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 74)
Wellington, New Zealand
Alma mater
Scientific career
FieldsNew Zealand anthropology and history
Institutions University of Auckland
Thesis Hui – a study of Maori ceremonial gatherings (1972)
Website Profile, University of Auckland webpage
Anne Salmond signature.jpg

Dame Mary Anne Salmond 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.


Early life and family

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]

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 after visiting the United States on a scholarship as a teenager, and 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 and Amiria Stirling, noted elders of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngāti Porou. Their collaboration led to three books about Māori life:

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

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

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

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 Maori 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]

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  25. "Bio" (PDF). Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  26. "Professor Dame Anne Salmond". The British Academy.