Fairfield Geoff

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Francis Geoffrey (Geoff) Fairfield 1906-1996

Geoff Fairfield
Fairfield was a great-grandchild of Alfred and Eliza Buckland of Highwic fame. Buckland owned property at Buckland’s Beach in eastern Auckland where he had a farm. Fairfield was to have a long term interest in the area, holidaying there in his youth and residing there at the end of his life. He was related to Elizabeth Mary Hocken (Nee Buckland), the second wife of the founder of the Hocken Library.
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Buckland's Beach

He was an amateur archaeologist, with a career as a ground engineer for National Airways Corporation and later as a driving instructor.

He published on archaeology over a remarkable period of 62 years. Of his early publications those on the Manukau Heads fishing kit and on the excavations on the summit of One Tree Hill are those of the most permanent value. His Puketutu paper is a pioneering one in the use of aerial photography. The oblique pictures were taken while flying in Mr F. B. Cadman’s de Havilland DH60X ‘Hermes Moth’ biplane[1].

The Moth

The two books show particularly his interest in geology and its linkage to archaeology. This was a later development in his interests.

Fairfield was a close friend of Dr R M S (Richard) Taylor, a dentist, dental health pioneer and later lecturer in physical anthropology at Auckland University. They were friendly rivals on collecting trips looking for artefacts and bird bone deposits.

Jack Grant-Mackie was an executor of his will and contributed information to this piece. Fairfield’s papers are in Auckland University Library and his well documented archaeological collection is in Auckland Museum. An early photo album can be seen here[2].

There are biographical snippets in Fairfield's last book.


  1. http://www.ian-lawlor-shc.com/www.ian-lawlor-shc.com/Research/Entries/2010/8/17_Aucklands_Earliest_Aerial_Archaeological_Landscape_Photographer__Geoff_Fairfield_(1937).html Accessed July 2013
  2. http://academia.edu/4010281/1937_00_00_-_F._G._Geoff_Fairfield_Photograph_Album_-_facsimile_2009_01_27_ Accessed July 2013.


1933 Maori Fish-Hooks from Manukau Heads, Auckland. Journal of the Polynesian Society 42:145-55. View Full article here

1937 A Necklace of Human Teeth — He Maioha Maukaki. Journal of the Polynesian Society 46:130-33. View Full article here

1938 Puketutu Pa on Weekes' Island, Manukau Harbour. Journal of the Polynesian Society 47:119-28. View Full article here

1941 Maungakiekie, One Tree Hill, Auckland. Description of Some Ethnological Discoveries, Journal of the Polynesian Society 50:92-104. View Full article here

1961 Artifacts from the far north of New Zealand. Tane 8:65-68.

1992 Pigeon Mountain, O Huiarangi, The Birth and Death of a Volcano. Tamaki Estuary Protection Society.

1995 Te Waiarohia o Ngaitai: the Story of the Bucklands Beach Peninsula. Tamaki Estuary Protection Society.