Memorial Awards

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The Project Tongariro Memorial Award was established by the society in memory of Keith Maurice Blumhardt, William Edward Cooper, Douglas Neal McKenzie, Derek Ian White and Marie Pauline Williams, who died on Mt Ruapehu while testing helicopter rescue equipment on 9 December 1982.

The award is open to any applicant for study—for fauna, flora, geology, volcanology, weather and natural and human history of Tongariro National Park.

Since the inaugural award in 1991, 35 young researchers have benefited from these awards enabling a wide range of research to be done in the Park. From heather, to bats, skinks, kiwi, stoats, to visitor stats, to geology, to lahars, to botany and climate. An amazing legacy.

The amount shall be determined annually by the executive (originally up to $1000 but since 2002, up to $2000 as long as the society is in a position to fund the awards). Applications for the Awards are accepted up until the end of June each year and are considered at the first executive committee meeting of the new financial year (usually in July/August). The society’s executive seeks independent advice from a representative with an overview of science in the Turangi/Tongariro Conservancy (Dr Harry Keys has assisted with this review since the awards began and continues to do so). Applicants will be advised of the executive committees' decision by August 31st and the awards are announced publically at the annual DOC Conservation Awards

Recipients of awards are required to provide a photo and short resume suitable for publication by the society. Recipients are asked to acknowledge the society where possible in for example a research publication such as a thesis. All recipients agree to send a copy of their work, including a thesis, to TNHS and are encouraged to contribute a short article for the annual Tongariro Journal.

Note if no applicants meet the required standards in a particular year, an award will not be made.

Please contact Project Tongariro on for more info and to apply.



Project Tongariro Memorial Award Recipients


Janina Gillies The hazards pyroclastic flows on Mt Ruapehu


Elaine Smid Timescales of Ngauruhoe magma ascent and crustal contamination to improve volcanic hazard assessment

Simon Stewart Nitrogen food web interactions in Lake Taupo, New Zealand


Stefan Cook For the Study of characterising the stability of the rock mass material at the outlet of the Crater Lake, Mt Ruapehu


Matthew Dickson Research on the carbon storage sequestration in tussock grassland


Eric Breard Pyroclastic density currents
Benjamin Simons Deposit character & eruption processes, Blue Lake crater
Chris Conway Magmatic & glaciovolcanic evolution, Ruapehu
Rebecca Fitzgerald Te Maari Eruptions 2012: Field and Experimental Assessments of Ballistic Block-fall Hazard


James Cowlyn  The significance of the Volcanic Phenomena; Pyroclastic Flows
Shaun Eves  The Timing of Past Glaciation in Tongariro National Park
Jessie Prebble  The Taxonomy of the rare tag-named entity, Myosotis aff. pygmaea “Volcanic Plateau”
Erin Hill  Psychological and Health Benefits for Users of Tongariro National Park


Kirsty Myron  Pittosporum kirkii: autecology and conservation of an endemic epiphytic shrub
Yvonne Taura  Research on the effects of willow and willow control on the wetland aquatic invertebrates


Emma Phillip  Forecasting the consequences of the failure of the eastern rim of Crater Lake, Ruapehu
Moniqua Nelson-Tunley  Investigating the genetic dynamics of the small-scaled skink


Natalia Pardo  Physical volcanology of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro (understanding the physical controls of large scale explosive eruptions)


Terry Blumhardt  UK Search and Rescue methods to be used in Tongariro.  Attended international SAR conference in Scotland


Michael Dann  A revision of the native ant species Monomorium antarcticum


Anja Mobis  The physical volcanology and hazards of pyroclastic eruptions from the Tongariro Volcanic Centre
Sascha Brocks  Fantail breeding success after rodent control in the Karioi Rahui—a cost effective monitoring tool


Tom Pauli  Contemporary glacial retreat on Ruapehu
Maureen Coombe  Public perception re: volcanic hazards on Tongariro Crossing
Elizabeth Liggin  Phylogeography of common NZ skink


Ruth Basher  Physical volcanology of Te Maari Craters
Jessica Wallace  Vertical flight activity of short-tailed bats (mystacina tuberculata) within beech and podocarp forest


Elizabeth Grove  Melicytus aff. Aplinus 'Rangipo'
Candice Bardsley  Physical volcanology of Red Crater


Joanna Mey  Dactyllanthus Taylorii
Joanne Chizmar  Volcanology of Tama Lakes


Ben Miller  The physical volcanology, petrology and geochemistry of the Wahianoa Valley, SE Ruapehu
Gillian Lockett The geology, volcanology and petrology of a pyroclastic fall deposit, Rangataua Member, South Ruapehu


Ross Martin  Stoat behaviour
Tristram Hayles  The geology of the summit area, Ruapehu


Michelle Prinscep & Paul Broady  Study of Chemistry/Bacteria in Tongariro National Park waterways
Amy Trass  Study of forest restoration in the Park (fruit dispersal & forest regeneration on the volcanic plateau)


Anna Grant  Post-release behaviour of captive-reared Kiwi
Gillian Rapson  Forest-grassland dynamics, Mangaeheuheu Basin


Ross Martin  Kiwi-Stoat control research


Vivienne Nichols  Mangaturuturu lahars—from the study of beech stands


Shane Cronin  Volcanic stratigraphy in the north east sector of Tongariro National Park
Nick Monteith  Studying glacial history of Mt Tongariro and Mt Ruapehu


Charlotte Severne  Geothermal investigations Tongariro—Waihi
Suzan Dopson Mistletoe


Mark Horricks  Palynology (pollen samples) of Gibson's Swamp
Mathew Ward  Investigating visitors' perceptions of crowding in Tongariro National Park
Xiang Limin  Plant climate Panautea


Catherine Foster  Heather