Alastair Gordon Buist 1920 - 1999
Alastair Buist was a doctor who resided at Hawera. His professional training was at Otago University, where he won a swiming blue in 1941. His father was also a doctor who practiced in Hawera. Alastair practiced there from 1946 to 1983.
In the late 1950's and early 1960s he undertook archaeological excavations around Taranaki particularly on the then little known Archaic sites in the area. He also undertook site surveying, concentrating on pa throughout the region and published a monograph on the pa in North Taranaki (Buist 1964). Aerial photography was one method he pursued with outstanding results. Buist's contribution to Taranaki archaeology is well summarised in Walton (2000).
He also took part in Green and Davidson's 1960s research project in Western Samoa.
He was editor of the New Zealand Archaeological Association's Newsletter for 17 years, from 1962-1978. Alastair was Vice President of the Association in 1961 and 1962.
He was strongly attracted to the arts as a participant and viewer. A portrait of Alastair by Leo Bensemann was exhibited the 1948 exhibition of Christchurch's famous 'The Group'.. It is illustrated in Otto (2005:83). Two other portraits of him and a pencil drawing all by Bensemann are also illustrated in Otto. They are apparently from the 1970s. Bensemann was a friend from the late 1930's onward. Simpson (2011) has more illustrations and information on the connection with Bensemann.
Buist's excavation records for Kumara Kaiamo and Ohawe are in Puke Ariki Link, as are the artefacts from his excavations.
The Alastair Buist Memorial Award is available for ex pupils of Hawera High School to study medicine at Otago University.
Obituary: 1999 Archaeology in New Zealand 42(3):196-202.
Otto, C. 2005 Leo Bensemann Portraits, Masks and Fantasy Figures. Nikau Press, Nelson.
Simpson, P. 2011 Fantastica, The World of Leo Bensemann Auckland University Press, Auckland.
1960a Preliminary report on Ohawe. Journal of the Polynesian Society 69(2):78.
1960b A further report on the Ohawe site. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 3(4):9.
1960c South Taranaki. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 3(4): 17-21.
1961 Taranaki archaic artifacts. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 4(4):17-18.
1962a Excavation of a house-floor at Waimate Pa. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 5(3):184-187.
1962b Archaeological evidence of the Archaic phase of occupation in South Taranaki. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 5(4):233-237.
1963 Kaupokonui midden, South Taranaki N128/3: preliminary report. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 6(4):175-183.
1964 Archaeology in North Taranaki, New Zealand a study of field monuments in the Pukearuhe - Mimi - Urenui area. New Zealand Archaeological Association Monograph No. 3, Wellington.
1965 A suggested pa typology. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 8(2):75-78.
1965 Site recording, Kuaotunu Point, Coromandel Peninsula. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 8(4): 130-147.
1967a Field survey in Savai'i, Western Samoa. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 10(l):34-52.
1967b Radiocarbon dates for Savai'i, Western Samoa. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 10(2):70.
1968 Thacker's Redoubt, Manawapou, South Taranaki. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 11(4):165-171.
1969 Field archaeology on Savai'i. In Archaeology in Western Samoa, Volume 1. Eds R C Green and J M Davidson pp34-68.
1976 The Maori, in K W Thompson (Ed.) The legacy of Turi: An historical geography of Patea County. Dunmore Press, Palmerston North.
1993 South Taranaki quarry sites. Archaeology in New Zealand 36(2):66-74.
- and J C Yaldwyn 1960 An 'articulated" Moa leg from an oven excavated at Waingongoro, South Taranaki. Journal of the Polynesian Society 69:76-88.
Davidson, J M, R C Green, A G Buist and K M Peters 1967 Addiitional radiocarbon dates for Western Polynesia.Journal of the Polynesian Society 76:223-230.
Parker, R H and A G Buist 1961 Urenui excavation - preliminary report. New Zealand Archaeological Association Newsletter 4(4):11-14.