Thomas Edward Donne became secretary of the new Department of Tourist and Health Resorts in 1901. He enthusiastically supported his minister, Joseph Ward, in tourism promotion. He served as a member of the Scenery Preservation Board and the Tongariro National Park Board. He authored several important books on wide-ranging subjects, including The Maori – past and present, Game animals of New Zealand and Fishing in New Zealand waters. He established the rudiments of a nationwide accommodation network and oversaw the establishment of the scenic reserve network. Despite his department's considerable efforts, tourist numbers grew less rapidly than anticipated. Donne left the department in 1909 and later worked in London for New Zealand's diplomatic representatives. He died there in 1945, aged 85.