Author(s): Colin Maiden
Colin Maiden was a New Zealand Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in the late 50s, a research engineer in Canada and a leading General Motors scientist and executive in the US, Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland for 24 years, and professional company director or chair of companies such as NZ Synthetic Fuels, NZ Refining, Transpower, Fisher & Paykel, Farmers, NZ Steel, DB Breweries and Tower. Few other New Zealanders have been involved at the highest levels in such a variety of activities in New Zealand and overseas. Sir Colin describes a truly energetic life, and revealed, as the reader travels with him, are the talents and considerable contribution of a New Zealander who has earned the respect of many in this country's top institutions and corporations. In the US as a research engineer, he was heavily involved in the space and antiballistic missile defence programmes. He returned to New Zealand in 1971 to take up the vice-chancellorship of the University of Auckand, his long tenure involving significant change to that institution and in government policy concerning tertiary education. His skills and experience over many years made him sought after by both government and business in broadranging power and manufacturing businesses and he retains some of these positions today. His story provides fascinating insights into the operations and challenges of many of these businesses.