David Given - Founder of the New Zealand Native Plant Conservation Movement Dies After Short IllnessDr David Given FLS (1943-2005) was well known to New Zealanders for his pioneering work in the arena of indigenous plant conservation. David was diagnosed with a terminal condition a year and a half ago. Despite all the odds David went into remission and was able to lead last August’s successful NZPCN conference in Christchurch. Sadly a few weeks ago David was told his condition had returned. His death has now left us with a huge gap to fill. David was not only a mentor, guide and incredibly witty, fun person to work with but he was also a respected author of over 200 scientific papers, four books, and a plant systematist who specialised in the predominantly New Zealand asteraceous genus Celmisia. A genus which at the time of his death he was revising with Japanense colleagues. David also had a strong affinity for the Chatham Islands, and was actively engaged in a major Marsden Funded research programme to determine the age, origin and evolution of that islands flora. A stalwart member of the NZPCN executive, David was able to help the NZPCN through his years of national and international experience. His loss is felt most deeply by the many he mentored throughout New Zealand. As the Maori would say “A mighty totara has fallen in the forest of Tane”. David, a committed christian was always philosophical about his condition, and it is heartening to know that he has no doubt moved on to another world where his biggest concern will now be keeping Trilepidea from attacking his trees, and the huia from his vegetable patch.
Peter J. de Lange, Vice President, NZPCN