Marston Conder

1968 to 1972

Arguably the highest achieving Mathematics academic educated at Matamata College.  Marston was a great all-rounder.  As well as gaining a Scholarship in his final year at college, he was Head Boy, member of the Hockey 1st 11, an accomplished cross country runner and took part in drama and musical productions.

Marston’s standout memories of his school days were the clear vision and direction provided by the then Principal, Arthur Lucas, really great teachers (Alastair McLean, Jim Feist, George Simpkin), great memories of the 7th form common room, very successful 1st XV Rugby and A Netball teams and the “Gold” awards instigated by the PE Department for achievement in all aspects of PE.  He remembers the encouragement given to gain academic excellence, a wonderful school environment and outstanding successes in sport and culture.

Natural progression for Marston of course was university.  In 1975 he completed his BSocSc at Waikato University and in 1977 gained an MSocSc at Waikato.  From Waikato Uni he continued his studies at Oxford University where he gained his MSc in 1978, DPhil in 1980 and later returned to Oxford to complete a DSc in 2000.

His work history makes for interesting reading:

  • Student at Waikato University 1973-1977 and at Oxford University 1977-1980
  • Postdoctoral fellow at University of Otago 1981 and Universität Tübingen (Germany) 1982
  • Academic positions at University of Auckland
    • Lecturer 1983-1987
    • Senior Lecturer 1988-1990
    • Associate Professor 1991-1993
    • Professor 1993Ò
  • Head of Department of Mathematics, University of Auckland (1996-1998)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Auckland (1999-2001)
  • Co-Director of NZ Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (2002-2011)

Marston has won many prestigious award and gained significant recognition in his career.  Some of these are:

  • Senior Mathematical Prize, University of Oxford 1980
  • Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award 1989
  • NZ Mathematical Society Research Award 1993
  • President of NZ Mathematical Society 1993-1995
  • Claude McCarthy Fellowship 1995
  • Chair of NZ Government Committee to establish the Performance Based Research Fund 2002
  • Hood Fellowship (inaugural award) 2005
  • President of the Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand 2006-2008
  • Member of the NZ National Science Panel 2007Ò
  • International Vice-President, Royal Society of New Zealand 2008-2009
  • Member of Editorial Boards of four International Journals
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at University of Auckland 1999-2001

He considers his lifetime achievements to be elected a  Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1997, Fellow of the NZ Mathematical Society 1998, Fellow of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications 2004, and an Honorary Life Membership of the NZ Mathematical Society in 2004.

Marston considers he had a brilliant education at Matamata College as well as having every sporting and cultural opportunity.

Marston is married to Dr Jenny Hosking, and has two sons Jonathan (b. 1990) and Matthew (b.1993). His family farmed at Hinuera where he attended Hinuera Primary and then Matamata Intermediate.  Marston’s sister Maura also attended Matamata College and excelled in the classroom as a student and later returned to teach here for a number of years.  She now (Maura Allington) lives in Sydney with her husband and two children.  His Mum lives in Selwyn Village in Auckland, and Dad, (Frank) passed away in 1986.