David Simmons, ethnologist and historian, Died at 85


David Roy Simmons was born on September 6, 1930, and died on November 30, 2015.

Also known as Rawiri Te Puru Terehou, he was a New Zealand ethnologist, historian and author.

Born in 1930, David studied at Victoria University College and the University of Auckland, graduating from the latter with a Master of Arts with honours.

From 1962 to 1968, he was the keeper in anthropology at Otago Museum in Dunedin.

David was appointed as the ethologist at the Auckland Institute and Museum in 1968, and became the assistant director of the Auckland War Memorial Museum in 1978.

He wrote many books relating to Māori art, culture and history, including: The Maori Hei-tiki (1966) with Henry Devenish Skinner; The Great New Zealand Myth (1976); Tā Moko (1986); and Whakairo (1994).

David also edited J.D.H. Buchanan’s The Māori History and Place Names of Hawke’s Bay (1973), and George Graham’s Maori Place Names of Auckland (first published 1980).

In the 1985 Queen’s Birthday Honours, David 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 the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

David Simmons passed away on 30 November 2015.