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 Joined the Horticulture Division of the Department of Agriculture in Hastings in 1969. Moved to Roxburgh then promoted to head office as Chief Advisory Officer, (Horticulture). He exited MAF after ASD morphed into MAFTECH. First serving as a private secretary in parliament buildings then Manager of the establishment of the NZ Horticulture Export Authority.
Park Operations Manager with the “Ahead of the Times “Manukau City Council Parks Department was his next role, retiring as Parks Recreation Manager, 23 years later. He was also involved in Civil Defense. (Staff Officer)
Having experienced enough changes during his career he elected to retire and move on a few months after the formation of Auckland City. In the event a wise move.
During the time he received several merit and service awards from industry organizations;
The NZ Sports Turf Institute,
The Sports Field Forum, NZ.
The New Zealand Recreation Association, which presented him with the Ian Galloway Memorial cup, In recognition of excellence and outstanding personal contribution to the wider parks industry. 2011
He was also responsible for initiating and running the Manukau Parks Teaching Gardens which won the NZRA Outstanding Project Award, To recognise excellence, innovation and effectiveness in the provision of a recreational /leisure project. 2010
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 supplying Farmers markets, the main ones Convoy supplied were Parnell and Howick. Over the period they sold 30 different crops.
The last few years have seen the removal of the glasshouse structures. With recent activities just supplying a food basket business- 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.
In retirement he is racing to publish as much family and employment history as he can before inevitable decline of facilties. 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.
STOP PRESS: A start has been made on a Biography of John and Elizabeth (Shaw) FINCH, Settlers on the John Wickliffe. 1848 into Otago. As well, of his brother Thomas and nephew James who followed from Derbshire England. A work in progress
My main focus currently is –John and Jessie Finch and their family of the Tokomairiro .
Launched in 2022:
- 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.
- The Taieri High School Cadet Battalion 1956-65. established 1938 when Mosgiel District High School. ISBN: 978-0-473-65744-4. Sept 2022
- When we were young at The Taieri High School-A trip down Memory Lane . ISBN: 978-0-473-65851-9. Sept 2022
- Roxburgh District Horticulture producers. 1983. 978-0-473 -64621.9
- Where my Danish Gt Gt Grandparents Lie. Danish Soc Newsletter 2022
- Finn McCool and the Giants Causeway. Grand Nana’s (Gamble) was from Croaghmore not far away. Features images of Nana (Ralston), Ivy, at the Causeway 2004. Printed for the Grandchildren. Ltd Ed. 2022