Don Stafford has lived in Rotorua almost all his life. As a young boy, sitting by the stove in his father's store, he would listen to the stories of the elderly people who came to shop there. Sometimes they were Arawa legends of old, sometimes amusing incidents from Rotorua's more recent history. Don has never forgotten those stories, or the people who told them. With his trademark warmth and aroha for the pole and the land, he has collected and retold some of the best. A few, such as Hatupatu's flight from the terrifying birdwoman, will be well known to many New Zealanders, but most have never been written down before. Together, they represent an important record of Rotorua's oral tradition. Many of the buildings and other landmarks featured in the stories can still be seen in Rotorua today, a reminder that history is with us in our daily life.
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