John Adam

John Adam's picture

Member Profile

First Name
John P
PHANZA Joining Date
Heritage parks, gardens and historic cultural landscapes
About Me

I graduated with Diplomas in Horticulture and Parks and Recreation Administration from Lincoln College in the mid 1970s, having previously served an apprenticeship in Horticulture and Gardening. Moving to Auckland in 1980 provided opportunities to increase my knowledge about the history and management of historic public cultural landscapes. I was employed as Deputy Superintendent of Horticulture and later Horticulturist at University of Auckland from 1980 to 1998. I began historical research on the gardens of Old Government House and the historically associated landscapes Albert Park, Auckland Domain and Western Park. I founded (1989) and chaired the Auckland Garden History Society until 1995. I have made landscape heritage study trips to Australia and North America. I completed an intensive two week paper on Heritage Landscapes at Victoria University, Vancouver Island, Canada, in July 1989. I was invited to present a paper Changing Perceptions in Urban Park Development and Conservation in New Zealand’ to the International Symposium on the Conservation of Urban Squares and Parks held in Montreal, Canada in 1993. I was a contributor to A History of The Garden in New Zealand, Viking, 1995 and have presented papers at the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2005 Conferences of Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand. Since the late 1980s I have been a member and subscriber of the diverse North American landscape history societies; I currently subscribe to the California Garden and Landscape History Society. I have been an active member of ICOMOS New Zealand since its foundation. I graduated from the University of Auckland in 2000 with a Graduate Diploma in Arts in Anthropology. In December 2002 I was jointly awarded, with Matthew Bradbury a lecturer in the landscape architecture programme at UNITEC, Auckland, a New Zealand Fulbright Fellowship, to pursue a joint research project on the American career of landscape architect, Fred Tschopp (1905-1980). Completed from December 2003 to March 2004 in Los Angeles. We were affiliated with the Department of Landscape Architecture at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona near Los Angeles. In 2006 I was awarded with Louise Beaumont a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust (UK) to research the history of medicinal gardens and plants in 19th century New Zealand and their links to Australia, USA and UK. I received the Garden History Medal from New Zealand Institute of Horticulture in 2007. I have been advocating the inclusion of garden elements 'types' be included in the New Zealand Archaeological Association site assessment guidelines, 'Archaeological Site Recording in New Zealand.'I have been a self employed garden and landscape historian since 1998 whose business is called Endangered Gardens.

Publications and Research

2013 The Government Gardens of New Zealand. 1840-1863. For Legacy, Journal of New Zealand Federation of Historical Societies. In press. Research Project ‘Networks for Nature’, for Dr James Beattie, University of Waikato. April- May. Research Assistant Contract Project ‘Hydro-electric Villages and Dams. USA Knowledge Exchanges.’ Contract V. For Dr. Diane Brand, University of Victoria, Wellington. Jan. - April. Whare Tane Garden Report and Conservation Plan. [Garden of artist Trevor Lloyd and family]. For Kay Wooff, Auckland. May - June. ‘Centre Field. A Case for Visualising the Fabric of the New Zealand Garden’, Horticulture in New Zealand. In press. Woodlands Gardens Report for Conservation Plan. For Matthews & Matthews for Woodlands Trust Hamilton. April. Howden House garden report. Project managed by Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd, Auckland for Mead Family, Waiuku. March - April. 2012 Otahuhu and Mangere Historic Area Assessment Background Report, including ‘History and Site Visit Assessment’ Sheets for 32 Parks and Reserves. For Auckland City project managed by Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd, Auckland. November 2012- March 2013. ‘A field guide to the Auckland Domain.’ Journal of Parnell Heritage Inc. December. Pp. 20-24. Allendale Garden Report. For ASB Trust and Salmon Reed Ltd. ‘Attitude Changes. Some Ways and Means.’ Landscape Architecture New Zealand, winter. Pp. 40-42. Heritage Garden Report on Hulme Court Garden, Parnell, Auckland for consultants to owners, Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd. March. Historical research on history of the UNITEC campus grounds and agricultural landscape (orchards and market gardens). March-April. Lecture to Puketapapa Mount Roskill Historical Society ‘Winstone Park Estate and its Reserves.” April. Identification of live plant collections about University of Auckland City Campus. Monthly contract. Current. People, Plans and Practice. The global and the local landscape architect. Landscape Architecture New Zealand, Autumn. Pp. 42-43. [This article describes some of the landscape architects who practiced in New Zealand between 1900 and 1970.] Historical research on global plant exchanges at Horeke Homestead, Hokianga by Thomas McDonnell RN for Dr James Beattie, University of Waikato. 2011 Research for Auckland City Council Planner on Manurewa, Papatoetoe Otahuhu and Howick proposed tree scheduling. Heritage Garden Report on Rockland Garden, Mount Eden Auckland. For Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd. Heritage Report on Paturoa Batch Landscape, Titirangi, Auckland. For Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd. Heritage Garden report for Auckland City on part of the Clement Lindley Wragge Waiata Tropical Gardens in Birkenhead, Auckland. Report on major agricultural elements: hedges, plantations, orchards at Hawthorne Dene, Pakuranga for Howick and Districts Historical Society Inc. April-May. Paper presented to the June Havelock North conference of the New Zealand Archaeological Association titled ‘Centre Field: a case for visualising the fabric of the New Zealand historic garden.’ Paper presented to the William Colenso conference on German geologist and naturalist Gustalf F. R. Schmidt held in Napier in November. Paper: Plant trees now! A short history of the Forest Tree Encouragement planting policy of the nineteenth century, particularly in Auckland and Otago. For Legacy–Journal of New Zealand Federation of Historical Societies. 2010 Kemp House Garden and Landscape Conservation Plan with Louise Beaumont, Heritage Landscape Architect – 2009. Chelsea Estate Heritage Park Conservation Plan with archaeologist, Dianne Harlow; Conservation Architects, Matthews & Matthews. For North Shore City. 2010. Research Assistant for School of Architecture, University of Victoria. Project: ‘Hydro Camps’, 2009 -2013. Scott Homestead Garden Conservation Plan with Bradbury and McKegg, Auckland for Auckland Regional Council. 2009 and ongoing. Scandrett Homestead Garden Conservation Plan with Bradbury and McKegg, Auckland for Auckland Regional Council. 2009 and ongoing. Rosebank Peninsula Horticultural History Project for Avondale - Waterview Historical Society. 2008 -2010. 2009 Dunedin City Council Contextual Heritage Overview Team including: Bruce Petry & Richard Bollard, Salmond Reed Ltd; Michael Findlay, art historian; Peter Petchey, archaeologist. Paper presented to SAHANZ Auckland conference, July 2009, with Sue Wake, UNITEC: Digging the dirt: Cultural discord and the architecture of gardening. Alberton Garden Conservation Plan / Heritage Assessment for Matthews & Matthews & NZ Historic Places Trust. Heritage Tree Survey, Monte Cecelia Premier Park, for Auckland City. 2008 Garden history report  for Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd and Lyn Williams, historian for Waitangi National Trust Treaty House Grounds Conservation Plan. 2008 - 2009. 2007 Historical investigation and field survey of Phillips Block, Freeman’s Bay, 1968-71, landscape design and instillation project of Harry Turbott Associates [landscape architect] with Bradbury and McKegg for site Body Corp. Essay written for: “The Face of Nature.” School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, UNITEC, New Zealand. Research & Advanced Practice Essay with Dr Hamish Foote. Published June 2008. Japanese gardens and plants in New Zealand, 1850-1950: transculturation and transmission, Paper written with Dr. James Beattie and Jasper Heinzen for Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. 18p. Published 2008. Beaumont, Louise & Adam, John. (2007) Colonial Pharmaecological gardens: New Zealand’s first public plant collections. A progress report for the Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust. April. 41p. Historical investigation and Conservation policy report on Musick Point (with Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd) for Musick Point Community Trust. 33p. Historical investigation report on Savage Memorial Park (with Boffa Miskell) for Auckland City. 52p. Paper for Forest History Society of Australia conference at Canterbury University, January 2007. Title: New Zealand Experimental Sites / Sights of Scientific Inquiry: A Preliminary Survey. 26p. Beaumont, Louise & Adam, John (2007) Historical garden survey and intepretative policy, bibliography, for Dr James Hector’s garden near Petone for Hutt City Council. 2006 – 2007. 42p. 2000-2007 Historical investigation and Conservation Plan (with Louise Beaumont, heritage landscape architect) for Hutt City on Percy Scenic Reserves, Petone. 94p. Paper, ‘Archaeological Infrastructure of Wai-te-mata (Auckland) 1820-1850’ presented to the NZ Institute of Horticulture conference Plants as Infrastructure, 24-25 March. Tree Survey and heritage assessment on Maungakiekie/Mount Eden for CFG Heritage and Auckland City. Obituaries. ‘First Amongst Equals.’ Mary Lysaght Watt. Landscape New Zealand, August, 2006. Paper presented: “Changing Places: Understanding the destruction of landscape celebration” for Celebration Conference of Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand, Napier, September, 2005. [Subject was Napier Botanical Gardens and other public landscapes throughout the Hawke’s Bay.] Paper presented to New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects conference, Dunedin. Title: Endangered Gardens. Saving the Past for the Future. In, Looking Forward to Heritage Landscapes Proceedings. [Described methodology Adam then used in his garden history practice.] Brook House Garden Conservation Plan with Louise Beaumont, Heritage Landscape Architect, for Auckland Regional Council. 2005 Rose Hellaby House Garden Conservation Plan with Louise Beaumont, Heritage Landscape Architect, Hamilton, for Auckland Regional Council. 2005. Contextual Historical Overview for Christchurch City Heritage Inventory. Team including, Salmond Reed Ltd, Matthews & Matthews; Boffa Miskell; John Wilson and Heritage Solutions. [Landscape research, site visits, literature review and assessment etc.] For Heritage Team, Christchurch City Council. 2004. Peer reviewed paper with Matthew Bradbury “Fred Tschopp (1905-1980) Landscape Architect. New Zealand’s first modern practitioner 1929-1932. Ad Astera Per Aspera.” submitted to Landscape Review, A Journal of Landscape Architecture.  Volume 8 (2). pp. 43-58. 2004. Historical research on land use and design history of The Pah Farm Estate [1847 – 1998], Hillsborough, for Auckland City in association with Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd for presentation in Draft Pah Farm Conservation Plan. 2002. North Shore City Parks and Reserves History and Schedule of Park Structures with Planner, Dinah Holman, prepared for North Shore City Council. 2001. Paper: The Leisured Classes of Ponsonby: Gardens and Parks.  In, The New Zealand Map Society Journal. No 13.  pp. 47 – 56. 2000. A History of Auckland’s Open Space.  For Community Planning Division, Auckland City Council. 2000. 250p.


Member for
7 years 26 weeks