19th Century On the Land Electricity Iron Sands to Steel Think Big

Visions, Opinions & Events

“The ammonia/urea plant must take the prize for the most ill-conceived, badly planned and indecently rushed development of the year.”….( see ).
Bovine mannequins should find no place in an industry whose continued progress rests on its ability to achieve lower cost production than its competitors overseas…. (see )

W M Hamilton claimed, “The isolation of New Zealand no 1 White Clover was possibly the greatest single advance made in the recognition of a desirable pasture species – its vigour, high yield, and ability to respond to phosphate topdressing have been outstanding and of the greatest importance in raising pasture yield…. (see )

An obviously favourable factor in the rapid spread of the technology at this stage was the existence of men who had learned to fly during the war and welcomed the opportunity to continue with careers in the air rather than face the dullness of other jobs in civilian life. … (see)

Only in the 1960s and 1970s did it begin to take on the characteristics of a modern industry; to rely on systematic research and development to improve its products and processes and to move towards marketing its output rather than selling it as a commodity. (see)

Sixty Years of Dairy Industry Innovation

A remarkable combination of favourable circumstances saw the technology progress from the innovation phase – its trial in prototype form – through to adoption and widespread use, in only a few years. A major state involvement in the proving of the technology paved the way for its adoption and diffusion through the actions of a large number of individuals. ……… (see)
New Zealand’s economy can be placed in the same category as those of Sierra Leone, Ghana, Bolivia and Venezuela.”…… (see)
Prior to the commissioning of the plant, New Zealand graduates had been sent overseas for two years training. Their analytical ability and persistence were vital to the eventual development of a successful process. … (see)
It is an odd amalgam of technology and nature, of the Tin Woodsman of Oz and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, ….. (see) 

The Techhistory site is based in part on “New Zealand is Different”. The book has proved very popular and only a few copies remain of the second edition. These are available at a reduced price. …….( see )

Without this three-sided interaction, viable export of the technology to all parts of the world would not have been possible…….( see )

The need for research as a basis for development was a message widely preached by technologists in the years following World War I. …. (see)

Like airline pilots in recent years the drivers of the locomotives were an elite and given an importance which ignored the dependence of the system on a whole range of people with specialist skills. ……. ………. .. (see)

The invention of the flax ”stripper” led to the development of an industry known as ”flax milling”, which was a distinctive feature of the New Zealand economy from the 1860s until the 1970s.

The ideas propounded by Sir Guy that gained so much sympathy with the individuals who formed the Environmental Defence Society and the Coalition for Open Government were that the complexity of bureaucratic structures provided little chance for individual citizens to influence decision making …… (see)

The establishment of a cotton mill would have been as much a symbolic as a practical event ….. (see) 
The project can compete at world parity for these products on the Australian markets and achieve these results.Who will gainsay that it cannot be to New Zealand what Broken Hill is to Australia ? …… (see)

A successful innovation usually has little to do with the originality of the idea behind it. What it does depend on—and crucially so—is the single-mindedness with which the business plan is executed, as countless obstacles on the road to commercialisation are surmounted, by-passed or hammered flat. Life in the fast lane really is 1% inspiration and 99% pure sweat……..( see )

TechHistory Quickfind:

Visions, Opinions & Events

I n the decade of the 1970s, New Zealand reacted to a faltering economy, the rising price of oil and a surplus of natural gas with a set of State decisions to construct major energy projects. ….. ( see )

Is Kiwi ingenuity a myth? ….( see )

Technologists and economic historians instinctively understand that technological innovation is an essential component of economic growth. They also appreciate that, for innovation to occur, a combination of favourable circumstances is necessary. Economists however have traditionally considered the accumulation of conventional inputs such as labor and capital to be the primary force behind economic growth……..( see )
Fernz (now Nufarm) moved its base across the Tasman in January 2000. Many years earlier another science-based company started in New Zealand left in search of a bigger market. (see)

But then came a change of pace. The scientists were not to be allowed to carry out a completely thorough and systematic investigation. The need for power was regarded as too urgent. Risks would have to be taken in order to assess the feasibility of large-scale power production. .. (see )

With what seems remarkable prescience a high proportion of the technologies and resources important to national development over the next 60 years were addressed in the first numbers….. (see)

“The Lieutenant and his eight man crew are collecting a choice list of descriptions of the Strait, the majority of them unprintable. Most of their troubles with tides, high winds, and rain which shrouds their marks , they are now ascribing to a gremlin named George.. ..”…. (see)

The Pacific type of locomotive was subsequently adapted and successfully developed for express locomotives in America and around the world. (see) 

The scene was set for one of New Zealand’s more interesting financial debacles , as well as for early “Think Big” projects………. (see) 

Some early industrialists displayed tremendous perseverance, confident that New Zealand would become the ” Britain of the South “……… (see)
It is one of the few New Zealand examples satisfying Michael Porter’s conditions for a competitive industry. The rival firms innovate vigorously to supply a sophisticated market. …… …. (see) 
The year 1918 appears to have been for New Zealand the threshold of a technological era that lasted until the 1980s …… (see) 
A number of factors undoubtedly contributed to the increasing value to New Zealand of the pastoral technology in the 50’s and 60’s…. (see)
Erich Geiringer said, “There is a fascination with increasing complexity and technical finesse which is natural and proper in a technologist”…….. (see)

A major factor in the success of the New Zealand dairy industry has been the readiness with which technological advances have been incorporated into farming practice, often enough under the stress of falling prices and the necessity to vindicate land values resulting from excessive optimism in periods of rising prices.”……………….. (see)

As technological advances took place in the decades following World War I and then following World War II there was an increasing use of energy to replace man’s labour, an increasing scale of enterprise to achieve economies, and the systemisation of activities to allow the mass application of scientific discoveries. The most notable examples of these trends can be found…… (see)


A successful innovation usually has little to do with the originality of the idea behind it. What it does depend on—and crucially so—is the single-mindedness with which the business plan is executed, as countless obstacles on the road to commercialisation are surmounted, by-passed or hammered flat. Life in the fast lane really is 1% inspiration and 99% pure sweat……..( see )

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