The Don Stafford Room, 2nd Floor
Don Stafford Room is a research room containing:
- Our permanent reference collection of published books on Rotorua, Māori and New Zealand history and culture
- Research notes on local history compiled by Don Stafford
- Te Arawa notes compiled by Don Stafford
- Te Rangikaheke manuscripts
- Ashley Cody collection of geological books and maps
- Rotorua school and community newsletters
- New Zealand Official Yearbooks from 1893
- AJHRs (Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives) 1874-1937 (not complete)
and more. Information Services staff are only too happy to assist you to use these resources.
There are restrictions for users of the Don Stafford Room
- All items must be used in the Don Stafford Room and may not be taken out of it
- Food, drink and bags must not be taken into the Don Stafford room
- Some items are kept in glass cases and patrons will be asked to produce their library card or identification before they can look at them.
There is a colour photocopier in the room from which you can also scan to email.
Who is Don Stafford?
Author Don Stafford lived in Rotorua almost all of his life. He recalled that as a young boy, he would sit by the fire in his father’s shop and listen to the stories of the elderly people who came to shop there. From Te Arawa legends of old, to more recent amusing incidents, Don never forgot the stories or the people who told them.
With his well-known warmth and aroha for the people and the land, he collected and retold some of the best of these in several publications as well as in a speaking capacity to audiences from near and far. Don was always in strong demand not only for his extensive knowledge of Rotorua history and whakapapa but also because of his delightful sense of humour, wit and romanticism which he weaved through the stories, bringing alive the characters and places of long ago.
Don Stafford produced comprehensive, historical books on Te Arawa people and the Rotorua region; his books are constantly referred to by researchers, students and other interested parties. In addition, he generously donated his research notes to the people of Rotorua and these are readily (and often) accessed in our library. Don presented a wonderful series of television documentaries dealing with the growth and development pf Rotorua in the 20th century. You can borrow the Hindsight series DVDs from the 2nd floor NZ collection.
The Rotorua District Library is honoured to have been permitted the use of Don Stafford’s name for the room where we keep our main research collection of Māori and Rotorua books. Don was a frequent visitor to the library right until his passing on 5 April, 2010. He is sadly missed by many.
The Don Stafford Interviews
Local producer, Kerry Fowler, has produced a follow up series of DVD interviews made since the production of the Hindsight series.
Made from the footage "off-cuts", the stories told and the images portrayed are very precious to the families, friends and anyone interested in Rotorua's history. Learn more about our past through these delightful interviews by Don Stafford and captured by Kerry Fowler. You can view them in the Don Stafford Room or borrow a DVD for three weeks.
List of those interviewed
Andy & Mary Burnett
Guide "Bubbles" Mihinui
Sir Howard Morrison