1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Haast, Sir Johann Franz Julius von
HAAST, SIR JOHANN FRANZ JULIUS VON (1824–1887), German and British geologist, was born on the 1st of May 1824. He received his early education partly in that town and partly in Cologne, and then entered the university at Bonn, where he made a special study of geology and mineralogy. In 1858 he started for New Zealand to report on the suitability of the colony of German emigrants. He then became acquainted with Dr von Hochstetter, and rendered assistance to him in the preliminary geological survey which von Hochstetter had undertaken. Afterwards Dr Haast accepted offers from the governments of Nelson and Canterbury to investigate the geology of those districts, and the results of his detailed labours greatly enriched our knowledge with regard to the rocky structure, the glacial phenomena and the economic products. He discovered gold and coal in Nelson, and he carried on important researches with reference to the occurrence of Dinornis and other extinct wingless birds (Moas). His Geology of the Provinces of Canterbury and Westland, N.Z., was published in 1879. He was the founder of the Canterbury museum at Christchurch, of which he became director, and which he endeavoured to render the finest collection in the southern hemisphere. He was surveyor-general of Canterbury from 1861 to 1871, and professor of geology at Canterbury College. He was elected F.R.S. in 1867; and he was knighted for his services at the time of the colonial exhibition in London in 1887. He died at Wellington, N.Z., on the 15th of August 1887.