Sketch map of the geology of New Zealand by Sir James Hector, 1869. Alexander Turnbull Library.
When the Europeans arrived in New Zealand they rapidly set about documenting and describing all manner of its unique environment. Partly this was for economic reasons, but there was also a strong sense of scientific endeavour and discovery. In 1864, prominent Victorian scientist Sir James Hector was appointed Director of New Zealand’s first Geological Survey. The above geological map and subsequent book The Outline of New Zealand Geology (1886) was a direct result of Hector and his team’s dedicated and arduous exploration of New Zealand’s (then) remote and diverse landscape.
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