The Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference
Dunedin, New Zealand
Engineering in a 2020 World
pre-pre-Conference tour
November 2020
Click here to register interest

The Engineering New Zealand Otago Heritage chapter is hosting the next Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference in Dunedin between Sunday 22nd and Wednesday 25th November 2020, preceded by a 3-day pre-Conference tour.

In line with previous Australian and New Zealand Conferences, Heritage of Industry will work with the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch chapters of Engineering New Zealand members to create a pre-pre-Conference tour of Engineering and Industrial Heritage sites to run immediately before the pre-Conference tour and Conference to add value to an event which is a long way from home for those of us from the Northern hemisphere!

No details are yet available but the outline of our tour would probably be to start in Auckland on North Island and then,  taking in sites of interest, make our way south, by way of Wellington, crossing to South Island and then via Christchurch to Queenstown where the pre-Conference tour will start. The pre-pre-Conference tour will probably be about a week in duration.

It will be 11 years since Heritage of Industry was last in New Zealand and this promises to be a very special event. Register interest now to hear more as plans develop.

Below are the introductory notes as supplied by Engineering Heritage New Zealand:

The conference focus will be on heritage engineering or technology which has endured, undergone development, restoration and re-purposing to claim its place in the future. It’s a theme that aligns well with the story of the Otago region of New Zealand.

Situated at the remote southern end of New Zealand, Otago is bordered in the west by the southern Alps and in the east by the Pacific Ocean. Abundant natural resources supported a population of Maori who were joined by small numbers of European sealers and whalers through the early 19th century. Scottish settlers founded the city of Dunedin in the 1840s and in 1861, gold was discovered in Central Otago, fuelling a further influx of migrants, supercharging the region’s economy and creating a demand for engineering infrastructure which has not been seen since. Our distance from other manufacturing and industrial centres necessitated both local ingenuity and industrial capacity. Times change, but some things endure — Much of our past has a future.

Three of New Zealand’s largest construction companies were incorporated in Dunedin – two of these well over 100 years ago. The entirely Dunedin-built steamer Earnslaw still plies Lake Wakatipu after 106 years of service. A vast network of water races built to provide water for gold now carries the water which irrigates much of the Central Otago farmland, while Dunedin City has just finished the overhaul of a 151-year old water supply dam. Dunedin’s economy is increasingly underpinned by its considerable ICT resource and even this has strong links to the past. A 105-year old Engineering Company has become a world leader in assembly line and meat processing technology. Once a staging postf or exported wool and grain or imported goods, the city’s re-purposed warehouse precinct now houses companies creating real-time animations for globally televised sports events such as the Americas Cup or Masters golf, building fine instrumentation for the life sciences, or creating genetics management software for farmers.

The Future of the Past. This conference theme not only fits our region, it provides a platform for a wide range of papers across the full spectrum of engineering and technological endeavour in what promises to be an engaging and enlightening event.


14th February 2019