Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Careers and Education in Rotorua : Past and Present

Careers in a bygone era

These days a career must have an IT component to it, and the student must have a computer or device like iPad Pro.  Just think what changes there have been since 1886 (post Mt Tarawera eruption).

In the 1885/86 Electoral Roll the careers/occupations for Rotorua were : Bakers (6), Bootmaker (1), Builder (1), Butcher (2), Carpenter (12), Coach Proprietor (1), Coach Driver (4), Dentist (1), Farmer (3), Groom (7), Physician (1), Postmaster (1), Resident Medical Officer (1), Stable Owner (1), Surveyor (4), Veterinarian (1), Barman (2), Bath Attendant (1), Clerk (1), Contractor (1), Gardener (1), Native Agent (2), Native Interpreter (2), Overseer (1), Publican (1), Sawyer (7), Storekeeper (9) and Waiter (2).

Don Stafford's "Founding Years of Rotorua" tells us that the population at that time was approximately 453 Europeans and 1,375 Maori. By 1901 the population of Europeans had jumped to 1,278 and an estimate of 930 Maori.

In 1901 the occupations listed included an Architect, a Station Master, a Cordial Maker, a Tobacconist, 7 Engineers, 2 Police Constables, 3 Photographers, 3 Laundresses, 13 Storekeepers , 2 Fruiterers, 2 Mill Owners and 7 Domestic Servants, to name a few.

Sulphur Mining was a booming industry from 1889 with Rotorua's biggest dealer being Mr Francis Moss (Mossy) Boord and it provided an income for local Maori landowners around the region.

Also at this time the Okere Falls Power Station was built and also Gold Mining occurred around Horo Horo and Kaharoa, but this was a short lived occupation as little gold was found and other rumored finds in the region were unsubstantiated.

One of the most unusual occupation for the time was Mr Lakin's Fern Collecting business.

This advert was placed in the Wises Post Office Guide of 1898.


As you can see some careers are still very much in existence although the methods/styles might have changed, a carpenter, butcher, veterinarian and builder are still careers worth pursuing in our modern age.

For more information pick up Don Stafford's books The Founding Years of Rotorua and The New Century in Rotorua which can be found in the New Zealand History and Travel section at 993.423z STA

The Wises Post Office Guides are available online via the Library Edition of Ancestry.com