Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (New Zealand)

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Department of Scientific and Industrial Research
Agency overview
Formed 1926 (1926)
Preceding agencies
Dissolved April 1, 1992 (1992-04-01)
Superseding agency
Employees 2,000 in 1976 [1]

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 [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 also

Further reading