Obituary David Roy Simmons MBE

From left, Auckland Museum Director, Roy Clare, Richard Wolfe, Ian Thwaites, David Simmons and Auckland Museum Trust Board Chairman, Dr William Randall.

Remuera Heritage notes with sadness the passing of David Simmons, Remuera resident and a distinguished New Zealand scholar and author.

David, who graduated MA with honours from the University of Auckland, was appointed Ethnologist of the Auckland Institute and Museum in 1968, becoming Assistant Director at Auckland Museum in 1978. He was a scholar and student of Māori art and culture, writing several key books including The Great New Zealand Myth, Whakairo (Māori Tribal Art) and Ta Moko (Māori Tattooing) as well as books on Maori myths, legends, stories and place names in Auckland in Maori Auckland (1987) and Greater Maori Auckland (2014). He also co-authored The Māori Heitiki (with H.D. Skinner) and Art of the Pacific (with Brian Brake and James McNeish). He also had diplomas from the Sorbonne and the University of Rennes in Brittany. In the 1985 Queen’s Birthday Honours David Simmons was appointed a Member of the order of the British Empire for services to ethnology and the Māori people, and in 2013 he was awarded the Auckland Museum Medal and appointed an associate emeritus of Auckland War Memorial Museum. David Simmons was born in 1930 and died on 30 November 2015.