Rotorua celebrates relaunch of history of Arawa people

Rotorua will celebrate the relaunch of one of the most important books to emerge from the city - the late Don Stafford’s Te Arawa: A History of the Arawa People on Wednesday 24 August.

Rotorua Mayor, Steve Chadwick, will join Te Arawa representatives, the Stafford family, Professor Paora Tapsell, McLeods Booksellers and invited guests in the launch at the Rotorua Museum.

This epic history tells the story of Te Arawa from the iwi’s origins in the South Pacific until European contact.

Before the book’s publication on Thursday, the book will be blessed at the launch, and tributes paid to Te Arawa tūpuna, and to the author.

Stafford, known as ‘Mr Rotorua’ for his lifelong commitment to the history of the city and region, has a wing of the Rotorua Museum named in his honour.

“Nearly 50 years on from its first publication, Te Arawa remains as relevant as ever to descendants of the iwi and students of New Zealand history”, says Paora Tapsell.

Don Stafford (1927–2010) was a historian and writer who dedicated his life and work to Rotorua and its environs.

Fluent in te Reo Māori, Don travelled on foot to every corner of Te Arawa’s rohe, and played a significant role in preservation of historical sites and objects.

He was Rotorua’s official historian, and received honours including an MBE, CBE and honorary doctorate.

Te Arawa: A History of the Arawa People
By Don Stafford

Published by Oratia Books 
Hardback, $95.00