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    Maurice Crompton Smith
 
 
 
 

SMITH, Maurice Crompton was born in Parnell, Auckland 21 Feb 1864 at Auckland, the eldest son of S Percy Smith the eminent surveyor and historian and mother Mary Ann nee Crompton . He was educated at Auckland Grammar School and in 1882  joined the Lands and Survey Department as a field cadet under James Baber (Jnr) who was then engaged on triangulating the formidable Urewera country. At the conclusion of his three years cadetship Maurice qualified as a surveyor and was appointed Assistant Surveyor, working mainly in the North Auckland Land District.

One of his early tasks, in association with Mr. A. B. Wright, engineer, and a work force of two hundred Armed Constabulary, was the laying out and forming the present main roads around Tokaanu and Mount Tongariro.
His settlement surveys were widespread, including Waiuku, Wairarapa, Pahiatua, Waverly and Patea districts and Great Barrier Island.

In 1892 he was transferred to the Wellington District Office in charge of plan examination and in 1908 was appointed Chief Draughtsman at New Plymouth. The following year he returned to District Office at Wellington as Chief Draughtsman. In 1914 he became Chief Draughtsman at Head Office of the Department at Wellington, from which position he retired in I 924. For a brief period in 1912 he was Acting Chief Surveyor for the Wellington District and in 1922 was Acting Surveyor General.

He was a foundation member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and served as a Councillor. In 1921 he became editor of the New Zealand Surveyor and served as editor until June, 1939. For many years he was Secretary of the Survey Board. He died at Khandallah, Wellington in April, 1953

Maurice Crompton Smith  mar: 1900 to Annie Marian Powles (b: 1877 to parents Charles Plummer and Eliza Cay Powles; she  d: 1965 in Karori, Wellington; Cremated 1965 Karori Cemetery They had 3 daughters - Elsie Marian Smith b: 1901;  Mary Powles Smith b: 1905  and  Annie Crompton Smith b: 1909

A yearly Memorial Prize after his death is awarded annually, on the recommendation of the NZIS Admissions Panel, to the candidate submitting the best set of projects for a Certificate of Competency, which in concept, content and presentation are deemed by the Admissions Panel to be worthy of the award.to perpetuate the memory of Maurice Crompton-Smith (1865-1953), Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors, Editor of the Journal and Secretary of the Survey Board, with a suitably inscribed certificate.

Wrote "A Pioneer Surveyor" published 1924 and made wash sketches and pencil drawings in the Waikato and Taranaki districts 1881. Watercolour artist  1880s1920s (his work can be found in the Alexander Turnbull Library).

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