Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (New Zealand)

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Formed  1926 (1926)
Employees  2,000 in 1976
Preceding agencies  Geological Survey Magnetic Survey Meteorological Office Hector Observatory Samoan Scientific Service
Dissolved  April 1, 1992 (1992-04-01)
Superseding agency  10 semi-independent Crown Research Institutes

The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) is a now-defunct government science agency in New Zealand, founded in 1926 and broken into Crown Research Institutes in 1992.



DSIR was founded in 1926 by Ernest Marsden after calls from Ernest Rutherford for government to support education and research and on the back of the Imperial Economic Conference in London in October and November 1923, when various colonies discussed setting up such departments. It initially received funding from sources such as the Empire Marketing Board. The initial plans also included a new agricultural college, to be jointly founded by Auckland and Victoria University Colleges, Palmerston North was chosen as the site for this and it grew to become Massey University.


DSIR initially had five divisions:

  • Grasslands in Palmerston North
  • Plant Diseases in Auckland
  • Entomology, attached to the Cawthron Institute in Nelson
  • Soil Survey (later Soil Bureau) in Taita
  • Agronomy (later Crop Research Division) in Lincoln
  • Geophysics Division from 1951
  • Dissolution

    Reconstituted into initially 10 semi-independent entities called Crown Research Institutes by the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992, with some further consolidation since.


    Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (New Zealand) Wikipedia

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