Topic: Rotorua Notable People & Local Heroes (S to Z)

Topic type:

Past and Present residents of Rotorua who became famous or notable in their contribution to the Rotorua community and New Zealand

Sandford, Ben Skeleton Racer, competed at the Winter Olympics at Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014
Searanke, Glenys Rotorua District Councillor since 1986, Awarded the Queen's Service Medal in 1995.
Shelford, Darrall Rugby Player for Bay of Plenty 1990 ; NZ Maori 1990 ; Moved to England to play for Bradford Northern and then Huddersfield Giants and during this time he played for Scotland national team, 1995-1996. Worked for the Maori Rugby Academy in Rotorua.
Shelford, Wayne (Buck) Rugby Player for Western Heights High 1st XV 1973-74, Bay of Plenty Secondary Schools, North Shore 1985-1990 ; All Blacks 1987-1990 ; NZ Maori 1982-1990. Retired from Rugby in 1991.
Sim, Geoffrey Fantham  Rotorua Politician for National Party 1943-1946
Smith, Miriama  Actor & Television Presenter 
Spijkerbosch, Marc  Rotorua Artist and Creative Rotorua Co-ordinator  
Stafford, Donald M. Borough Councillor 1960-1962, Historian, Author. Awarded an OBE in 1980 and CBE in 1993
Sturt, Charles Rotorua District Councillor 1982-83, 1989-1996 and 1998 to present. Lakes District Health Board
Sutton, Jamie World Rafting Championship in NZ Men's Rafting team in the 2013 event in Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
Sutton, Sam White Water Kayak Extreme Kayaking Champion
Sykes, Annette Rotorua Politician for the Mana Party
Tahana, Arapeta Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor 2013-
Tapsell, Peter Orthopaedic Surgeon, Politician (Labour Party 1981-1995), Councillor and Deputy Mayor for Rotorua. New Zealand's 1st Maori  Speaker of the House 1993-1996, Awarded an MBE in 1968 and KNZM in 1997. 
Tapsell, Tania  Rotorua District Councillor - youngest ever elected member in 2013- 
Taranui, Te Pokiha Also known as Major Fox c1831-1901 Ngati Pikiao of Te Arawa, for a full biography see Te Ara Encyclopedia of NZ
Te Rangikaheke, Wiremu Maihi Also known as Wi Maihi. Ngati Rangiwewehi leader, scholar, public servant worked for and with Governor George Grey.
Thurston, Lyall Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor and Lakes District Health Board. Justice of the Peace. Awarded QSO for Community Service in 1999.
Tissink, Martin Artist and Sculptor
Turner, Reg Rotorua Politician for National Party, Tarawera Electorate 1993. Original owner of Solitaire Lodge
Ututaonga, Mickey Musician, Drummer in 'Moana and the Tribe' Band
Vant Leven, Matt Rugby Player for 'Chiefs'
Vercoe, Althea Rangititiahoa Justice of the Peace, awarded the QSM in 1996 for Public Service 
Vercoe, Henry Te Reiwhaiti Chairman of the Te Arawa Trust Board, 1951-1954. Awarded and OBE in 1953. Previously awarded the DCM and DCO. He fought in the 1901 South African War, WWI with the Pioneer Maori Battalion, and in WWII he was in the Rotorua Home Guard and later involved in the Maori War Effort Organisation. For a full biography go to the Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand website.
Vercoe, Tilly  Netball : Played for New Zealand 1967-1971
Vigor-Brown, Rob Lakes District Health Board member
Waaka, Maureen Councillor, Te Arawa Standing Committee 1995-2013, Member of the Whaka Village Charitable Trust, Board member on the Lakes District Health Board, Miss Rotorua Beauty Pageant Co-ordinator (1993- ) and Miss New Zealand in 1962. Recipient of an MNZM award in 2001, for service to Tourism and Community.
Waerea-Hargreaves, Jared Rugby League player. Played for Sydney
Waka, Neil Television presenter
Walker, Michael New Zealand's top Jockey, 1999-2008.
Warbrick, Alfred Patchett

1860–1940 Ngati Rangitihi; boatbuilder, rugby player, Chief Government tourist guide for 45 years. For a Full biography go to Te Ara Encyclopedia

Warbrick, Joseph

Hot Lakes Guide, All Blacks Captain for the Natives Tour of 1888/89 and played for various rep rugby teams. Died while trying to save 3 tourists at Waimangu when it (the geyser) erupted.

Waretini, Deane Opera singer 1905-1967, sang with cousin Ana Hato and the Taiporutu Concert Party. Ana and Deane Produced recordings of their songs 1950s and 60s with Parlophone Records and NZ Radio Broadcasting.
Wepa, Janet Councillor with Rotorua District Council 2004-present
Whaanga, Moana Miss New Zealand 1954, Swimmer Auckland and NZ Champion 1950s see website for Maori Sports Awards for a full biography.
Wharekura, Wi Pere Member of the Howard Morrison Quartet
Wikiriwhi, Te Autiti Eruera Awarded an CBE in 1987 for his service to Maori people.  Grandson of Guide Sophia. Tuhourangi senior elder.
Wi Rutene, Simon Skier (Snow). He won countless titles but Olympic glory eluded him. He went to Sarajevo (1984), Calgary (1988), Albertville (1992) and Lillehammer (1994), with his best finish being 17th in the slalom in Calgary.
Williams, Eileen Hope  Women's Golf 
Williams, Evan Squash 1984-
Winters, Kevin Rotorua Mayor 2004-2013, Councillor 2001-2004.
Woolliams, T. Ray Rotorua Mayor 1977-1979
Yates, Beatrice Piatarihi Tui Aunty Bea, Author and Entertainer. Awarded an QSM 1993 and MNZM 2012

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