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Volume 87, 1959
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Hudson Lecture for 1959
The Past and the future of university research in New Zealand

Physics Department, University of Canterbury.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to thank the Chairman for his kind remarks.

When first asked to give the Hudson Lecture this year I felt somewhat proud that my name had been selected for this honour. This feeling tended to evaporate when I was later told that a full script would be required, and it evaporated still further when I actually started working on the subject material. However, in the last three weeks the subject has become exciting to me, and the work would never have been done without the incentive of the Hudson Lecture.

The Problem

My topic is “The Past and the Future of University Research in New Zealand”. I have been struck by the fact that masses of data exist on student numbers, staff-student ratios, percentages of passes at all stages, etc., but virtually nothing on research output Perhaps this is because it is so much more difficult to assess.

Nevertheless, teaching and research must go hand in hand. The academic research worker slowly builds up his techniques, and publishes his results in learned journals all over the world for the information of others. Without this accumulating foundation of basic knowledge, the whole process of application would fail. Some of the largest industrial corporations overseas have now moved into the field of basic studies in their research activities, but still the universities of the world remain major research institutions, with teaching stemming from these activities. This is particularly the case with the Arts. We in New Zealand are apt to forget the importance of research to the life of our university institutions, and hence to the vitality of the trained university output, which is practically the whole of the professional people of this country. Is it by chance that—with one temporary exception—all four Universities in New Zealand list their research publications at the end of their Calendars, almost as an afterthought? Should not this come first?

Particularly at the present time, with the whole of university policy shortly to come under review, and with enormous growth facing us, and in fact upon us, it seemed to me most important to try and form a clear picture of how well research is being done now. We know something of the past—30 to 50 or more years ago. Those were the days of the giants. Many of the early professors worked nearly alone. In what were then the descriptive sciences of Geology, Botany and Zoology, they had an open field, and their research output was often of heroic dimensions. However, those days have gone, and we now have Departments. Prior to 1930 a department of more than three teachers was an exception. Now departments of eight and ten are common, and in the Sciences we add technicians, graduate research students, typists and others. The subject has become an organisation, with its seminars, its Committees, its buying procedures, its involved timetables, and its examining. How has research stood up to all this?

We hear complaints. Let me quote from a recent report. “Salaries are low … outstanding laboratories are rare, teaching loads are heavy … equipment and supplies must be imported … Unfortunately the situation tends to perpetuate itself. Many of the more imaginative, ambitious and talented individuals tend to leave the country.”

Again: “There are four universities, with a rigid professorship structure. One of the greatest exports are young scientists, due to… the strong overseas demand.”

And finally again the same report mentions: “… low academic salaries, heavy teaching duties, multiple jobs, large classes, and a doctorate degree the equivalent of a good American master's degree …”

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What is this report? It is a recent description of university research in Europe, prepared by the American Office of Naval Research, London. The first comment refers to Spain, the second to Sweden, and the third to Italy. So we are not alone.

Most countries are currently in trouble with their university expansion, and even the large institutions of America, Canada, England and Australia are all wondering where their future staff is coming from. It is important to realise that the universities in most countries now open many gates for the intelligent young person, and the pressure of student numbers is universal. Consequently, we in New Zealand must regard our troubles as symptomatic of the age rather than of the country.

Let us now try to find out what substance there is to these complaints, at least as far as research is concerned in the New Zealand Universities.

Collection of the material

Some three months ago circulars were sent to all the Departments of Arts, Science and Engineering, and to the Schools of Agriculture, asking if they could assist in supplying the numbers of research publications from their respective departments over the past 50 years. The Medical and Dental Schools have been omitted, as they stand alone in their research activities in the country in their particular fields Although their research output is high, it was felt that they were perhaps in too special a category to be included in a general university tabulation. Likewise, Music and Fine Arts have been omitted, largely because there seemed to be no simple way of assessing their specialised output. Finally, shortage of time caused one or two isolated groups to be omitted, such as Anthropology and Political and Social Science. An 80 per cent response was received from the circulars, but as one might well imagine, the answers were very variable. One department replied that they had no time to prepare the information, and in any case had insufficient to make any difference to the statistics. Actually, that department had 15 papers published overseas in the last decade alone. At the other extreme, several departments carried out minor researches on their output, and the Agricultural Colleges helpfully supplied complete lists. To all these contributors I wish to express my grateful thanks. As Professor Parton, of Otago, commented: “May the answers drown you in statistics, for having so revolting an idea. However, it will undoubtedly be useful.”

The material was divided into four categories—namely, books and major monographs, research articles published in overseas journals, research articles published in New Zealand journals, and finally non-recurrent articles, mostly published in New Zealand, containing a research content.

Then, as far as they could be obtained, the publication lists in the respective College Calendars were extracted and compared with the departmental lists. Results from Auckland are complete, Canterbury was obtained from 1921, Victoria from 1938, and Otago from 1945. Prior to this date research publication was down to five or six a year from the whole College in the subjects under consideration. The early years thus in some cases rely largely on the departmental reports, and will in consequence have gaps, but these gaps are not considered to be large enough to affect appreciably the overall picture.

Again Science subjects are particularly well abstracted in the literature. Consequently, for Physics, for Chemistry, and for Geology, every staff name throughout New Zealand and the period of service was listed, and a search for this name was then made in 50 years of Chemical Abstracts and Physics Abstracts. Fortunately, a complete list of all Geological publications by New Zealand workers up to 1952 is in existence. These lists from the abstracts were used to check the estimates of both the College Calendar and the individual department. The following table gives the results of this comparison in Chemistry over the 50-year period.

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Fig. 1

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Overseas Publications N. Z. Publications
Auck. Canty. Otago Auck. Canty. Otago
Chemical abstracts 188 71 89 8 7 5
Departmental estimates 114 28
College Calendar 193 59 22 7

Local publications are likely to be missed by abstracting services The results bear this out, and the larger number has been accepted. For overseas publications the abstracts indicate a total of 348 papers, whereas New Zealand sources give 366. Errors are bound to occur, and this order of agreement is considered quite satisfactory. It was noteworthy that more departments under-estimated than overestimated their output. Many other factors were taken into account in the analysis which it would be tedious to enumerate here.

Results of the Survey

The results were grouped in subjects so that the identity of any particular college has been submerged. This has been intentional in order to avoid any possibility of comparison with known centres or people. In each of the four categories a table was prepared, giving the research output from each subject in the five decades, starting at 1909 and concluding with 1958.

The first slide (and Appendix I (b)) lists the number of papers published in overseas journals Several points are at once evident. First, in the last decade there has been about a four-fold increase in most subjects, and in particular in the Arts. Classics and Modern Languages have for long been considered to be subjects not capable of research studies in New Zealand, but they have made the greatest proportionate increase of any subject. Again, the Philosophy plus Psychology increase is most noticeable Philosophy has contributed extensively to this increase, and the output is now greater than that of some of the larger science subjects.

For comparison, the number of papers published in New Zealand journals in the last decade has been included in this slide (Appendix I (c)). Several subjects, such as the Biological Sciences and Geology, have a tradition of local publication Other subjects, and in particular the other sciences, obviously prefer the standing conferred by overseas publication. This feature will probably continue for many years.

Fig. I groups subjects together into three Faculties. World War II causes a noticeable sag in research output in the decade 1939–48, but apart from this, output has followed staff numbers. The total Arts staff has consistently run a little above the total Science staff. In the early years of the century, Arts output was slight and sporadic. Science, with its smaller staff, was streets above Arts in research output. In the last decade Arts has made a tremendous spurt, and even this rough graph shows that it is now at least well on the way to having an output comparable with Science. This is one of the most interesting results to have emerged from the survey. The next logical step is shown in Fig. II, where all four Faculties have been grouped together, and the research output in each category shown against the total staff numbers. (The latter figures can, of course, be estimated exactly from the University of New Zealand Calendars.)

The output surprised me. A total of 207 books and major monographs alone have been published in the last 50 years, with 106 of them written in the last 10 years. Then again, 2,023 research articles have appeared overseas, and the grand total for the fifty years, both within and beyond New Zealand, is 4,160 research publications. This is a record of which the Universities of New Zealand can be justly proud. The graph indicates that research output has kept pace with staff expansion.

However, we can be more scientific in our analysis. It is not sufficient merely to list each article against its date of appearance.

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Fig. 2

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It should be mentioned here that each title was as far as possible assigned to its correct class. A classification is particularly difficult with the non-recurrent New Zealand articles. One Department of English lists very little in the annual Calendars, on some occasions even nothing, yet in the period 1930–59 the special list prepared by request for this lecture showed 198 reviews and newspaper articles, together with about 58 short stories in various publications. These have all been deleted as borderline research, and also in fairness to other centres where a probably similar output is unknown. Reviews in general, unless they appear to be highly considered and have been published in a journal such as Aumla, have all been excluded.

Then again, several retired professors, such as Professor Arnold Wall, of Canterbury, and Professor Cotton, of Victoria, have produced further extensive work after their retirement. All this has been cut out on the grounds that the work has not been done by the formal University staff. Three hundred Chamber of Commerce Bulletins produced by Professor Tocker, of Canterbury (Economics) have been deleted, as have 118 local articles produced by a senior lecturer in Economics. In general, therefore, a doubt of any kind has resulted in exclusion, so that the figures, as nearly as possible, represent the true minimum of research output.

Having decided on the basic material, each article was then weighted. A book was given a mark of 6; an overseas research article 3; a research article in a New Zealand journal 2, and a local non-recurrent article 1. This seems a not unfair first approximation to the work involved in preparing the article, and also downgrades the difficult-to-assess local article. For each decade and subject the total of these arbitrary units of research output was divided by the total staff-years, so that the research output per staff member per year in that decade was obtained. In this way we iron out the effect of an expanding department, and obtain an index which should be comparable between subjects, and between decades.

The results are shown in Fig. III, where the curves have been drawn in three groups merely to avoid overlapping. Of the fifteen subjects considered, twelve have shown an increased output per staff member in the last decade. This is a remarkable result. An improvement in the Science subjects might have been expected, due partly to the considerable influence exerted by the provision of University Research Grants, and partly to a steady growth of the tradition of research as an integral part of the University. In point of fact, two of the Science subjects have shown appreciable falls. The clear increase in practically all the Arts subjects, in some cases over several decades, was quite unexpected Geology, and to a lesser extent Chemistry, appear to have fallen, but they are still amongst the most active producers of research per staff member. In the case of Geology, it is probable that the output from a few people was so high that it could not be expected to maintain itself indefinitely. Too much must not be made of the absolute placing on these graphs. As student numbers have grown, the staff-student ratios will have varied from subject to subject, and place to place, with its effect on research, and there are also likely to be considerable variations in the amount of work involved in preparing a paper in different disciplines. The changes within a subject are of more significance.

A prime motive in undertaking the whole of this investigation was to determine whether the rising flood of students already coming into the University was having a harmful effect on research activity. The decade 1949–58 was therefore split into two halves, and a comparison made between them along the same lines as the earlier analysis. The results for the Arts are given in Fig. IV. Geography, which in Fig III appeared to be falling, has recovered in the second half of the decade, and every arts subject considered has increased its output per man. The Sciences are given in Fig. V. Zoology in particular is impressive. The position in general is similar to that shown in Fig. III.

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Engineering perhaps deserves mention by reason of its position at the wrong end of the scale. Three centres conduct engineering training. Auckland is comparatively new. Canterbury staff members during the last decade have been extensively involved in design work for their new Engineering School; consulting and testing work on an ad hoc basis eats into the available time of many of the staff; and research students in any appreciable numbers are quite a recent innovation. However, when all this is said, the fact remains that basic engineering research is still lagging in New Zealand. It is true that we are not an industrial country, but we must tend to become more so, and the question could be seriously raised that an all-out effort should now be made to initiate and carry through to project completion at least one major line of basic engineering research. It would almost certainly react to the benefit of the country as a whole.

To sum up this whole section then, the major feeling is one of pleasant surprise. The present amount of research activity in the Universities is high, and is rising. Living day to day in the University and hearing all the complaints about inadequate facilities and finance for research, overwhelming teaching loads and impossible student numbers, I had become fearful for research. Tentatively at least, I am reassured. The clouds are there; Stage I numbers are difficult. English I at Canterbury has over 500 students, and I understand the position is worse elsewhere. In my own subject of Physics we lecture to two groups of 150 each, and a third group of 50 repeating students. All these students are almost completely unknown to us. Even in the laboratory, each staff member concerned has a total of 144 students to supervise in two classes, with some student assistance. Stage I, at least in the Sciences, has had over the years a steadily increasing quantity of subject material required for a pass, but the instruction has degenerated into school teaching under conditions that would not be tolerated in any of our schools today. This is a most serious matter, as this is the formative year when many students decide to continue or to drop a subject. I am sure that many potential research people are lost by the dampening of enthusiasm in their first university year, particularly in an unfamiliar or demanding field of study. All staff members know that this elementary teaching could be improved simply by devoting whole time to it and forgetting research. At the same time some of the students should just not be at a university. Only by turning one's back on these weaker students to a certain extent can research be done under the present conditions. This competition for time between teaching duties and research is one of the most difficult problems that staff members currently have to face.

Why, then, is research done at all? What is the driving force? We all know about the interest provided by pure intellectual curiosity. This motive is no doubt there to a varying extent, and at times research can be exciting, but I doubt whether in the normal run of events this is enough to cause staff members to work steadily through holidays and late into the night, as is necessary under present conditions. Yet this is done, and I am sure it is done with at least some future aim or profit in view. The university staff man who wants to secure an overseas post or to become a Senior Lecturer or higher in New Zealand, must have research output. It is incidental that it keeps him alive, and this in turn keeps the upper levels of university instruction alive. Maybe he never will leave, but he likes to have the possibility. Without research, all that goes, and he becomes in effect a school teacher who has not even a headmastership to aim for.

The Future

We have now seen that the research activities of the Universities of New Zealand are currently in a hopeful state. It remains to consider some of the steps which might be taken to ensure the continuance of a healthy future for this work. Some

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Fig. 3

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that I will mention first will be small matters, but in the aggregate their effect could be appreciable. We have come a long way in university research in half a century. The late Professor Percival recently told me that in his early days in the Chair of Biology at Canterbury the matter of improving library facilities arose. In reply a member of the Council pointed out that professors were paid to teach, and were supposed to know their subjects. Why then all the fuss about a library? That was only 30 years ago. University libraries, while better, are still inadequate, particularly in their range of journals. Improvements here are vital for Arts research. The upsurge in these subjects already has no doubt been partly due to improved library facilities.

Again, our universities have as yet hardly realised that many universities in the northern hemisphere encourage their staffs to take other long vacation posts, and will often pay their salaries over this period. We at Canterbury have one such person coming from Canada next year. The northern hemisphere vacation falls in our teaching year, and the advent of air travel makes it easy to shuttle between the two hemispheres. We must use air travel, and I can envisage a greatly increased transfer of staff both ways by this arrangement in the next decade or two. Overseas leave will require more funds if it is to cope with the rapidly rising staff numbers, but it is one of the most effective ways of causing research to be done. The momentum acquired in one year carries through the next six.

Money is now available for the prosecution of research either from University Departmental funds, or from University Research, D.S.I.R., and overseas grants. In fact a moderately priced project has a considerable chance of receiving the money it requires, provided in general that the proposer is prepared to do the whole project himself. Such extra help is seldom forthcoming, and there still remains a considerable shortage of technical and clerical help, so that once again we come back to the conflict of time for the specialist. Improper usage of specialist knowledge is a wasteful luxury which must be suppressed.

Consulting work, which is a form of research, is undertaken in many subjects, and is immediately rewarded. Pure research, on the other hand, carries no equivalent reward. This argument against research, when applied to the individual, can at times be a very strong one. The ultimate answer to this problem may lie in the institution either of research positions, or of a contract and consulting office, within the university. If research were done under contract for a specified period, and results produced, it could receive recognition in the same way as consulting work is now rewarded America carries out much of its university research in this way under time contracts which are liberally interpreted. Research is not allowed to amble on, and the system produces results.

Possibly one should also consider the future position of university professors. What other profession in the country has 86 heads of small sections with varying responsibilities, all on the same constant salary from almost the time of appointment to the time of superannuation? This could lead to gross inefficiencies, and it speaks well for the integrity of this group that as much research work is now done by the departments as has been shown earlier this evening. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a professor to excel simultaneously in research, in teaching and in administration. These people are appointed on their scholastic attainments, and whether or not they are efficient executives one should not expect their time to be wasted in administrative matters. At present one feels that professors tend to take the line of least resistance and attend numerous committee meetings, most of which are extremely time-wasting. Where the department is large, the opening now exists for a business manager. Such posts are already in existence in Europe, and the beginnings of a movement in this direction are evident in New Zealand. Also the principle of complete uniformity of professorial salaries has long been discarded in California and in other centres, and there is provision to reward.

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Research Output Per Staff Member Per Year
(Arbitrary Units)

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Fig. 4

men of exceptional achievement. A move along these lines was tried in New Zealand several years ago, with unfortunate organisation and results, but the question of salary differentiation for this large group might well bear further study in the interests of the efficiency and the retention of our most outstanding men.

There is a quite different matter of the utmost importance to our research well-being in the Universities, and that is the encouragement of a continual flow of first class student material through the local research schools. These students at M.Sc. and Ph. D. level educate the staff by forcing them to keep up with new work

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in their own subjects, and the output is often joint research. This is another way in which the staff can overcome the shortage of time.

The competition for these students is now fierce the world over. Already I.C.I. and the C S.I.R.O. in Australia offer fully paid vacation employment for graduate students. The veil of disguise is thin. What are we doing in return? American universities will now find a teaching or research post for almost any of our Ph.D.-calibre students who care to apply. That traffic is one way. In our favour, the lack of Australian graduate schools has proved to be a definite factor which has brought members of the University staff back to this country, despite its lower salary structure.

Because of the value of research students to us, I am certain that an increase is not warranted in the number of overseas scholarships at present. Many of our best students go now—why drive them away too soon? One obvious change is indicated, and that is the transference of post-M.Sc. and M.A. overseas scholarships to the post-Ph D. level. Apart from the status value of an overseas degree, I think a student would be as well trained in many subjects with a two-year New Zealand Ph.D., followed by one year of post-Ph.D. research in the United Kingdom, as he would be by spending the required three years in England for an English Ph.D.

Maybe, though, I am already out of date, as so many of our science students are now looking to Canada and America, where the graduate school training is of such a high standard.

In comparison with America our two-year Ph.D. degree with no course material would appear to be of a lower standard. Over the years to come it is hoped that this standard will be raised a little in level.

We must fight to retain our own students. Perhaps in the new Commonwealth scholarship scheme we may even acquire new graduate students. We should ensure that all these 21 to 25-year-old graduates have salaries at least the equal of those earned by pass degree students in other employment. Their numbers will be relatively small, and the encouragement of these high-intelligence-level students into our research schools is essential for the country. A recent report prepared by Dr. Williams, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, proposes a figure of £900 p.a. for two years of internal Ph. D.-level study, followed by three years of University teaching, before a year of overseas leave is given. With Victoria's requirement alone of 238 new and replacement staff in the next six years (to 1964), such a scheme becomes vitally necessary.

There is a final way in which we can feed our graduate research schools, and that is by planning from the bottom. A small committee of several secondary school headmasters and one or two University people meets informally in Christchurch at present to consider the Upper VIth-first year University interrelationships. From these discussions a suggestion has just crystallized (propounded by Mr. J. Leggat, headmaster of the Christchurch Boys' High School). The suggestion in brief is that pupils who are placed on the scholarship credit list in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and possibly Biology, and even languages, should enter directly into second year University work in these subjects, or into the 1st Professional Engineering course. No credit for the subject as a unit would be allowed, but merely a University exemption granted. These are the brightest of the school output, and such encouragement would put teeth into the Upper VIth work. Such students—who now mark time in these Stage I courses—would proceed through a faster degree and have more chance of entry to research level work. There are only four alternatives in the matter of student pressure on the University; namely, to limit entry, to enlarge Stage I, to set up Junior Colleges, or to use the Schools. This last alternative is cheap, and is a possibility which should be explored quickly.

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Research Output Per Staff Member Per Year
(Arbitrary Units.)

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Fig. 5

Finally, on a long-term basis, the University, or better still a Committee superior to both the Universities and the D.S.I.R., but advisory to both, should be watching for completely new avenues of research endeavour. Several subjects immediately come to mind. Oceanography, or for that matter the whole of geophysics, occupies a not inconsiderable fraction of the research activities of the D.S.I.R., but at present the scientists are largely self-taught in these specialties. Should not at least one University develop the basic approach to this work? Then again food processing is taking great strides in England and in America. A recent survey article in Time (March, 1959) showed clearly—for those who would see—the changes that are

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coming about by farm automation. The feeding of animals by foodstuffs conveyed by long augurs from hermatically sealed, glass-lined silos containing supplementary vitamins and hormones is now under button control. (As many as 400 cattle and 500 pigs are being fed in this manner in 10 minutes.)

Pedigrees and measurements of fowls in America are processed by computer to determine ideal breeding pairs, and 2,000 million fowls bred in this way go to the table every year. These and other scientific advances are pushing up the U.S. farm output faster than the land can be forced out of production. England also is now moving into the mass production of eating fowls, or “chickens”. The future impact of all this on New Zealand should be under active study now, to forecast changes which may have to be made in our methods or economy in 10 or 20 years' time.

But enough of such rambling. This is a fascinating field for enquiry, with many ramifications which have not even been touched on. It is sufficient to conclude by saying that New Zealand is a wealthy country, and we could spend much more on University research and teaching if we so wished. The choice in the last instance belongs to the people. Let us hope that the choice will be a wise one, so that when external pressures put us to the test, as they undoubtedly will, we will have had the foresight to be prepared.

Appendix I
(a) Books and (major) Monographs
1909–18 1919–28 1929–38 1939–48 1949–58
English 3 3 2 5 13
Modern Languages 2 1 8
Classics 1 6
History 2 3 9 9 15
Economics 3 7 5 5
Philosophy and Psychology 2 5 14
Education 1 5 5
Geography 3 7
Mathematics 2 1 4
Chemistry 1 1 2
Physics 1 1
Botany and Zoology 2 2 3
Geology 8 1
Engineering Nil
Agriculture 7 6 22
Total = 207
(b) Articles in Overseas Journals
1909–18 1919–28 1929–38 1939–48 1949–58
English 1 3 12 49
Modern Languages 1 36
Classics 3 8 2 25
History 2 8 22 56
Economics 1 16 24 23 43
Philosophy and Psychology 17 36 123
Education 1 4 5 46
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Geography 9 34
= 610
Mathematics 27 18 11 60
Chemistry 15 57 90 104 204
Physics 10 26 30 26 113
Botany and Zoology 21 25 9 44 186
Geology 19 26 25 47 57
= 1250
Engineering 2 3 13
= 18
Agriculture 32 23 90
= 145
Total = 2023
(c) Articles in New Zealand Journals
1909–18 1919–28 1929–38 1939–48 1949–58
English 1 2 13 20
Modern Languages 2
Classics 1 4
History 2 4 26
Economics 7 13 7 8
Philosophy and Psychology 5 10
Education 28
Geography 11 61
= 225
Mathematics 11 2 1
Chemistry 2 10 17 20 15
Physics 1 7 4 1
Botany and Zoology 22 46 32 42 250
Geology 60 62 73 69 88
= 835
Engineering 2 3 20
= 25
Agriculture 8 16 71 57 154
= 306
Total = 1391
(d) Non-recurrent New Zealand Articles of Research Journal Standard
1909–18 1919–28 1929–38 1939–48 1949–58
English 2 39
Modern Languages 6
Classics 1 12
History 1 1 5 7 21
Economics 2 7 15 3 10
Philosophy and Psychology 8 14
Education 1 2 15
Geography 1 40
= 213
Mathematics 2
Chemistry 1 2
Physics 2 4
Botany and Zoology 2 8 36
Geology 3 3 2 7
= 72
Engineering 2 12
= 14
Agriculture 55 28 157
= 240
Total = 539
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Appendix II.

Average Total Number of Academic Staff in N. Z. per Decade
1909–18 1919–28 1929–38 1939–48 1949–58
English 6.3 7.9 8.1 9.4 22.3
Modern Languages 5.8 6.1 7.8 9.0 14.8
Classics 8.0 8.0 8.1 10.8 13.8
History 3.8 5.3 8.8 10.3 21.5
Economics 5.9 5.7 7.9 9.4 14.7
Philosophy and Psychology 2.2 5.6 7.4 11.8 21.6
Education 6.0 5.7 6.6 9.6 18.9
Geography 35 15.1
Mathematics 5.7 5.8 7.6 9.8 19.7
Chemistry 7.5 8.9 9.2 16.3 30.7
Physics 5.6 7.3 8.6 14.3 29.6
Botany and Zoology 7.6 9.4 11.1 15.6 34.1
Geology 4.2 3.9 5.0 6.0 12.3
Engineering 8.2 10.0 15.9 46.9
Agriculture 28.0 51.0 87.0
Totals 68.6 87.8 134.2 202.7 403.0
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Harry Howard Barton Allan (1882–1957)

Dr. H. H. Allan died in Wellington on October 29, 1957, some nine years after retiring from the position of first Director of the Botany Division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Harry Howard Barton Allan was born in Nelson on April 27, 1882, the sixth and youngest child of Robert and Emma Maria Allan. From Nelson Central School he was awarded a scholarship to Nelson College and there distinguished himself both as a scholar and as an athlete, winning the Simmons Prize for Literature and the Junior Cup for Gymnastics and representing the College in cricket and football. He wrote later of friendship with J. E. Holloway “from the days of study and cricket at Nelson College”. There also he took part of his University degree, as was the custom of those times.

His career as a teacher began in the small school at Denniston where, as he sometimes later regretted, he took more interest in the human problems of the isolated mining community than in the peculiar vegetation of that high and cloudy plateau. Moving to King's College, Auckland, he continued with university work and graduated M.A. in 1908. He taught also at Napier, Waitaki Boys' High School, Ashburton High School (1918–22) and Feilding Agricultural College (1923–27). In 1928, largely influenced by Leonard Cockayne, Dr. Allan abandoned school-teaching and became Systematic Botanist with the Plant Research Station of D.S.I.R. at Palmerston North. With his one assistant, V D. Zotov, he transferred to Wellington in 1937, and there botanical work increased until the Division had a staff of 25 at the time of Dr. Allan's retirement, in 1948.

Completion of official duties brought no cessation of work but only a welcome change from administration and meetings to the more congenial task of preparing a new Flora to take the place of Cheeseman's Manual, published in 1925. The middle fifties brought declining health, but until within two weeks of his death, by almost superhuman efforts, he continued daily attendance at his office, becoming, as one of his few favoured visitors said, more and more translucent. He worked steadily at his desk to a regular timetable, turning out page after page of neat longhand about the plants he knew so well. Amongst the dicotyledons only the genus Hebe, perhaps his favourite of all, remained to be done when his strength quite failed him.

Dr. Allan's first serious interest in botany began with the planning and teaching of agricultural classes at Waitaki about 1915, always working with and from the living plants. A. H. Cockayne, of the Department of Agriculture, helped by identifying grasses and weeds, while his father, Dr. L. Cockayne, soon began to make requests for specimens. In August, 1918, is recorded a short sojourn at Cass Biological Station with Dr. Cockayne, Professor Chilton and Dr. Holloway. One can imagine the discussions and how they would relate to the Mt. Peel investigations which had begun the previous year and which led to a D.Sc. degree in 1923.

The 1920's were years of great activity in close collaboration with Dr. Cockayne and with stimulating visits from J. P. Lotsy (in 1925), from G. E. Du Rietz (in 1926–27), from Sir Arthur Hill (in 1928), and from W. A. Sledge (in 1929). The central theme was the relationship between ecology and taxonomy, with special attention to wild interspecific hybrids. Practical proofs included artificial crosses in Coprosma, Rubus and Phormium. All this was done in whatever spare time could be found by a conscientious senior school master. Skill as a teacher and appreciation of the difficulties of beginners are shown in a book on identifying trees and shrubs, also a product of these busy years. Recognition from abroad came with a grant from the Royal Society of London for three months' field work on hybrids

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in the summer of 1927–28. The results were announced at the Fifth International Botanical Congress at Cambridge, in 1930, during a visit to Britain sponsored in part by the Empire Marketing Board, which also allowed a study period at Kew.

Employment with D.S I.R. revived interest in the botany of economic plants, and there followed many papers on weeds and two handbooks, one on indigenous and introduced grasses, the other on naturalized plants. Official business involved visits to many parts of New Zealand, and always the plant press returned full of contributions to the herbarium which was building up from the nucleus of his private collection. Fellow-travellers will remember how often the collecting and pressing was done before breakfast or after dinner, or at odd roadside stops—no opportunity was ever wasted. Lichens received special attention, and some 480, including 141 new species and two new genera, are listed by Zahlbruchner in “Lichenes Novae Zelandiae a Cl. H. H. Allan eiusque Collaboratoribus lecti” (Wein, 1941). One of the best collecting trips-was that on the New Golden Hind to the southern fiords in 1946. The expedition was primarily to search for uranium ores, but the botanist's harvest was a grand collection of plants from the classical localities of the Forsters, Lyall and Menzies.

A second visit to Kew was necessary in 1950, and in July of that year a long-cherished wish was fulfilled to visit Sweden, the land of Linnaeus and still the spiritual home of botany. After the Seventh International Botanical Congress in Stockholm an excursion to Lapland, under the guidance of his old friend Du Rietz, made another dream a reality.

Honours were never sought by Dr. Allan, but as marks of approbation they were much prized. He became a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 1917, and of the New Zealand Institute (now Royal Society of New Zealand) in 1928, and received the Hutton Memorial Medal in 1941 and the Hector Memorial and Prize in 1942. He served as President of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1943–45 and in 1949 received the honour of C.B.E. For many years he was a Corresponding Member of the Swedish Phytogeographical Society, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Sciences and Letters of Gothenburg. Probably few things in his whole life pleased him so much as the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts in the University of Uppsala, conferred in May, 1957, at the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Linnaeus. The “doctor's crown” of fresh laurel leaves was sent to him from Sweden, and it became him well.

Apart from the Flora, which will be his greatest monument, it is hard to know which parts of Dr. Allan's work will have the most lasting effect on New Zealand botany. Certainly the names of Cockayne and Allan will always be associated with the recognition of the wide incidence and great importance of wild hybrids in plants, but it is already difficult to realize how novel these claims were at the time of their publication. Wild hybrids are known now in all parts of the world and “introgression” is an accepted fact. Three textbooks, all aimed at helping beginners to a knowledge of the plants growing about them, have guided many on their way; it is a pity that all were in such small editions that they have long been out of print and have now become collectors' pieces.

The attached list of publications tells its own story of breadth of interest and activities. Many will regret that projected essays in biographical and historical botany were not completed. Had it not been for the huge bulk of routine work on the Flora we might have had more papers like that on “Tussock grassland or Steppe” where literary background, botanical knowledge and plain common sense combine happily with a whimsical humour.

The Botany Division, which he strove long and valiantly to build into a real research unit, staffed by keen and competent workers, is another memorial to him.

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Some of the projects initiated there under his leadership were: a comprehensive identification service based on large herbarium and library collections; studies of weeds and poisonous plants; investigations into drug plants and seaweeds, in response to wartime demands; ecological work on tussock grasslands; a special study of New Zealand grasses, their breeding systems and population genetics; a cytological survey of New Zealand plants; the study of pollen grains and spores and the peats and other organic deposits where they are preserved. He made of the Division, once dubbed “a welcome anomaly in the aridities of the Civil Service”, a place where each person was left rather free to produce the best possible results in his chosen field. And the Director's door was always open.

What manner of man was this? With a reputation for silence, he was listened to with well-earned respect whenever he spoke both in committees and in private conversation; and his staff's farewell gift to him bears this inscription: “While silence is truly golden, facts speak loudly and significantly”. One who knew him well has said, “he was so different from anyone else, so shy, so incorruptible, and while so shy so willing to do battle for what he thought was right” and, one might add, for those he thought deserving of help. And who knows how many he helped, quietly, almost stealthily, in material ways, or, more importantly, by giving them faith in themselves and often too the opportunity to develop their best qualities. With people, as with plants, his firm belief was that “the starting point is the individual” and from this belief came much of his success, not only as a botanist but also as a leader of students and of staff.

Happy in his work, he was quietly happy too at home with his wife Louise, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Arnold, of Korere, their daughter and their son, with his little garden, and always his well-loved books. Wild Westers and whodunits, history and the great novels, philosophy, philology, poetry in several languages—the reading of all these went to the making of the full man who gave so much to so many. For himself he asked nothing except perhaps to be remembered as a true friend of botany. Of such a one Linnaeus wrote: “Botanicus verus desudabit in augendo amabilem scientiam”.

L. B. M.

In Memoriam: H. H Allan

Ever since I exchanged letters with Dr. Cockayne I had longed to see New Zealand. In 1938, during some field work in the Hawaiian Islands, to my surprise I received an invitation to visit that faraway country. As we landed, Allan stood on the pier to greet us. And not only that. I knew very well that he was behind the invitation, and he thrust into my hands a timetable covering from morning to night of the three or four weeks of my stay. Under his personal guidance or accompanied by one or other of his colleagues, none mentioned here, none forgotten, I had a unique opportunity to make the acquaintance of a wonderfully rich Flora. From the very first I was in the hands of a master and friend and I fared well. His kindness, his quiet, gentle manners, his never-failing readiness to sacrifice his time in order to let the eager ignorant have a share of his vast knowledge, the mark of integrity and sincerity upon him and all his actions, all made the strongest impression.

Eleven years later I had the privilege to come again on the occasion of the Pacific Science Congress, where Allan was one of the outstanding figures. At this time he was deeply engaged in the work that was to crown his scientific career, the new Flora of New Zealand. To my intense satisfaction he came to Sweden in 1950, when botanists from every corner of the world met for the Seventh International Botanical Congress. I know that he enjoyed the meetings and the excursion to Lapland, a new and strange world to him. Even if he had lost some of his

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physical strength, he looked well and happy, and upon his return to his native land he immersed himself again in work on the Flora. Then news came that his health was failing, and his co-workers knew that he could not live to see the work completed. When the University of Uppsala, celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Linnaeus, was to confer an honorary doctor's degree on him in recognition of his merits, we understood that he would not be there to receive it. When the laurel wreath was held high and the words “Harry Howard Allan, absens” were spoken, accompanied by gunfire, our thoughts went to his sick-bed at the other end of the world.

His last great work will stand as a monument to a great personality, a famous botanist, and an unforgettable friend.

Carl Skottsberg

Gothenburg, July, 1958.


Variety test on potatoes N. Z. J. Agric 7.1913:514.

A note on weeds Mag. Ashburton Agric. & Past Ass., 1, 1920, 39–40.

A note on the root structure of red clover. Mag. Ashburton Agric. & Past. Ass. 2, 1921, 17–18.

The forest remnants in the neighbourhood of Feilding. Rep. Aust. Ass Adv. Sci. 16, 1923, 402–404.

Experiments on the top-dressing of old pastures: Botanical Analyses. Feilding Agric. Coll. Bull. 2, 1923.

On the hybridity of Coprosma cunninghamu Hook. f. N. Z. J. Sci. Tech. 6, 1924, 310–318.

Induced hydathodes in a New Zealand Veronica New Phytol. 23, 1924, 222–224.

Spartina grass and its introduction into New Zealand. N. Z. J. Set Tech. 7, 1924,253–256.

Notes on the occurrence of certain exotic plants in New Zealand. N. Z. J. Agric. 29, 1924, 311–314.

Experiments on the top-dressing of old pastures Botanical Analyses. Feilding Agric. Coll. Bull. 4, 1925.

Illustrations of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora. I. Genetica 7, 1925, 287–292.

A remarkable New Zealand scrub association Ecol. 7, 1926, 72–76.

A proposed new botanical district for the New Zealand region (with L. Cockayne). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 56, 1926, 19–20.

Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, etc. (No. 4) (with L. Cockayne). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 56, 1926, 21–33.

The vegetation of Mount Peel, Canterbury, N. Z. Part 1 The forests and shrublands. Trans N. Z. Inst. 56, 1926,37–51.

Epharmonic response in certain New Zealand species, and its bearing on taxonomic questions. J. Ecol. 14,1926, 72–91.

Ferns and flowering plants of Mayor Island, New Zealand (with K. W. Dalrymple). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 56, 1926, 34–36.

The surface roots of an individual matai. N. Z. J. Sci. Tech. 8, 1926, 233–234.

The present taxonomic status of the New Zealand species of Hebe (with L. Cockayne). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 57, 1926, 11–47.

Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, etc. (No. 5) (with L. Cockayne). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 57, 1926, 48–72.

The vegetation of Mount Peel, Canterbury, N. Z. Part 2. The grasslands and other herbaceous communities. Trans. N. Z. Inst. 57, 1926, 73–89.

Notes on the study of the open communities of high-mountain areas in New Zealand. In Aims and Methods in the Study of Vegetation ed. Tansley & Chipp. 1926, 366–372.

The naming of wild hybrid swarms (with L. Cockayne). Nature, 30th October, 1926, 623.

The F1 progeny resulting from crossing Coprosma propinqua ♀ with C. robusta ♂ Genetica 8, 1926, 155–160.

Illustrations of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora. II. Genetica 8, 1926, 369–374.

A wild hybrid Hebe community in New Zealand (with G. Simpson and J. S. Thomson) Genetica 8, 1926, 375–388.

Illustrations of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora, III. Genetica 8, 1926, 525–536.

An artificial Rubus hybrid. Trans. N. Z. Inst. 58, 1927, 51–54.

The validity of a certain method of naming wild hybrid swarms. N. Z. J. Sci. Tech 9, 1927, 179–182.

The bearing of ecological studies in New Zealand on botanical taxonomic conceptions and procedure (with L. Cockayne). J. Ecol. 15, 1927, 234–277.

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Illustrations of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora IV. Genetica 9, 1927, 145–156.

Lichens, mosses and ferns of Canterbury. In The Natural History of Canterbury ed. Speight, Wall & Laing, 1927, 160–166.

Illustrations of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora. V. Genetica 9, 1927, 499–515.

A Rubus hybrid of horticultural value. Gdnrs' Chron. Nov. 19, 1927, 405.

New Zealand Trees and Shrubs and How to Identify Them. Wellington. Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd 1928.188 pp.

The epiphyllous lichens of Kitchener Park, Feilding, New Zealand (with A. Zahlbruchner and K. Keissler). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 59, 1928, 304–314 Further notes on an artificial Rubus hybrid (X Rubus parvicoloratus “Vida”). Trans. N.Z. Inst. 59, 1928, 643–644.

The F2 progeny resulting from the crossing of Coprosma propinqua ♀ with C. robusta ♂ Genetica 11, 1929, 335–346.

The economic significance of systematic botany. N.Z.J. Agric. 38, 1929, 399–403.

A remarkable Senecio hybrid (with W. A. Thomson). Trans. N. Z. Inst. 60, 1929, 265–266.

Spartina townsendii: a valuable grass for reclamation of tidal mud-flats. N.Z.J. Agric. 39, 1929,313–319.

A list of supposed wild hybrids among the naturalized plants of New Zealand. N.Z.J. Sci. Tech. 11, 1929, 255–261.

Illustrations of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora. VI. Genetica 11, 1929, 491–508.

Woolly finger grass. N Z. J. Agric. 40, 1930,28–30.

Spartina townsendii: a valuable grass for reclamation of tidal mud-flats. 2. Experiences in New Zealand. N. Z. J. Agric. 40, 1930, 189–196.

A case of malformation in Clematis foetida (with V. D. Zotov). N.Z.J. Sci. Tech. 11, 1930, 362–365.

The canary grasses in New Zealand (with V. D. Zotov). N. Z. J. Agric. 40, 1930, 256–264.

The importance of the jordanon in problems of geographical distribution. Rep. Proc. Vth Internat. Bot. Congr. Cambridge, 1930, 106–111.

Some remarks on hybridism in the New Zealand flora Proc. Linn. Soc. Land. 1930, 10–13.

The significance of hybridism in the New Zealand flora. Rep. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci. 1931, 429–477.

Spartma-grass and tidal mud-flat reclamation. N. Z. J. Agric. 42, 1931, 295–299.

The alien flora of New Zealand. N. Z. J. Agric. 42, 1931, 392–394.

The horticultural significance of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora. C. R. Soc. nat. Hort. France Xe Congr. 1932, 236–244.

Notes on recently observed exotic weeds. N. Z. J. Agric. 46, 1933, 162–165. 2. Ibid. 233–234.

Apple root-stock investigations. N. Z. J. Agric. 46, 1933,256–259.

Fleabane and sea-aster. N. Z. J. Agric. 46, 1933, 341–344 Notes on recently observed exotic weeds. 9 N.Z.J. Agric. 47, 1933, 38–40.4 Ibid. 182–184.5 Ibid. 311–313.

Notes on recently observed exotic weeds. 6,7 N.Z.J. Agric. 48, 1934, 42–46.8. Ibid. 295–300.

The specific identity of ratstail grass. N.Z.J. Sci. Tech. 15, 1934, 255–257.

An annotated list of groups of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora (with L. Cockayne). Ann. Bot. 48, 1934, 1–55.

Commemoration Address: William Colenso. The Sheaf (Annu. Mag. Feilding Agric. High School) 12 (1), 1934, 14–20.

Notes on recently observed exotic weeds. 9 N.Z.J. Agric. 50, 1935, 96–97.

Pampas grass and its identification. N.Z.J. Agric. 50, 1935, 274–281. The Australian element in the New Zealand flora—a plea for more exact taxonomic studies. Rep. Melbourne (1935) Meeting Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., 370–371.

Additions to the alien flora of New Zealand. Trans. N. Z. Inst. 65, 1935, 1–8.

Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, etc. (No 6). Trans. N.Z Inst. 65, 1935, 221–231.

Saint John's wort and allied species. N.Z.J. Agric. 52, 1936, 207–213.

Indigene versus alien in the New Zealand plant world. Ecol. 17, 1936, 187–193.

An Introduction to the Grasses of New Zealand Wellington. Government Printer. 1936, 159 pp. Name this plant. J. N. Z. Inst. Hort. 6, 1936, 28–32.

Some ecological features (botanical) of the main islands. In Handbook for New Zealand. Wellington, 1936, 36–42.

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Indigenous grasslands of New Zealand. Ibid 92–97.

A consideration of the “Biological Spectra” of New Zealand. J. Ecol. 25, 1937, 116–152.

An artificial cross between Phormium colensoi and Phormium tenax (with V. D. Zotov). N.Z.J. Sci. Tech. 18, 1937, 799–804.

Notes on recently observed exotic weeds. 10.11. N. Z. J. Agric. 55, 1937, 159–162.

A note on the horned poppy in New Zealand. Kew Bull. Misc. Inf. 8, 1937, 409–411.

Wild species hybrids in the phanerogams Bot. Rev. 3.1937, 593–615.

The origin and distribution of the naturalized plants of New Zealand. Proc. Linn. Soc. Land. 150th Sess 1937, 25–46.

The Cladoniae of New Zealand. Rep. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci. 23, 1937,337–338.

The return of the native. N. Z. J. Sci. Tech. 19, 1938, 591–592.

Fruit characters in the F2 of a Coprosma cross. Trans. Roy. Soc. N. Z. 68, 1938, 34–36.

Banks and Solander: Fathers of New Zealand botany. J. Roy N.Z. Inst. Hort. 8.1939, 85–90.

Remarks on X Leucoraoulia. Trans. Roy. Soc. N. Z. 68, 1939, 457–461.

The nomenclature of hybrids. Chron. Bot. 5, 1939, 205–209.

New Zealand plants in a Sussex garden. J. Roy. N. Z. Inst. Hort. 9, 1939, 29–35.

Notes on the Puccinelliae of New Zealand (with P. Jansen). Trans. Roy. Soc. N. Z. 69, 1939, 265–269.

Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, etc. (No. 7). Trans. Roy. Soc. N. Z. 69, 1939, 270–281.

Natural hybridisation in relation to taxonomy. In The New Systematics ed. J. Huxley, 1940, 515–528.

Historic trees in New Zealand. J. Roy. N. Z. Inst. Hort. 10, 1940, 19–27, 42–46.

Handbook of the Naturalized Flora of New Zealand. Wellington. Government Printer. 1940.344pp.

Nassella tussock. N. Z. J. Agric. 63, 1941, 91–94.

Historic trees in New Zealand. J. Roy N. Z. Inst. Hort. 11, 1941, 13–14 Vivipary in Phormium (with L. M. Cranwell). Rec. Auck. Inst. Mus. 2, 1942, 269–279.

What is Convolvulus? J. Roy N. Z. Inst. Hort. 12, 1942, 22–23.

Senecio “Alfred Atkinson” J. Roy N. Z. Inst. Hort. 12, 1943, 62.

Dodder, its life history and methods of control. N. Z. J. Agric. 68, 1944, 43–47.

The Botanical Names of the Flora of New Zealand (with A. Wall). Wellington. Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd., 1945.88 pp.

Tussock grassland or steppe? N. Z. Geographer 2, 1946, 223–234.

The use and misuse of shrubs and trees as fodder. I. A. B. Joint Publ. 10, 1947, 40–56.

Notes on New Zealand floristic botany, including descriptions of new species, etc. (No. 8). Trans. Roy. Soc. N. Z. 76, 1947, 589–596.

A note on lichens with a key to the common New Zealand genera. Tuatara. 1, 1948, 20–35.

A note on the crustaceous lichens of New Zealand. Tuatara. 2, 1949, 15–21.

Wild species-hybrids in the Phanerogams II. Bot. Rev. 15, 1949,77–105.

A key to the Stictaceae of New Zealand. Tuatara 2, 1949, 97–101.

Hudson Lecture: Botany in the service of the State. N. Z. Sci. Rev. 9, 1951, 124–130.

A key to the Family Umbilicariaceae. Tuatara. 4, 1951, 59–62.

Some remarks on the species question. Roy. Soc. N. Z. Rep. 7th Congr. 1953, 36–39.

Botanical evidence concerning the origin of Cook Strait. Proc. 7th Pac. Sci. Congr. 1953, 146–152.

Flora of New Zealand. Wellington. Government Printer. In press.

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John Henderson (1880–1959)

John Henderson was born in Dunedin on May 13, 1880, and after primary school attended Otago Boys' High School (1894–1898). Thence he entered Otago University and Otago School of Mines, finishing in 1902 with his M. A., A.O.S. M., and B.E. (Mining). For the next eight years he was Director of Reefton School of Mines, a position that brought him into close contact with the extensive coal and gold-mining activities of Westland and West Nelson. His field investigations here covered a wide area of the “Coast” and resulted in a thesis that gained him a D.Sc. in 1907. As a result of this research, he published in 1911 two papers, “The Coalfields of West Nelson” and “On the Genesis of the Surface Forms and Present Drainage-systems of West Nelson”. The latter is among the earliest purely geomorphologic papers published in this country.

In 1911, Dr. Henderson was appointed mining geologist to the New Zealand Geological Survey. As well as keeping in close touch with the mining industry of the Dominion in succeeding years, and reporting on numerous mines, quarries, and mineral properties of different kinds, he also advised on the geological implications of many engineering projects, for example the Arapuni Hydroelectric Dam, and the Ongaruhe railway reconstruction. In addition, he carried out regional surveys of the geology and mineral resources of several districts—namely, Reefton, Te Aroha (with J. A. Bartrum), Gisborne and Whatatutu (with M. Ongley), Mokau (with M. Onglev), and Huntly-Kawhia (with L. I. Grange). At the request of the Government of Fiji, in 1923 he visited and reported on me geology and mining prospects of gold-bearing quartz-lodes in Vanua Levu.

In 1928, Dr. Henderson succeeded the late P. G. Morgan as Director of the New Zealand Geological Survey, holding this position until his retirement in 1945. As New Zealand representative, he attended, in the following year, the Fifteenth International Geological Congress in Pretoria, South Africa. Excursions to many of the great mining enterprises were a feature of the Congress, and Dr. Henderson was thus able to examine gold, coal, asbestos, chrome, and diamond mines in South Africa and Rhodesia, also platinum and iron-ore deposits in Transvaal.

The economic depression of the early thirties brought an inevitable crop of administrative difficulties and frustrations, but Dr. Henderson succeeded in maintaining his geologists on the staff in spite of the widely current retrenchment. Bulletins could not be printed but the condensed reports and black-and-white geological maps of the Annual Reports of those years have proved extremely useful. With the coming of better times and the greatly increased activity of Works, Railways and other Government departments and public bodies, requests for geological advice increased enormously. The consequent expansion of the Geological Survey was carried out over a wide field, including soil surveys and geophysical surveys, each of which activities has since become a separate division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. In addition to his official duties, Dr. Henderson wrote a number of papers in general geology and stratigraphy, published in Transactions of the Royal Society of N.Z. and in the Journal of Science and Technology. During his seventeen years as Director, he carried on the high tradition, so well established in Geological Survey procedure by J. M. Bell, and so thoroughly ingrained by P. G. Morgan, of most careful and painstaking editing of all publications.

For several years Dr. Henderson was a member of the Council of Wellington Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand, was President in 1933–34, and served as Honorary Editor of the Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand from 1946 to 1949. In 1929, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand; in 1935, awarded the Jubilee Medal; in 1945, the Hector Medal and Award; and in 1948, he was appointed C.B.E.

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Dr. Henderson was of modest and unassuming disposition, avoiding anything in the way of publicity, but with a deep sense of public responsibility. He was a keen gardener and had a good working knowledge of the native vegetation. His interests and reading covered a very wide field that gave him a vast amount of documented information always willingly and helpfully at the service of his colleagues. To the young geologist, his wealth of knowledge and kindly personal interest provided a real source of inspiration.

In 1907, Dr. Henderson married Charlotte Ann, daughter of John Beighton, of Roxburgh. Their son, Ian, is on the staff of the Mines Department.

Dr. Henderson died at his home in Hataitai, Wellington, on March 5, 1959.


Henderson, J, 1911. The Coalfields of West Nelson; with Notes on the Formation of the Coal. Trans. N. Z. Inst., 43 297–306.

— 1911. On the Genesis of the Surface Forms and Present Drainage-systems of West Nelson. Trans. N. Z. Inst., 43. 306–315.

— 1912. Field-work in Te Aroha Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 6th Ann. Rept. 5–6.

— 1913. Reefton Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 7th Ann. Rept. 119–120.

— 1914. Reefton Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 8th Ann. Rept. 120–122.

— 1914. Gold-mining Possibilities of the Hunua District, Auckland. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 8th Ann. Rept. 156.

— 1914. Coal Possibilities of the Warkworth District. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 8th Ann. Rept. 157-8.

— 1915. Notes on the Geology of the Warwick Valley. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 9th Ann. Rept. 102-3.

—1915. Notes on the Geology of the Weber District. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 9th Ann. Rept. 103.

— 1916. Notes on the Limestones of the Manawatu Gorge and of Mauriceville. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 10th Ann. Rept. 30.

— 1916. Notes on the Huntly District. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 10th Ann. Rept. 31, geol map.

— 1917. The Geology and Mineral Resources of the Reefton Subdivision, Westport and North Westland Divisions. N. Z. Geol. Surv. Bull. 18.

— 1917. Notes on the Geology and Mineral Occurrences of the Wakamanna Valley. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 11th Ann. Rept. 6, sections.

— 1917. Marble in Riwaka-Takaka District. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. Ann. Rept. 7.

— 1917. Notes on the Geology of the Waikato Valley near Maungatautari (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 11th Ann. Rept.. 7, map.

— 1917. Te Kuiti District (Summary). N. Z. Geol. Surv. 11th Ann. Rept.. 7.

— 1917. Notes on the Geology of the Murchison District (Summary). N. Z. Geol. Surv. 11th Ann. Rept.. 7, geol. map.

— 1917. Notes on the Geology of the Cheviot District. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 11th Ann. Rept.. 8.

— 1917. Flood at Thames, 21st February, 1917 N. Z. Geol. Surv. 11th Ann. Rept. 10–11.

— 1918. Notes on the Geology of the Waikato Valley, near Maungatautan. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 1 (1) 56–60.

— 1918. Notes on the Geology and Mineral Occurrences of the Wakamarina Valley. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech. 1 (1) 11–15.

—1918. Notes on the Geology of the Murchison District. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 1 (2) 108–112.

— 1918. The Geology of the Te Kuiti District, with Special Reference to Coal Prospects. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 1 (2) 112–115.

— 1918. Notes on the Geology of the Cheviot District. N. Z. Journ. Sci. Tech., 1 (3) 171–4.

— 1918. Marble in Riwaka-Takaka District. N. Z. Journ. Sci. Tech., 1 (3) 175-7.

— 1919. Mokau Subdivision. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 2 (6) 393–394.

—1919. The Taranaki Coalfield. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 2 (6). 394–399 .

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— 1920. Geological Features disclosed by Excavations at the Proposed Dam Site at Arapuni, Waikato River. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 3 (4): 224–226.

— 1920. A Mineral New to New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 3 (2): 79–80.

— 1921. The Talisman Mine, Karangahake. N Z. Geol. Surv. 15th Ann. Rept.. 19–20.

— 1921. Reefton Coalfield. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 4 (1): 18–24, fig.

— 1921. Notes to Accompany a Geological Map of the Cheviot District. N Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 4 (1): 24–30.

— 1922. The Progress Mines of New Zealand N. Z. Geol. Surv. 16th Ann. Rept.: 9–12.

— 1922. The Chertsey Oil Bore. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 16th Ann. Rept.: 12.

— 1922. Natural Gas in Hauraki Plains. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 16th Ann. Rept.: 13–14.

— 1922. Cinnabar in New Zealand. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 16th Ann. Rept.: 15–16.

— 1923. Notes to Accompany a Geological Sketch-map of the Mount Arthur District. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 6 (3): 174–190.

— 1923. Paint-pigments, Omahau, Nelson. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 17th Ann. Rept: 11–12.

— 1923. Marble in the Takaka District, Nelson. (Summary.) N Z. Geol. Surv. 17th Ann. Rept. 12.

— 1923. Talcose Schist in springburn Valley, Kawarau Survey District, Otago. (Summary). N.Z. Geol. Surv. 17th Ann. Rept. 12.

— 1923. Cinnabar in Greenvale Survey District, near Waikaia, Southland. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 17th Ann. Rept. 12.

— 1923. Notes on the Geology of the Naseby Distract. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 17th Ann. Rept. 12–13.

— 1923. Gold and Platinum in the Orepuki District. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 17th Ann. Rept.: 13.

— 1923. Chrysotile Asbestos in the Upper Takaka District. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 6 (2): 120–123.

— 1923. Notes on the Geology of the Nevis Valley, Otago. N Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 6 (2): 123–128, geol map.

— 1924. The Post-Tertiary History of New Zealand. Trans. N. Z. Inst., 55: 580-99.

— 1924. The Structure of the Taupo-Rotorua Region. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 6 (5–6) 270–274, fig.

— 1924. Underground Water, Tahunanui, Nelson. (Summary.) N Z. Geol. Surv. 18th Ann. Rept. 10.

— 1924. Rolling River Lodes. (Summary.) N. Z. Geol. Surv. 18th Ann. Rept. 10.

— 1926. A Section of the Coal-measures and Associated Beds in the Western Part of Huntly Coalfield, Waikato, Auckland. Proc Dominion Mining Conference, 1926: 85–86.

— 1928. Percy Gates Morgan, 1867–1927. (Obituary). Trans. N. Z. Inst., 58 (4) 553-5, pl.

— 1928. Percy Gates Morgan, Late Director New Zealand Geological Survey. A Memorial. N.Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 9 (5) 306–311, fig (with bibliography).

—1928. Pupu Spring, Takaka. N. Z. Journ. Sci. Tech., 10 (2): 111–115.

—1928. Director's Report (with maps showing state of Systematic Geological Surveys on 31st May, 1928). N. Z. Geol. Surv. 22nd Ann. Rept. 1–3.

— 1928. Metallogenetic Epochs of the Pacific Region. Proc. Third Pan-Pacific Sci Congr., 1 572–574.

— 1929. The Late Cretaceous and Tertiary Rocks of New Zealand. Trans. N. Z. Inst., 60 (2) 271–299.

— 1929. The Faults and Geological Structure of New Zealand. N. Z. Journ. Sci. Tech., 11 (2) 93–97.

— 1929. Director's Report. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 23rd Ann. Rept. 1–2.

— 1929. Manganese at Paraparaumu. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 23rd Ann. Rept. 10–11.

— 1929. Dam-sites in the Akatarawa and Wakatiker Valleys. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 23rd Ann. Rept. 11–12.

— 1929. Wainui-o-mata and Orongorongo Valleys. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 23rd Ann. Rept 12–13.

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— 1929. Mananui Flat Boreholes. N. Z. Geol. Surv. Ann. Rept. 2–4.

— 1930. Gold in New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech, 12 (3): 154–165.

— 1930. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 24th Ann. Rept. 2–4.

— 1930. Gold-bearing Quartz-Veins near Havelock, Pelorous Sound. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 24th Ann. Rept.: 21–22.

— 1930. The Gold Resources of New Zealand. Internat. Geol Congr., 15, Gold. Res. of the World: 259–63.

— 1931. The Ancient Glaciers of Nelson N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech, 13 (3). 154–160.

— 1931. Director's Report. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 25th Ann. Rept.: 2.

— 1931. Okoroire Hot Springs. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 25th Ann. Rept.: 9.

— 1931. Coal near Waimana, Whakatane County. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 25th Ann. Rept. 9–10.

— 1931. Great Barrier Copper-Mine. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 25th Ann. Rept. 10–12.

— 1932. Hartley Travers Ferrar, M.A. (Cantab), D. Sc. (N.Z), F.G.S., 1879–1932 (with bibliography). N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 14 (1). 38–41.

— 1932. Earthquakes in New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 14 (3) 129–139.

— 1932. Director's Report. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 26th Ann. Rept. 3–4.

— 1933. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 27th Ann. Rept. 3.

— 1934. The Coal Resources of New Zealand. Proc. Fifth Pacific Science Congr., 2.1521–1529.

— 1934. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol Surv. 28th Ann. Rept. 2.

— 1934. Kotuku Oilfield. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 28th Ann. Rept. 13–20, geol. map.

— 1934. Lead and Zinc Resources of New Zealand .Proc. Fifth Pacific Science Congr., 2.1461.

— 1935. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 29th Ann. Rept. 1.

— 1935. Notes on the Geology of the Marlborough Goldfields. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 29th Ann. Rept. 11–21, geol. map.

— 1935. Age and Origin of the Lodes of Otago and Marlborough. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 29th Ann. Rept. 21–26.

— 1936. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 30th Ann. Rept. 1.

— 1936. Pahi Greensand. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 30th Ann. Rept. 14.

— 1936. Oil-divining. N.Z. Geol. Surv. 30th Ann. Rept 14–15.

— 1937. The West Nelson Earthquakes of 1929 (with notes on the Geological Structure of West Nelson. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 19 (2) 65–144, figs., geol. map., D.S.I.R. Bull., 55 (1937).

— 1937. Petroleum in New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 19 (7) 401–426, D. S.I.R. Bull., 60 (1937).

— 1937. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 31st Ann. Rept. 1.

— 1937. Natural Pozzolanas in New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., 18 (11) 781–788.

— 1937. New Bendigo Mine. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 31st Ann. Rept. 14–16.

— 1937. Glenorchy District. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 31st Ann. Rept. 16–22.

— 1937. Underground Water, Wellington Hospital. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 31st Ann. Rept 23.

— 1938. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 32nd Ann. Rept. 1.

— 1938. Maruia Hot Springs. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 32nd Ann. Rept. 19–20.

— 1938. Underground Water, Raglan. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 32nd Ann. Rept. 20–22.

— 1939. The Copper Resources of New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., B, 20 (4) 177B-181B.

— 1939. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 33rd Ann. Rept. 1–2.

— 1939. Cromwell Lode System. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 33rd Ann. Rept. 12–13.

— 1939. Rotorua Thermal Water. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 33rd Ann. Rept. 13–14.

— 1939. Metasomatic Alteration of the Country of the Auriferous Quartz Lodes of New Zealand. (Abstract.) Rept. A. & N.Z.A.A.S., 24 89–90.

— 1940. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 34th Ann. Rept. 1–2.

— 1940. Alpine Mine, Lyell. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 34th Ann. Rept.: 13.

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— 1941. Underground Water in New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., B, 18 (3): 97B-112B, map.

— 1941. Report of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 35th Ann. Rept.: 1–2.

— 1942. Rept of Director. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 36th Ann. Rept.: 1–2.

— 1943. Fireclay and Gannister in New Zealand. N.Z.D.S. I. R. Bull. 88.

— 1943. Earthquake Risk in New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., B, 24 (5). 195B-219B.

— 1943. Report of Director. N.Z. Geol. Surv. 37th Ann. Rept.: 1–2.

— 1944. Quartz Crystal in New Zealand. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., B, 25 (4): 162–169.

— 1944. Cinnabar at Puhipuhi and Ngawha, North Auckland. N.Z. Jour. Sci. Tech., B, 26 (2) 47–60.

— 1951. Cornish Stone and Feldspar in New Zealand. N.Z Jour. Sci. Tech., B, 31 (6) 25–44.

Henderson, J. and Bartrum, J. A., 1913 The Geology of the Aroha Subdivision, Hauraki Auckland. N. Z. Geol. Surv. Bull. 16.

Henderson, J. and Fyfe, H. E., 1927 Murchison Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 21st Ann. Rept. 4–7.

Henderson, J. and Grange., L. I., 1921 Kawhia Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 15th Ann. Rept.. 5–6.

— 1922. Notes to accompany a Geological Sketch-map of the Marakopa District. N. Z. Jour. Sci. Tech. 5 (3). 177–183.

— 1926. The Geology of the Huntly-Kawhia Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. Bull. 28.

— 1926. Motueka Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 20th Ann. Rept.. 4–5.

Henderson, J, Grande, L. I.. and Macpherson, E. O., 1924. Motueka Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 18th Ann. Rept. 4–6.

— 1925. Motueka Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 19th Ann. Rept.: 4–5.

Henderson, J. and Ongley, M., 1915 Gisborne Subdivision. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 9th Ann. Rept. 77–78.

Henderson, J, and Ongley, M.,, 1916. Gisborne and Whatatutu Subdivisions. N. Z. Geol. Surv. 10th Ann. Rept. 7–9.

— 1920. The Geology of the Gisborne and Whatatutu Subdivisions. N. Z. Geol. Surv. Bull. 21.

— 1923. The Geology of the Mokau Subdivision, with an Account of the Adjoining Areas, and of the Te Kuiti District. N. Z. Geol. Surv. Bull. 24.