Ōruawhata was once a deep thermal pit within the area we know today as the ‘Government Gardens’. It was said to be filled with furiously hot water and it emitted poisonous gases. It was also a burial place where remains of tūpuna where laid to ensure their bones were never taken by the enemy.
The pool no longer exists and many years ago was filled in. However, the heat from the underground source was used by the early engineer Camille Malfroy (after whom Malfroy Road was named) to create a series of three impressive geysers in this area.
These geysers played for many years but after Malfroy’s death the geysers were neglected and eventually destroyed. Te Rūnanga Tea Rooms was built in 1903 as a tea pavilion and was a social centre for many years. The building was carefully restored and re-opened in 1993, 90 years after its original opening.
A local master carver, Albert Te Pou carved the three figures that stand on the apex of each main gable. Each figure is an individual memorial to the three great Whakaue chiefs, Te Roro-o-te-Rangi, Te Kata and Tūnohopū, who all fought courageously at Tawharakurupeti.
Qualities: identity, innovation
Read more here:
About the Government Gardens from Rotorua Library:
Whakairo at Government Gardens, Rotorua: conservation report of Whakairo (Dean Whiting)
The Government Gardens (Paula Savage)
Government Gardens [Don Stafford File] (D. M. Stafford)
The Government Gardens: a walk through history (Phillip Andrews)
This entry is related to these other entries:
Tawharakurupeti: A might battle; Government Gardens: A source of wonder
Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue Iho Ake - Te Rangihakahaka Wānanga Workbook.