Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 39, September 1995
By C W Malcolm
In Journal 14, page 12 [see Journal 14: Top University Post Dr. Colin J. Maiden - E], our first editor, the late Nell Climie, contributed a most perceptive article entitled "Top University Post - Dr Colin J Maiden."
She began: We have an historical link with Dr Maiden who has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Auckland University. His grandparents, William James and Catherine Maiden were, for 25 years, highly respected residents of Waikino where Mr Maiden Senior was a Shift Boss at the Victoria Battery.
She goes on to tell that Colin Maiden was one of her brightest pupils when she was a teacher at the Auckland Normal School. "It is," she wrote, "a pleasure to remember the lively lad both in class, and spending a holiday at Turners Hill."
With prophetic vision, the article closes with the conviction that "it is certain that he has a great contribution to make to New Zealand. . . May he make history! We extend our best wishes to him, his wife and their four children as well as to his parents and sister, all of whom are justly proud of him - as we are."
THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD of Saturday 3 December reviews his career in detail on his retirement as Vice Chancellor of Auckland University. At a function in the Town Hall, he received the degree of Honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of his services to the University.
In the 1950s, having graduated at Auckland, he won a Rhodes Scholarship for a Doctorate of Philosophy at Oxford University and in 1960 became a lecturer in Engineering at Auckland. He next moved with his family to the United States to become head of General Motors Material Sciences Laboratory and in 1966 Manager of their Process Engineering Division in Michigan.
In 1971, returning to New Zealand, he became Vice-Chancellor of Auckland University at the young age of 37. He is now Chairman of Fisher and Paykel, Independent Newspapers and National Insurance as well as being a director of several other bodies including DB Group and Trans Power. His success as Vice-Chancellor was largely due to his ability to recruit excellent staff and to his understanding of things academic as well as his business acumen. His knighthood in 1992 was awarded for services to business management and education.
Mrs Climie's foresight in 1970, 25 years ago, has been amply justified in her pupil's brilliant career.