘part house’ they arrived at, ‘they consisted of one large and one small bedroom, a living room, kitchen and a bathroom come wash-house”  The first thing they bought on arrival was a pair of gumboots for all six of them!
They were to farm there for 27 years. Husband, Bob, was a farmer when they married in 1946, but Norma was a town girl, she much adjusting to do!

:Rerewhakaaitu 21st Jubilee Committee, 12th July 1975. Page 14

In Norma’s book ‘Rotomahana: Returned Servicemen’s farm settlement 1953, 1954, 1955’ published 2012, she gives a history of the area both the physical and the community of people that formed those early years. There are photographs that show what they arrived to and how they developed the ‘farm’ and their family grew up. Norma also recalls the early days of the Rotomahana WDFF, in which she was an active member, and in the 1960s, president. 

During her time in the district Norma was also involved in other community events and organisations, these being: the Rerewhakaaitu Youth Club started by Norma and Triss Hill; the Co-ordination Committee where she persuaded the Education Department to provide educational ‘day classes’ for rural women out in the Rotomahana, Lake Okaro area; Norma was on school, hall and church committees;  Anti-Litter Committee; Civil Defence; Road Safety Committee; A&P Association and in the 1980s was a Lakes Inspector.  

From : Rotomahana: returned servicemen’s farm settlement, 1953, 1954, 1955.
Written by Norma Evans

In 1981 Norma and Bob restored the ‘Hickey’s Flat farm cottage’ it was a cottage constructed of Kauri, and nearly 70 years old. This cottage they donated to the Te Amorangi Museum c.1981 and thus Evansville came into being. Norma donated much of her collection of memorabilia and reminiscences to the Museum and formed a long relationship with the trust.
Sadly, Norma was to lose ‘her dear Bob’ in 1984.  Norma wrote his biography and published it in 1998.

Norma has documented her life and many life experiences in 3 books entitled “Oh dear me” and a biographical publication on her parents.  In 2012 she wrote ‘Rotomahana: returned servicemen’s farm settlement’ and in 2016 published Rotomahana mud: farming it, coping with it, living on it, 1955”

In 1988 Norma was awarded for “a lifetime’s commitment to people” by the Rotorua North Rotary Club. She received a Service Award, presented by Grahame Hall.

In 1993, Norma was awarded a “Women’s Suffrage Award” and in 1997 she was awarded an M.N.Z.M. New Zealand Order of Merit, for her community work.

In 1995, Norma was awarded a Rotorua District Council Community Award.

But of course Norma did not stop there with her contributions to her community,  continuing…

Norma is pictured here with Council and Library staff and two of her daughters in 2010.

Norma donated her memoirs and some of her collection to the Rotorua Library, for which we are very grateful. She also donated much to the Te Amorangi Museum and the Rotorua Museum. 

Here Norma is at the Rotorua Library to launch her book on Rotomahana, c.2012

This is Norma on her 90th Birthday, at her final residence
Cantabria Home and Hospital.
Norma died on 18 April 2017. Wife of Bob. Mother and mother-in-law of Janice and Rob, Eleanor, Annette and Sandra.

To read her obituary click here

With thanks to The Rotorua Daily Post and Rotorua Library Heritage Collections for this blog post

Friday, 5 June 2020

The Discovery and Naming of Rotorua

It began in Hawaiiki with a man called Tamatekapua and his dog Potakatawhiti. Potakatawhiti was killed, cooked and eaten by a tohunga. This incident led to a series of events that led Tamatekapua and others to leave Hawaiiki and start a voyage of discovery. Two waka (large sailing vessels) set off. One waka was called Te Arawa and captained by Tamatekapua and the other waka was called Tainui and captained by Hotunui. This account is about the Te Arawa waka.

The Te Arawa waka made landfall at Maketu and Tamatekapua claimed the land from the Coromandel Peninsula to south of Maketu. A number of people moved from Maketu to other places; north to Tauranga, south to Whakatane and inland to the Rotorua District. Tamatekapua eventually settled in the Coromandel Peninsula.

An anchor stone prop similar to one used by ancient waka
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa 

The Rotorua District was discovered by a young man named Ihenga who travelled a lot. While exploring the forest inland from Maketu for delicacies for his pregnant wife, his dog who had run ahead of him, returned sick. The dog lay down and vomited up some fish. Ihenga realised that water wasn’t far away. On his next trip, Ihenga explored further inland and discovered two lakes. He named the two lakes Te-Rotowhaiti-kite-a-Ihenga (the narrow lake seen by Ihenga), now known as Lake Rotoiti. The other lake he named Te-Rotorua-nui-a-kahu (the large basin like lake of kahu – meaning kahumatamomoe), now known as Lake Rotorua.

Five generations passed when a descendant of Tamatekapua, Rangitihi, expanded the territories once more. Rangitihi was a mighty warrior. During one particular battle Rangitihi was injured. He had a serious head injury. Don Stafford’s (1986) account of this event described Rangitihi’s injury as his, “head was split asunder from top to bottom”.  Rangitihi told one of his men to cut a length of the akatea vine and to bring it to him. Rangitihi used this to bind his wound so that he could go back to the battle and fight with his men. He won this battle. This event earned him the name, Rangitihi-te-upoko-i-takaia-ki-te-akatea (Rangitihi whose head was bound with the Akatea). Rangitihi achieved great things during his lifetime. He was a father of eight children who individually became important ancestors of the hapū (sub-tribes) of Te Arawa. The Arawa people today are often referred to as, Nga Pumanawa e waru (the eight great strengths of Rangitihi).

Looking down on Pakotore pa – Paengaroa, Circa 1970, photographer John Johns (b.1924, d.1999)
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (OP-2646)
It was during Rangitihi’s time that the first major exodus from Maketu began. The remains of three pa sites (Pakotore, Matapara and Te Hoe a Taunga) can be seen today, close to the Rotorua to Te Puke highway.

Tuahu [Altar] of Rangitihi, circa 1965, photographer Don Stafford (b.1927, d.2010)
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (OP-3433)

Rangitihi and his family spread inland to Rotorua and eventually occupied a fortified village near the Ohau channel called Rangiwhakakapua. Collectively, Rangitihi and his sons occupied all of the land in Rotorua and beyond except, Te Motutapu-a-Tinirau (Mokoia Island).

First fosse of Paengaroa pa, Matapara., Circa 1958, photographer Don Stafford (b.1927, d.2010)
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (OP-3435a)

Mokoia Island was occupied by the descendants of Ika, an original crew member of Te Arawa. One of Rangitihi’s sons, Rangiwhakaekeau, visited the village of Te Teko. He fell in love with a beautiful woman named Uenukurauiri who returned his feelings. When Rangiwhakaekeau left to return to Rotorua he said to Uenukurauiri, ‘if our child is a girl name her after the current in the Rangitaiki river and if the child is a boy name him after the clouds which drift in the sky’ (Don Stafford, 1986). During the birth of Uenukurauiri’s baby, she was in labour for a long time. Wanting the pain to stop she asked the tohunga to recite the genealogy of Rangiwhakaekeau. Shortly after a baby boy was born. She named him Rangiteaorere (born of the drifting cloud).

Te Hoe a Taunga Pa, Circa 1958, photographer Don Stafford (b.1927, d.2010)
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (OP-3434b)

Rangiteaorere grew to become a respected and powerful warrior. When he was a young man he visited his father at Rangiwhakakapua marae at Mourea and stayed. He eventually raised an army and led them across to Mokoia Island which they successfully attacked and occupied. Now the whole of the Rotorua district was occupied by Rangitihi’s descendants.

This post is written by Ani Sharland with thanks to Don Stafford's Research Notes and objects & photographs from Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa

Friday, 1 May 2020

Ana Hato & Deane Waretini

Since 2001 May has been New Zealand Music Month. It will be a very different Music Month this year. This month we look back and celebrate Rotorua cousins Ana Hato and Deane Waretini, Snr, who made history for being the first vocalists to record Māori music commercially.

Deane Waretini and Ana Hato, Thermal Studios Rotorua portrait
Source: Rotorua Maori Choir Souvenir Programme. Town Hall, Tauranga, Friday, October 18, 1929
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa.

In 1927 Hato and Waretini performed at a reception for the Duke and Duchess of York at Ohinemutu. This performance was recorded by staff from the Australian branch of Parlophone Records. This recording was released on a shellac 78rpm disc making it the first Māori recording to be released commercially.

Hato and Waretini were later invited to Sydney, Australia in 1929 to record more waiata for Parlophone Records. Together they recorded 14 records of traditional and contemporary Māori music.

Hato and Waretini's recordings found an new audience when they were reissued on CD in 1996.

Advertisement, NZ Herald, 27 May 1927, p. 7. Papers Past.

Advertisement, NZ Herald, 2 May 1931, p. 17. Papers Past.

Parlophone record (reissue) - The Great Songs of Ana Hata and Deane Waretini

Ana Matawhaura Hato was born in 1906. Her father was of Ngāti Whakaue descent and her mother of Tuhorangi descent. Hato died in Rotorua on December 8, 1953, aged 47, and is buried at Whakarewarewa.

Deane Waretini Snr, was Hato's first cousin (her mother was his father's sister). Waretini died on 13 December 1962, aged 62.

This blog post was written by Graeme. Special thanks to Don Stafford collection, Papers Past.

Friday, 24 April 2020

ANZAC - Remembering Animals in War

Purple Poppies. Purple poppies?? I thought poppies were red!

So what is the meaning of purple poppies?

The following quote appears on the  Auckland War Memorial Museum website:
To commemorate the deeds and sacrifices of all animals in war, the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation (AWAMO) has issued a purple poppy, which can be worn alongside the traditional red one, as a reminder that both humans and animals have and continue to serve. AWAMO is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers who are dedicated to ensuring these animals are remembered
The purple poppy was first introduced by Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation in 2013.

Two different purple poppy badges produced by Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation.
 Kindly lent by Graeme Cash

In 2016 the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation opened Australia's first international war animal monument in Pozieres, France.

When war broke out in 1914, Bess (whose former name was Zelma) was donated to the Government for military action. She was paired with Captain Charles Guy Powles. They served together in the Middle East. At the end of the war, Bess was repatriated to England and undertook twelve months quarantine before returning to New Zealand in 1920. Bess and Powles eventually settled at Flock House and that was where Bess lived out her days and eventually died in 1934. She was buried on land  there and a monument was erected.

Bess, free of her saddle at last. Photo courtesy of Terry Kinloch. Thanks to Susan Brocker

Each year, after the ANZAC service at Bulls,  a memorial service is held at the monument.
Bess was one of only four horses who returned to New Zealand from World War One, of the close to 10,000 horses that served. A group of knitters in Bulls, create purple poppies which are displayed at the service to remember the horses and other animals who did not return.

Memorial to Bess.  Thanks to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.
The memorial is on private land and not accessible to the public.

Rotorua had one known soldier who served in World War One as a Field Artillery driver. Cecil Henry Goodson, as a driver,  was in charge of caring for the horses . Unfortunately, Cecil did not come home, dying on 5th September 1918  in France aged 20.  In 2018, Jared Lewis entered the following artwork using the soldier profile of Cecil Henry Goodson in the Museum's Art of Remembering competition for which he won an Excellence in Art Award.

Cecil Henry Goodson and horse. Thanks to Jared Lewis

Another famous World War One character was Caesar, a bulldog who was the mascot of the 4th Battalion (A Company) New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Caesar was a  Red Cross dog, trained to look for wounded Allied soldiers. His owner and handler was Tom Tooman. Tom survived the war, but unfortunately Caesar was shot and died while helping a wounded New Zealand soldier. Caesar's official collar, misspelt as "Ceaser" is held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. On 27 February 2019 the National Army War Museum in Waiouru awarded Caesar the Blue Medal. This is an award for bravery and Caesar is the first recipient.

Caesar. Image permission kindly provided by Patricia Stroud. 'Caesar, the Anzac dog',
(Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 11-Jun-2019

The library holds a variety of material featuring animals and humans working together in times of war. Below are some recommended reads:

Children's Illustrated Work STR

Children's Fiction BRO

Children's Illustrated Work BEC

YA Fiction KIW

1st floor DVD Collection
940.426 ANZ

Here in Rotorua, our group of Wacky Warmers who meet weekly at the Library, have created all the knitted purple poppies. We are very thankful to Lorraine and the other ladies.

Purple poppies created by the Wacky Warmers knitting
 group who meet weekly at Te Aka Mauri

This blog was written by Trish. Thanks to Heritage New Zealand, Patricia Stroud, Susan Brocker, Rotorua Museum, Jared Lewis, Terry Kinloch and the Rotorua Wacky Warmers.

For further information about different and additional animals who served alongside our forces please visit the following websites:

Friday, 6 March 2020

Rainbow and Fairy Springs : a brief history

Rotorua Tourism at it's best.

Fairy Spring = Te Puna a Tuhoe 
The name derives from Tuhoe-potiki, eponymous ancestor of the Tuhoe tribe. Tuhoe was able to spend some time in this district while travelling to Waikato. His residence here was close to this spring which from that time was known by his name. in Pakiwaitara: Te Arawa stories of Rotorua by Don Stafford. c.1999
*Trout were imported into NZ from c.1867, and the 1st trout ova (an American Brook Trout) were released in Rotorua was 1874.

*The earliest recorded memories and diaries of intrepid tourists to our fair region have been published in newspapers of the late 1800's and up to 1945. These newspapers are accessible via New Zealand National Library digital website Papers Past.

Here are some excerpts about the Fairy Spring which was made famous by those early tourists :

Auckland Star 8/4/1899, an excerpt from ‘A trip to Rotorua’ by John Millar. 

NZ Times 26 Apr 1899, an excerpt from “NZ’s Wonderland Visited” by J.G.
…”Fairy Spring throws up 5 gallons per day of icy cold water…”

Manawatu Herald 11 Dec 1900, an excerpt  from ‘The wonderland of NZ’ by Chas Austin.
… ‘Fairy Springs 2 ½ miles from Rotorua is a very pretty sight (Guide 6d) and should not be missed”

Photographs by J. Batchelor, printed in "Rotorua: Wonderland of New Zealand"
(publication date not known).

Some famous tourists who visited the Spring were :
  • The Prince of Wales in 1920
  • The American Fleet in 1925
  • The Duke and Duchess of York in 1927
Some other milestones of the Springs :
Owners Bert & Mavis Fort added Aviaries of introduced birds, a Tea House, and baby animals for children to enjoy. Other animals joined the family too, a deer named 'Lulu', a wallaby named 'Joey', goats named 'Punch' and 'Judy' 

There was also a shop where souvenirs could be purchased 'in good taste without being expensive' 

Photograph by Don Cole in "Rainbow Springs-Rotorua New Zealand" published c.1977.

To see a copy of their brochure come in to the Library and see our display on the 2nd floor.

To visit the Te Puna a tuhoe spring today
go along to the Mitai Village on Fairy Springs Road.

Rainbow Springs and Motor Camp 

c.1921 – The piece of land, later to be developed into Rainbow Springs, was owned by Mrs Duffle who kept a few cows. [Peggy Allen ‘Rural community, Rotorua,  1920”]

c.1929 Ted Bruce purchases the property develops the Camping Ground with the Springs as an add-on.  

This photograph was taken at the Springs in 1938 and is the property of Lorna Bartlett
This copy kindly lent by Ray Punter
This photograph was taken at the same pool as above in 1939
Pictured is Hazel Pilcher with a friend.
This copy kindly lent by Ray Punter

The following advertisement appeared in the New Zealand Herald in 1938.

From Library records we know that Mr. J. E. Mills purchased the springs in 1967 and developed the springs part of the business.

And in 1973 – Rainbow Motor Camp & Springs, merges with Fairy Spring.  Mr T. R. Woolliams who bought the lease of Fairy Springs for $60,000, 2 years ago, has decided to sell the Springs so that he can spend more time with his other commitments. In Daily Post. 

1975 – A new nocturnal Kiwi House opens – Kiwis were fed on beef heart cut in strips to resemble worms; spaghetti; fruit; vegetables and thiamine supplement.  

Here a Rainbow Springs staff member prepares the food
ably assisted by the Kereru on her head.
Photograph by Don Cole in "Rainbow Springs-Rotorua New Zealand" published c.1977
A continuous walk between the two parks is added c.1980 and in 1986, Rainbow Farm opens on opposite side of Fairy Springs Road.

1987 saw the opening of a Tuatara enclosure.

Page one of the Rainbow Springs brochure c.1996 

The springs at that time also had a number of other native and introduced species which could be fed by purchasing the food at the springs shop.
These included Red Deer, Captain Cooker pig, and a Thar.

In the 1990's further development of the springs included a $1.5 million upgrade, a restaurant, an underground viewing room, a new entrance and new attractions at the Rainbow Farm. The Springs was sold to another owner c.1995.  

A few more milestones as found in the Daily Post: 
2003 – Rainbow Farm Show sold the owners of Mt Tarawera 4WD Tours.
2004 – ‘Kiwi Encounter’  developed further.
2007 – Rainbow Springs celebrates 75th Anniversary.
2011 – Log Flume Ride – Big Splash opens.
2018 -  Playscapes and Water Play Areas added.
2018 - Rainbow Springs celebrates 85th Anniversary  
2019 - "The National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa has welcomed its 2020th kiwi chick, just in time to celebrate the New Year.

The special kiwi hatched on December 30 at the facility, which is hosted at Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua, and he or she is part of what is shaping up to be the hatchery's busiest season yet."  In Daily Post online 31st December 2019.
This post written by Alison, with thanks to the Don Stafford Collection, Rainbow Springs Nature Park, Ray Punter and the Daily Post.