Friday, 18 January 2019

Float plane - 50 years in Rotorua

This month marks fifty years since the first commercial float plane service begun in Rotorua.

Float plane. Credit: Rotorua Photo News, No. 66, 15 March 1969.

In 1968, the Rotorua Aero Club made an application to the Rotorua City Council to introduce a float plane service. The Council declined the application in June stating that the service would be 'to the detriment of the public's right of enjoyment of lake and the lakefront reserve.'

In November 1968, The Daily Post run with the headline 'Floatplane on lakefront by Christmas'. The Council was considering approving the application provided consent from other affected parties was obtained. In December the application was granted.

A Cessna 180A, ZK-BVG was chosen as the aircraft for the the initial service. The Cessna has been used as a charter plane in Rotorua since 1959.


Cessna 180A, ZK-BVG, before conversion to float plane. Credit: Flying the Thermal Skies (Stafford, Don, 1983).

Captain Freddie P. Ladd piloted the first service. Ladd with 30 years flying experience had come to Rotorua from Auckland in October 1968 to organise the service.

The four-seater plane was consecrated by Reverend N. Te Hau before its first demonstration passenger flight on Friday January 10 1969. The passengers on the first flight were Mayor of Rotorua Murray Linton and his wife, and the chairman of the Rotorua County Council J.B. Thomas.

Commercial flights began the following day.

Mayor Murray Lindon, watched by Captain Ladd, cuts the ribbon to set the float plane service in action. Credit: The Daily Post, Friday 10 January, 1969, p. 1.

This article was written with information from The Daily Post, Rotorua Photo News, and Don Stafford's book Flying the Thermal Skies. Lending and reference copies of Flying the Thermal Skies are available from the library.

This post was written by Graeme.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Rotorua Sculpture Symposium c2014-

New Sculpture Trail in Government Gardens 

The inaugural Sculpture Symposium was held 29th November to 12th December 2014. Organised by Rotorua District Council Community Arts advisor, Marc Spijkerbosch.  Seventeen local and national sculptors worked in stone, wood or stainless steel, including guest artist Glebos Tkachenko who traveled from Russia to take part. Daily Post 24 November 2014.

The theme chosen was 'The Returning Soldier' as part of Rotorua's commemoration of WW100

Winner : Judges selected nationally recognised sculptor Anna Korver's piece 'The White Mouse'  depicting New Zealand war hero Nancy Wake, as the winning artwork which was installed on the new Sculpture Trail in the Government Gardens, she also received $10,000 as part of her prize.   Daily Post 24 November 2014.

The Rotorua Electricity Charitable Trust purchased two more sculptures for the city by local artists, these being 'Forever Remembered' by Paul Bottomley and 'Tank Trap' by Jamie Pickernell to add to the new sculpture trail. Daily Post 28 January 2015. 

Anna Korver's piece The White Mouse
Photo courtesy of Kete Rotorua

Tank Trap by Jamie Pickernell. Photo Courtesy of Kete Rotorua

Forever Remembered by Paul Bottomley
Photo courtesy of Kete Rotorua

In 2016 the next symposium was entitled 'Sulphur Lakes Sculpture Symposium' and took place 19th to 27th November 2016. 14 artists worked in an open space and locals were encouraged to go down and watch and see the artworks take shape.

The theme this time was 'The Energy Within' capturing Rotorua's geothermal and cultural environment. As with the first symposium, the winner's creation became a permanent part of the Rotorua public art collection. 

Another 3 pieces were purchased to enhance the new boulevard in Kuirau Park, they are : Takutaimoana Harawira - Kuirau : Nigel Scanlon - Ore Ore : Peter Edwards - Te Korokoro o te Parata (Throat of the Parata). All remaining work was installed on the Sculpture Trail until the next symposium in 2018.

Winner of the 2016 Symposium was local artist Trevor Nathan with his piece 'Synergy' it "reflects the interaction between rural and urban environment and how we come together as a city to create the energy in our town"
Daily Post 23 November 2016 and 3 March 2017.

Trevor Nathan 'Synergy'
Photograph by Alison L.


In 2018 the latest Sculpture Symposium was again referred to as the 'Rotorua Sculpture Symposium' and featured 18 sculptors from New Zealand, Switzerland and Iran. 

The theme was 'Nga Wai o Rotorua - The Waters of Rotorua and was run from 16th November to 26th November.

This year's winner is Rory McDougall of Hokitika with his piece 'Waters of Rotorua' made from Taranaki Andesite Stone it represents the thirteen main bodies of water alongside the rivers and hills of the Rotorua area.

A further three pieces are being considered for purchase for the public art trail.

This year there is a People's Choice option for the first time, so get on down to the gardens and vote for your favourite, you have until 17th February 2019 to get your vote on the Creative Rotorua Facebook page
Daily Post 26th November 2018.

Photographs of a few of 2018 entries, Get your vote in now






Visit the Creative Rotorua Website to download the current Sulphur Lake Sculpture Trail Brochure
and don't forget the Rotorua Public Art Trail also has some fantastic pieces of sculpture.

This post is by Alison. All photographs of the latest entries taken by Alison.

Friday, 4 January 2019

New Year Babies

Everyone love babies, don't they? One of the regular items that appear in the Daily Post is the New Year baby photos. So I thought this year why don't we have a look back in the Daily Post and see what delightful photos we can find. Maybe there will be someone you know...


2017 Maui Hunt and Nicole Maney with baby daughter Amaia




2015 Joseph Te Naera, the sixth child of Sarita Graham and Michael Te Naera



2015 also featured a catch-up with 2 Millenium babies born in the year 2000

Caitlyn Gibson



Bevan Tucker


2010 Nathan Matthew Stuart James and family



2005 Tonina Ngatai with her baby girl, Matariki Ngatai-Callaghan



2000 Nathan Wilson Walters, son of Rachel Wilson and Nathan Walters



1995 Russell and Angela Forlong welcomed twins,

 Paris Nicole and Nicholas Charles



1980 Toni Harvey with her new daughter



1975 Mrs B Ria with baby Barry



1970 Gaye Franklin with her baby daughter



This blog was compiled by Trish. With thanks to Daily Post for use of photographs