Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (New Zealand)

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.

Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
Agency overview
Formed1926 (1926)
Preceding agencies
Dissolved1 April 1992 (1992-04-01)
Superseding agency
Employees2,000 in 1976[1]


DSIR was founded in 1926 by Ernest Marsden[1] after calls from Ernest Rutherford for government to support education and research[2] and on the back of the Imperial Economic Conference in London in October and November 1923, when various colonies discussed setting up such departments.[3] It initially received funding from sources such as the Empire Marketing Board.[4] 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.[5]


DSIR initially had five divisions:[6]

The later Antarctic Division became Antarctica New Zealand in 1996.[8]


Reconstituted into initially 10 semi-independent entities called Crown Research Institutes by the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992, with some further consolidation since.[9]

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Galbreath, Ross (1998). DSIR: Making Science Work for New Zealand: Themes from the History of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1926–1992. Wellington [N.Z.]: Victoria University Press. ISBN 0864733542. OCLC 44633299.


External linksEdit