Anne Salmond

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Dame Anne Salmond

Dame Anne Salmond WORD (cropped).jpg
Salmond in 2018
Mary Anne Thorpe

(1945-11-16) 16 November 1945 (age 75)
Wellington, New Zealand
Jeremy Salmond
(m. 1971)
RelativesJames McDonald (great-grandfather)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisHui – a study of Maori ceremonial gatherings (1972)
Academic work
DisciplineNew Zealand anthropology and history
InstitutionsUniversity of Auckland
WebsiteProfile, University of Auckland webpage
Anne Salmond signature.jpg

Dame Mary Anne Salmond ONZ DBE FRSNZ (née Thorpe; born 16 November 1945) is a New Zealand anthropologist, environmentalist and writer. She was New Zealander of the Year in 2013. In 2020, she was appointed to the Order of New Zealand, the highest honour in New Zealand's royal honours system.

Early life and family[edit]

Born in Wellington in 1945, Mary Anne Thorpe was raised in Gisborne,[1] before being sent to board at Solway College in Masterton, where she was dux in 1961.[2] In 1962–1963 she attended Cleveland Heights High School in the US as an American Field Service scholar.

Salmond then attended the University of Auckland, graduating Master of Arts in anthropology in 1968, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she gained a PhD in 1972.[1] Her thesis was titled Hui – a study of Maori ceremonial gatherings.[3]

Salmond was inspired to research early Māori history during her time in the United States as a teenager. When asked to talk about New Zealand, she realised she did not know much about the Māori side of the story.[4] Her links with the Māori world go back to her great-grandfather, James McDonald, a noted photographer, film-maker and artist who worked with Maori leaders including Sir Āpirana Ngata and Sir Peter Buck.[5]

Salmond married conservation architect Jeremy Salmond[6] in 1971.[1] They live in Auckland and have three children, including anthropologist Amiria Salmond.[7] In 2000, Anne and Jeremy Salmond initiated the restoration of the Waikereru Ecosanctuary in Gisborne.[8]


Salmond was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Auckland in 1971.[1] She had a close relationship with Eruera Stirling and Amiria Stirling, noted elders of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Porou. Their collaboration led to three books about Māori life:

  • Hui: A Study of Maori Ceremonial Gatherings (1975) – awarded the Elsdon Best memorial gold medal for distinction in Māori ethnology in 1976
  • Amiria: The Life of a Maori Woman – winner of a Wattie Book of the Year Award in 1977
  • Eruera: Teachings of a Maori Elder – first prize in the Wattie Book of the Year Awards in 1981

Salmond's work then turned to cross-cultural encounters in New Zealand, resulting in two works:

  • Two Worlds: First Meetings Between Maori and Europeans 1642–1772 (1991) – winner of the National Book Award (Non-Fiction) in 1991, and the Ernest Scott Prize in 1992
  • Between Worlds: Early Exchanges Between Maori and Europeans 1773–1815 (1997) – winner of the Ernest Scott Prize in 1998.

Afterwards, she began to explore early exchanges between Pacific Islanders and European explorers in the Pacific, leading to the publication of three books:

  • The Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas (2003) – winner of the history category and the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction at the 2004 Montana New Zealand Book Awards
  • Aphrodite's Island: the European Discovery of Tahiti (2010)
  • Bligh: The Pacific Voyages of William Bligh (2011).

Her book about exchanges between different realities (ontologies) Tears of Rangi: Experiments between Worlds appeared in July 2017.[9][10]

In 2001, Salmond became Distinguished Professor of Māori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland.[1]

Salmond has served on the boards of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, the Museum of New Zealand, and she was chair of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust from 2001 to 2007.[9] She was Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equal Opportunity) at the University of Auckland from 1997 to 2006.[11] She is the project sponsor for the Starpath Partnership for Excellence, which aims to ensure that Māori, Pacific and low-income students achieve their potential through education.[12]

"Dame Anne has a long-standing engagement with environmental issues, beginning with her work on the Parks and Wilderness Trust from 1990. After founding the Longbush Ecosanctuary in 2000 with her husband Jeremy, she has become the patron of a number of environmental organisations, and speaks and writes widely about environmental challenges. In this work, she seeks to bring together Maori and Pacific philosophies about relations between people, land, rivers and the ocean with practical restoration work and cutting edge science. She is the Patron of Te Awaroa: 1000 Rivers, a project that aims to restore waterways across New Zealand.".[13]

In 2018, she presented a six-part history series Artefact, which screened on Māori Television.[14]

Honours and awards[edit]

In the 1988 Queen's Birthday Honours, Salmond was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to literature and the Māori people,[15] and in 1990 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.[16] In the 1995 New Year Honours, she was promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to historical research.[17]

In 2004, Salmond received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for non-fiction.[18]

In November 2007, she was elected as an inaugural Fellow of the New Zealand Academy for the Humanities.[19]

In 2008, she was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2009, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences – the first New Zealander known to have achieved this double distinction.[20][21]

In 2013, the Royal Society of New Zealand awarded her the Rutherford Medal.[22] She was also named New Zealander of the Year for her work on cultural history.[23]

In 2015, she was elected an international member of the American Philosophical Society.[24]

In 2018, she was awarded a Carl Friedrich von Siemens Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, in recognition of lifetime achievements in research;[25] and was a finalist for the Al-Rodhan prize for Global Cultural Understanding, British Academy, for Tears of Rangi[26]

In 2020, during the annual Blake Awards ceremony in Auckland, Salmond received the Blake medal in recognition of her work to build intercultural understanding between Maori and Pakeha. James Gibson, CEO said that "Dame Anne Salmond is one of New Zealand's most outstanding leaders and trail-blazers...[and]...her life-long study of Māori culture, and her efforts to improve intercultural understanding between Māori and Pākehā has improved New Zealanders' understanding of their own history."[27] In the 2021 New Year Honours, Salmond was appointed to the Order of New Zealand for services to New Zealand.[28]


  1. ^ a b c d e 2014 Book of the Year. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2014. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-62513-171-3.
  2. ^ Crombie, Nathan (5 March 2013). "Former Solway dux New Zealander of Year". Wairarapa Times-Age. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Hui – a study of Maori ceremonial gatherings". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Dame Anne moved by award". 3 News NZ. 1 March 2013.
  5. ^ Staff (21 April 2011). "Dame Anne Salmond retraces ancestor's journey". Scoop Independent News. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Jeremy Salmond profile". Salmond Reed. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  7. ^ Tawhiao, Carly (24 April 2008). "Art book makes connections". Auckland City Harbour News. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  8. ^ "Longbush ecosanctuary". Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Prof Dame Anne Salmond". Christian Broadcasting Association. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  10. ^ Salmond, Anne (July 2017). Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds. Auckland University Press. p. 512. ISBN 9781869408657.
  11. ^ University of Auckland (21 August 2000). "Research demonstrates effects of fee increases". Scoop Independent News. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  12. ^ "The Starpath Project: raising achievement for students from low socio-economic backgrounds" (PDF). University of Auckland. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  13. ^ "NEXT Foundation award to Te Awaroa:Taking Care of our Rivers announced". 18 December 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  14. ^ Diana, Wichtel (12 May 2018). "Why Dame Anne Salmond is talking taonga". New Zealand Listener.
  15. ^ "No. 51367". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 11 June 1988. p. 34.
  16. ^ "The Academy: S–U". Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  17. ^ "No. 53894". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1994. p. 33.
  18. ^ "Previous winners". Creative New Zealand. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  19. ^ Wichtel, Diana (3 March 2013). "An interview with Dame Anne Salmond". New Zealand Listener (3741). Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  20. ^ "David Meltzer, Melvyn Goldstein, and Anne Salmond Elected to National Academy of Sciences". University of California Press Blog. University of California. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  21. ^ Masters, Catherine (9 May 2009). "A place among the world's elite". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  22. ^ "2014 « Rutherford Lecture « Annual Programmes « Events « Royal Society of New Zealand". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Building bridges brings honour". The Press. 1 March 2013. p. A5. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  24. ^ "Dame Anne Salmond appointed to the American Philosophical Society". 29 April 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Bio" (PDF). Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Professor Dame Anne Salmond". The British Academy.
  27. ^ Neilson, Michael (19 November 2020). "Dame Anne Salmond awarded prestigious Blake medal: 'A legacy we all benefit from'". NZ Herald. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  28. ^ "New Year Honours List 2021". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 31 December 2020.

External links[edit]