About the author and owner of Top Read Publishing
Raised in Henderson for his first twelve years his playground was the site of Henderson’s mill on the Opanuku stream that drains the Waitakeres.
He has lived and worked throughout New Zealand: Henderson, Christchurch, Mosgiel, Dunedin, Hastings, Palmerston Nth, Roxburgh Central Otago, Southland, Wellington, Otahuhu. His job in Wellington involved travel to all horticultural regions in the country. With visits to USA and Japan. Including an International Society of Horticultural Science Congress at UC Davis.
Robert commenced full time employment with the Horticulture Division of the Department of Agriculture in Hastings February 1969. After a merger with Farm Advisory Division it became Advisory Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. He worked in head office as Chief Advisory Officer, (Horticulture). When “user pays” was introduced and the Advisory Services Division morphed into MAFTech he exited MAF. First serving as a private secretary in parliament buildings then managing the establishment of the NZ Horticulture Export Authority. He took voluntary severance mid 1988.
Joining the “Ahead of the Times “Manukau City Council Parks Department as Park Operations Manager, retiring as Parks Recreation Manager March 23 years later. He was involved in other roles such as Civil Defense and the Manukau CC pipe and drum band. (Wallace tartan)
With the advent of the new Auckland City and having experienced enough changes during his career he elected to retire and move on a few months after the formation of Auckland City.
During the time he received several merit and service awards from industry organizations; NZ Sports Turf Institute, Sports Field Forum, NZ. Including the New Zealand Recreation Association, NZRA, which presented him with the Ian Galloway Memorial cup, In recognition of excellence and outstanding personal contribution to the wider parks industry.
From 1988 the family had an orchard and market garden business: – Convoy Brand. Originally a glasshouse tomato and table grape operation supplying the auction markets. Then over the period producing 30 different crops for supplying Farmers markets, the main ones being at Parnell and Howick.
The last few years have seen the removal of the glasshouse structures. With recent activities just supplying a food basket business Out Of Our back Yard “OOOBY” with Citrus, rhubarb and honey.
Since “retirement” in March 2011 Robert has been sifting and collating family history information gathered since 1970. One upside of living and travelling throughout NZ was meeting many members of the extended family from Northland to the Bluff. Hawkes Bay/East Coast to Taranaki. His archives total 150 40l containers.
In retirement he is racing to publish as much family and employment history as he can. Top Read Publishers, 2017, is the vehicle to get them to market. This web site Topread.nz is both a promotional tool and record of publications.
His latest major publications are:
- A History of The Taieri High School of the Hislop Era 1956-1966 with co authors Davis, Fleming and Matheson. ISBN 978-0-9951391-2-1 Jan 2022.
- Previously- Progeny of Dunedin -the North Dunedin Family of Robert & Jessie Findlay 1862 – 1967. ISBN 978-0-9951391-0-7. 2020
- The Burnside High School Foundation pupils 60th anniversary reunion. ISBN 9780-473-52579-8 2020
- If Horticulture is your business we share a common interest. The NZMAF work record of Robert M Findlay ISBN :978-0-9951391-1-4 2021
Publications are also starting to be posted on “Wheelers” New Zealand’s largest online supplier of books and eBooks to Public Libraries and Educational institutions.