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Events In History

30 August 1903

Guide Joseph Warbrick and three tourists were killed instantly when the Waimangu geyser erupted unexpectedly.

City on the southern shores of Lake Rotorua. Rotorua is unusual among New Zealand cities in being neither a port nor originally a farm service centre. Rotorua was built in the early 1880s by the government, as a town for tourists visiting the ‘hot lakes’. It was laid out on the Pukeroa–Oruawhata block, land leased from Ngāti Whakaue near the Māori lakeside settlement of Ōhinemutu. This arrangement with the tribal owners broke down, and the government became the sole owner in 1888. The arrival of the railway in 1894 spurred growth. The government developed a European-style spa with ornamental gardens, and bathing and therapeutic facilities. After the Second World War, growth was also fostered by forest, farm and hydroelectricity development.
Meaning of place name
Roto: lake; rua: two, or second. It was the second lake to be discovered by Ihenga, who called it Te Rotorua nui-ā-Kahumatamomoe, roto: lake; rua: second; nui: large; ā: of; Kahumatamomoe, Ihenga's uncle and father-in-law.