Michael (Mick) Ernest Hedley
Scientist
Died aged 67

Mick Hedley was a significant figure at Scion (formerly NZ Forest Research Institute) and in the science community and timber industry.

The ability to treat pine with preservatives so that it can be used in environments like framing for houses, decking, fencing, landscaping, or for poles and piles, is now part of our lives. We take for granted the scientific and technical work that made this possible.

Dr Hedley was one of the major contributors to this critically important field of science and the translation of that science into practice.

He came to the research institute as a wood preservation scientist 41 years ago from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. With others such as Sandy McQuire and John Butcher from the 1970s, he was instrumental in escalating New Zealand's international reputation in the wood preservation field.

These were the boom times for the New Zealand wood products industry with a pressing need to ensure that New Zealand's dominant wood species, radiata pine, could meet tough performance requirements for a broad range of end-uses.

Within this work area, Dr Hedley had many personal triumphs. Probably the most significant of these was the development of the rapid durability testing techniques that addressed the durability needs for timber framing and led to the recognition of an H1.2 level of treatment in New Zealand.

It was pivotal in addressing the ongoing management for the protection of timber framing arising from the weathertightness and leaky building issues dominating the late 1990s.