|About This Book
The Editors say: ‘New Zealand is Different’ is intended for two main audiences.
First, it is a historical study, which we hope will interest the general reader.
Second, it describes some of the chemistry and technology that has contributed to the development of our country. Since the latter may be of interest only to the more technically inclined reader, we have placed as much as possible in "information boxes", which may be regarded as asides to the historical narrative. Some of the historical and biographical background materials are treated in a similar manner.
The book starts with John Pollard’s seminal essay, New Zealand is Different, whose theme recurs frequently throughout. Denis Hogan and Gordon Leary then set the scene regarding the contribution made by government research establishments, particularly the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), its precursors and progeny.
The succeeding essays may be roughly classified as concerning the land, agriculture, agricultural products and by-products, natural products and minerals. Many of the stories overlap, but we have tried to avoid repetition by the use of cross-references. We have also attempted to aid the general reader by providing technical definitions in parentheses and footnotes, with more detailed explanations in handily placed information boxes.