New Zealand is the youngest country on earth - the last major landmass to be discovered. It has a rich and fascinating history, reflecting both our Maori and European heritage. Amazing Maori historic sites and taonga (treasures), some dating back almost a thousand years, are a contrast to many beautiful colonial buildings. New Zealand today is a culturally diverse and fascinating country. Discover the movie magic when you visit the Lord of the Rings filming locations. Take guided tours of the stunning locations shot in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
NEW ZEALANDER INVENTORS
6. Colin Murdoch - Disposable syringes

Disposable syringes - Colin Murdoch

Pharmacist and veterinarian Colin Murdoch was also an inventor, with 46 patents to his name. Aware of the risks of infection of glass syringes, he designed and patented the disposable hypodermic syringe. Initially the Department of Health felt it was "too futuristic". It took a few years before it was adopted and used by millions around the world.

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1929, Murdoch displayed a talent for chemistry at a very early age. Although he struggled through his schooling years with dyslexia, Murdoch already displayed an interest in both mechanical and technical skills. At the age of ten he successfully made gunpowder and came to the realization that an ignition could be caused by the mixing of certain nitrates and sulphuric acid. This discovery led the young Murdoch to build a successful firearm using a wick and a small asbestos-filled hammer.

Murdoch later came to outgrow his dyslexia and went on to study at The College of Pharmacy in Wellington. Following this, he completed a five-year apprenticeship and, like his father, became a pharmacist. He later studied to become a veterinarian. as he had an interest in not only human welfare, but also the welfare of animals.

Both a pharmacist and a veterinarian, Murdoch was aware of the risks in reusing syringes. There was a high risk of passing infection from one patient to the next in both humans and animals, unless the glass syringe was sterilized accurately. Wanting to eliminate these risks, and needing more effective vaccination for his animal patients, Murdoch designed and invented the disposable hypodermic syringe, a plastic version of its glass predecessor. Murdoch presented the design to officials of the New Zealand Department of Health, who were skeptical, and believed it “too futuristic”, and that it would not be received well by both doctors and patients. Development of the syringe was held off for a few years due to lack of funding. Eventually, when he was granted both patents, Murdoch’s syringe became hugely successful, with millions used throughout the world every day. It is not widely known as a New Zealand design, although Murdoch's achievements have been covered in the New Zealand media.

In the 1950s, while working with colleagues who were studying introduced wild goat, deer and tahr populations in New Zealand, Murdoch had the idea that the animals would be much easier to catch, examine and release if a dose of tranquilliser could be administered by projection from afar. Murdoch became experienced with repairing and modifying guns during World War II, as rifles and shot guns were not being imported into New Zealand at that time. With both motive and experience, Murdoch went on to develop a range of rifles, darts and pistols, which have had an enormous impact on the treatment and study of animals around the world.

At the time Murdoch started testing his gun, the only tranquilliser drugs available were curare and alkaloids of nicotine, both of which tended to have fatal reactions in a high percentage of animals. In partnership with pharmaceutical companies, he helped develop more sophisticated drugs with precise and safe reactions.

Travel to New Zealand. There is just so much to do make sure you allow plenty of time for your visit. You will find a diverse range of scenery and conditions from sub-tropical to a little colder down south particularly in the winter time. New Zealand can be enjoyed at a pace to suit every age group. Grab a cheap flight to New Zealand for a game of golf, Buy a map, hire a rental car, have an adventure and fill your lungs with the smog free air New Zealand has to offer. Accommodation from backpackers, bed and breakfast to luxury hotel. Take your New Zealand tour.
TRAVEL TO NEW ZEALAND - HOME OF LORD OF THE RINGS