Edwin Fairburn was a pioneer colonist responsible for laying out the town of Oamaru. He also engineered and surveyed the main road north from Takapuna to the Bay of Islands, laying the foundation for the Auckland Roads Department.
He was one of the oldest New Zealand born residents of Auckland being the 15th European child born in New Zealand. Born at Paihia in the Bay of Islands in 1827, he was the third son of William T. Fairburn, who settled in New Zealand in 1821 to take up work with the Church Mission Society under the Reverend Samuel Marsden.
He was educated at the Waimate Mission School and entered the Deeds Registry Office in Auckland. In 1847 he joined the Survey Department being the first cadet under the first Surveyor-General. Later he went into private practice and after retirement lived at Parnell and later Epsom. He took an active part in the formation of the Auckland Choral Society and was the first secretary to the original Agricultural Association, being made a life member. He also wrote a number of scientific pamphlets.
Died 9 Dec 1911