Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Geothermal benefits for residents 1930-1980s


Rotorua Thermal attractions.

The Pavilion & Rachel Baths upgraded and becomes Ward Baths c.1930-1972.

New Blue Baths facility opened in 1931, the Children's pool supplied by thermal water.

Photograph of the Children's pool at the new Blue Baths, 1961 by L.R. Leigh

1930 - Kuirau Park, a new layout designed by Landscape Architect Mr F. Tschopp.  He included rugby, cricket, soccer, hockey, tennis, netball, croquet, running and cycling tracks, open air swimming pool, a children's playground, dressing pavilions, rest rooms and a tea kiosk as well as all the natural thermal ngawha.


Photograph taken 1961 by L.R. Leigh.

1938 - Mr P. A. Kusabs had a water diviner locate a source of water, then a bore drilled on his property he was developing. He wanted to use the thermal resource for heating and water supply.

1940 - Borough Motor Camp utilised the diviner to locate a source of  hot water for baths and the laundry.

1940 - Cosy Cottage Motor Camp bore drilled to supply hot water to the camp.

1940 - Rotorua Primary School bore drilled to supply hot water for baths.

1946 - Amohau Street Transit Camp bore drilled to supply hot water to the camp ablution block. Cooking boxes were planned for the following year.


National Publicity Studio. Archives NZ

1948 - DSIR Scientist Mr R.W. Foster received approval to install a thermal reticulation system to the block bounded by Pukaki, Fenton, Whakaue & Tutanekai Streets.

1953 - Government passed the 'Geothermal Energy Act' this stipulated that all bores deeper than 200 ft. required a licence.

1958 -  Mr Gilltrap donated an old traction engine to the Borough Council for the children's playground in Kuirau Park.

1962 - New Zealand Insurance Co. Ltd. donated a fountain and funds for surrounding gardens for Kuirau Park as part of the company anniversary celebration.

1966 - Approx. 60 bores existed in town and in the area closest to the centre of town.

1967- Mr Lewis Vause engineer, built an artificial geyser.

1967/68 - Mr N. T. Ussher opened Thermal Nurseries in Sala Street.

1970 - Waikite Hot Pool complex opens.

1972 -  Ward Baths becomes Polynesian Pools.

With Thanks to Don Stafford, Archives NZ and Kete Rotorua for the above information and photographs.