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HUNTER, Ashley John, (1854 - 1932)

Ashley John Hunter

Ashley John Hunter (1854-1932). Past Presidents Album, 1914-1966, IPENZ.

Mr Hunter was born in London and educated there. In 1872 he came to New Zealand and was appointed engineering cadet in the Public Works Department, Wellington, on 23rd January 1872, on the completion of which cadetship he was transferred to Auckland as Assistant Engineer on the construction of the Ngaruawahia section of the Main Trunk Railway. In 1879 he was appointed Resident Engineer of the Patea-Hawera railway section. In 1881 he was Resident Engineer at Hamilton, in charge of railways and other public works. In 1882 he resigned and entered into partnership with James Stewart, their chief work being the Hamilton-Rotorua railway construction. He was elected A.M.Inst.C.E. in 1883. In 1894 he became engineer to the Westport Coal Company and in 1897 he set up private practice in Auckland as a Consulting Engineer and Architect.

From 1906 to 1910 he was Engineer to the Paparoa Coal Company and was elected M.Inst.C.E. in 1908. From 1910 to 1913 he was Engineer to the Waipa Coal Company and also the Westport Stockton Coal Company. In 1918 he laid out the Glen Afton Coal Mine and the Huntly Branch Railway. With F C Hay and F W Furkert (Chairman) he formed the South Island Rivers Commission which investigated the characteristics of the principal rivers which by flooding were causing anxiety. The scope of the Commission was extended to include the Waihou and Ohinemuri Rivers. He served on other commissions for various Government Departments and was erudite and a keen observer. From 1922 to 1923 he was President of the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers.

Extract from F W Furkert; "Early New Zealand Engineers". Reed, 1953, p 193