Posted By QEII National Trust | August 5, 2022

QEII National Trust is deeply saddened by the death of former QEII director Dr Brian Molloy who passed away 31 July 2022. 
Brian Molloy was a highly accomplished and well-respected member of the conservation community and, over his lifetime, he collected a long and impressive list of accomplishments. He was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for his services to conservation and was known as the unofficial ‘godfather’ of QEII National Trust and had a decades-long association with the Trust. 

Brian on site at Branches Station in November 2010

Brian and QEII National Trust
Between 1989 and 1998, Brian was a Director on the QEII Board. Afterwards, he moved on to work as our high-country representative; a role he kept until 2012. His colleagues describe him as captivating and awesome, and he was known for starting phone conversations off with: “It’s Old Trouble here”. 

His impact on The Trust continued well after he retired from his high-country representative role, with the QEII National Trust Brian Molloy Doctoral Research Scholarship. The scholarship supported a full time supervised doctoral research degree and was created in recognition of Dr Molloy’s contribution to the Trust and to promote and advance ecological science and conservation in New Zealand.  

Brian was deeply caring and generous towards his colleagues and was known for sharing his passion for conservation and botany with others.

Since hearing of his passing, colleagues at QEII have been gathering to share stories and reminisce about their time with Brian. Over his decades-long association with QEII, he worked with countless landowners, directors, regional representatives, and staff members.

We have gathered some of these stories to capture the Brian we knew and to memorialise the incredibly significant contribution he made to QEII, botany and conservation in New Zealand here.

Brian Molloy with Sir Brian Lochore

Achievements in botany and conservation
Brian’s passion for botany and conservation was recognised and Brian received many awards and accolades over his lifetime, including being appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Merit in 1997.

He also received the high-country committee of Federated Farmers award in 2000, a lifetime conservation achievement award by the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network in 2006, an associate of honour by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture in 2007, the Bledisloe Trophy by the Canterbury Botanical Society, for his contribution to New Zealand botany in 2010 and went on to be elected as a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2011.  

His contributions to orchidology were also recognised and he had a hidden spider orchid named after him, Molloybas cryptanthus, in 2002 and was awarded the Hatch Medal of the New Zealand Native Orchid Group, for his outstanding contribution to orchidology in New Zealand in 2011.  

James Guild with Brian Molloy at his retirement function in Methven in 2012

On his departure from QEII, Brian wrote “the QEII family and its achievements are a standout both nationally and globally and I have benefitted from my time with the family, especially our unique network of inspiring landholders. So, thanks again folks. Keep well, enjoy your organisation, and above all, have fun.”  

We will, Brian.