The Rotorua Daily Post is looking back at the stories of 2020. Here's what made headlines in October.
Rotorua tourism braced for a summer without cruise ship visitors, which added another blow to Rotorua's embattled tourism sector.
New Zealand's borders remained closed under Covid-19 restrictions. It was unknown when they would reopen to allow ports to welcome cruise ships again.
The absence of cruise ships signalled a loss of close to $100 million to the coastal Bay economy, but tourism businesses refocused their attention on the domestic market.
On the opening day of the trout fishing season, we caught up with "Mr Tarawera", Brett Bosley.
The 61-year-old was in the midst of a battle with cancer but said he would not miss the opening day of trout fishing season for anything.
"I'm very sick but I'm not going to sit back and wait for God, I'm here to have fun. I love seeing people getting out there, into the outdoors, catching a product the outdoors provided for us, taking it home and processing it the best way we know how."
One of his friends who was on the boat with him was Wallace Bain, who said Bosley was a "legend".
"We call him Mr Tarawera, the go-to man in Tarawera over the years. If we have the slightest problem he's the man we go to.
"He's full of knowledge out on the boat. It's wonderful that he could still be out here this year, he has managed himself absolutely expertly. He knows he has a terminal disease, he knows he won't be with us that long but he manages all the things he does and all the people beautifully."
Bosley died seven weeks later.
Local celebrity chef Chelsea Winter opened up about her new cookbook, Supergood.
She talked lockdown, her plant-based journey and how the book was symbolic for her young family.
Rotorua's Lake Ōkareka community raised $50,000 to put security cameras at the entrances to the area to ensure its residents can feel safer.
The community had become fed up with people speeding, dumping rubbish, dumping offal, poaching and committing other crimes in the area, and would now work with police to monitor who comes in and out, thanks to new state-of-the-art security cameras.
Two cameras were erected at each entrance of Ōkareka and the footage was recorded and monitored by the Rotorua Lakes Council.
Lake Ōkareka Community Association chairwoman Kim Lorigan said the organisation had saved for the cameras in the past few years from profits made from their two campsites.
"All I want is answers. I want to rest my heart with the truth of what happened to my daughter."
Those were words from Terri Nelson, the mother of Melissa Jones, whose body was found on the shores of Lake Rotorua in October 2019.
Nelson spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post for the first time a year later after police released new information about Jones' investigation and made a fresh appeal to the public for help.
"I want the truth, I want justice and I want answers," she said.
After election day, the battle for the Waiariki seat was on a knife-edge.
The Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi led Labour's Tamati Coffey with 9473 to 9058 votes.
But Coffey did not concede the seat on election night, saying he would wait until special votes were counted.
Pupils at Whakarewarewa School were being dropped off at school even if they lived across the road because their caregivers said a pedestrian crossing on Sala St put their lives at risk.
The Rotorua school sits off the road on Sala St, which is a main thoroughfare for heavy vehicles and other traffic, but there are no signs warning drivers there is a school nearby.
The pedestrian crossing is on a bend and has been recently changed by the New Zealand Transport Agency in an attempt to make it safer, but the school says it's only made the danger worse.
Concrete islands were put in at the crossing in an attempt to make the crossing more visible. The school and caregivers say instead it had narrowed the bend, making it harder for trucks and other larger vehicles to make it around without driving over the islands.
Paekiri Vercoe lived nearby and wanted to encourage her three grandchildren in her care to walk to school, but she said it was too dangerous and she was driving them to school each day.
Some retailers said they no longer felt safe after security patrols in Rotorua's central city were axed.
Security patrols were cut from October 13 as a result of a big drop in central city crime and the three City Safe Guardians now work as city "ambassadors" instead of solely focused on security.
The patrols were costing ratepayers thousands of dollars: the security officers alone cost $28,000 a month during the peak summer period.
Honeycomb Hair and Beauty on Tutanekai St owner Sarah Pearson said businesses hadn't been consulted and the security gave her peace of mind.
Days after the story ran, the council reinstated the patrols.