20 August 2015

George Pellew Anderson (1882–1948)

George Anderson was said to have had unparalleled knowledge of potential hydroelectric development in the New Zealand.

He was born in May 1882 and educated at Bury St Edmunds Grammar School, England.

After coming to New Zealand he studied at Canterbury University College. Early in his career he received training working with James Fulton and Leslie H Reynolds who was a consulting engineer.

In 1916 he joined the Public Works Department where two of his first investigations were water power surveys at Mangahao and Waikaremoana. In 1919 he returned to Mangahao as assistant engineer on construction.

In 1924 Anderson took up an appointment at Head Office and later rose to the position of Design Engineer, Hydraulic Structures Branch, continuing in the State Hydro-electric Department when this was separated.

Anderson died not long after retiring, in November 1948.

Anderson joined the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers (now the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, IPENZ) as an Associate Member in 1917 and was elevated to Membership in 1937.

He always regarded it as a duty to record his works and investigations for the benefit of other engineers and was thus a prolific author. Anderson presented many papers to the Institution and one gained him the Fulton Gold Medal in 1937. Anderson is recorded as producing 14 papers in the Institution’s Proceedings and one in the Institution of Civil Engineers Proceedings.

More information


Proceedings of the New Zealand Institution of Engineers, 1949, p.539.

Further reading

Obituary, New Zealand Engineering (December 1948), p.1198.