Prof Dame Anne Salmond



Professor Salmond discusses her life and work on the history and anthropology of the Pacific and in particular Māori in an interview with Professor Alan McFarlane of the University of Cambridge:

Dame Anne Salmond is a Distinguished Professor of Māori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland, and a leading social scientist. She is the first New Zealander to be elected a fellow of both the US National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy. A former Vice-President (Social Sciences and Humanities) of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the first social scientist to be awarded the Rutherford Medal, New Zealand’s top scientific prize, she is also deeply involved in New Zealand’s public life as a scholar and communicator. In 2013 she was chosen as the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year:

Anne Salmond has written a series of prize-winning books about Māori life, European voyaging and cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific that have received much international recognition.  Her latest book investigates cross-cultural experiments in New Zealand, including innovative approaches to land, the ocean and fresh water.;

She has a lifelong engagement with te ao Māori, working alongside kuia and kaumātua and presenting evidence in the Muriwhenua Land and Fisheries Treaty claims, the Ngāpuhi claim for Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the first test case of the Treaty clause of the Resource Management Act.

Since 2017 she has hosted the Artefact documentary series with Māori TV. Series 2 was released in 2020.

Dame Anne also has a long-standing practical interest in environmental issues. In 1990 she became the Deputy Chair of the Parks and Wilderness Trust and served on the panel that reviewed the Auckland Regional Council. In 1999 she and her husband Jeremy established the Waikereru Ecosanctuary in Gisborne (, a major ecological restoration project. Since 2014 she has been a member of the Air New Zealand Sustainability Panel, and led the Te Awaroa: Voice of the River project to restore rivers across New Zealand. An invited member of the Te Ao Māori Advisory Group for the review of the Resource Management Act (2020), she is a member of the Waimatā River Catchment Group which aims to restore the Waimatā River in Gisborne. Dame Anne is also involved in the O Tātou Ngāhere campaign to foster native afforestation in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Anne Salmond writes about climate change, the restoration of rivers, forests and the ocean, and has won an international reputation as an environmental thinker. She has delivered a number of keynote addresses on freshwater debates in Bergen and Vancouver, and on relations between people and the sea in Oslo, Cambridge and Munich. In 2018 she was awarded a Carl von Siemens Research Prize by the Humboldt Foundation to work with colleagues at LMU in Munich on environmental questions (2019-2021), and in 2019 delivered a prestigious Kosmos lecture in Berlin.

Dame Anne also has extensive governance and managerial experience. She has served on the board of Riversun NZ, a major horticultural producer, and on the Senior Management team of the University of Auckland as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equal Opportunity) and member of Budget Committee (1997-2006). She is the Chairperson of the Longbush Ecological Trust and the patron of many environmental and community organizations.  She has held a range of public offices, including member of the founding board for Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand (1992-2000), Deputy Chair of the Foundation for Science, Research and Technology (1996-1997), and Chairperson of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (2002-2008).

Recent Honours and Distinctions

2021 Order of New Zealand, New Zealand's top honour

2020 Caird Medal, National Maritime Museum, London, for research into European and Polynesian voyaging; Blake Medal for outstanding leadership.

2019 Represented Humboldt Foundation & delivered Kosmos lecture in Berlin.

2018 Carl Friedrich von Siemens Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, in recognition of lifetime achievements in research; Finalist Al-Rodhan prize for Global Cultural Understanding, British Academy, for Tears of Rangi; Finalist Ockham Book Awards, non-fiction, for Tears of Rangi

2016-2018 Vice President (Social Sciences and Humanities), Royal Society of New Zealand

2015 International Member, American Philosophical Society

2013 New Zealander of the Year; Rutherford Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand; Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada; Hood Travelling Fellowship, University of Auckland; 

2012 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, Bellagio, Italy;

2011 KEA World Class New Zealander - Science, Technology and Academia Award;

2009 Foreign Associate, US National Academy of Sciences;

2008 Fellow of the British Academy (corresponding)


Research | Current

  • Māori society, ways of thinking and living, past and present
  • Pacific society, ways of thinking and lives, past and present
  • The Enlightenment in Europe and its Pacific legacies
  • Environmental challenges and experimental futures


  • Hui: A Study of Māori Ceremonial Gatherings (1975, A.H. and A.W. Reed)
  • Amiria: The Life Story of a Maori Woman (1976, A.H. and A.W. Reed); edition in Japanese, trans. Mariko Sakurai, アミリア : あるマオリ女性の一生 (1993, 海燕書房).
  • Eruera: The Teachings of a Maori Elder (1981, Oxford University Press)
  • Two Worlds: First Meetings between Maori and Europeans 1642-1772 (1991, Viking Press, University of Hawai'i Press)
  • Between Worlds: Early Exchanges between Maori and Europeans 1773-1815 (1997, Viking Press, University of Hawai'i Press)
  • The Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas (2003, Penguin UK, Penguin NZ, Yale University Press)
  • Aphrodite's Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti (2007, University of California Press, Penguin NZ); edition in French, L'ile de Vénus. Les Européens découvrent Tahiti (2012, Au Vent des Iles): A book about early exchanges between islanders and Europeans in Tahiti.
  • Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas (2011, University of California Press, Penguin NZ): A book about the mutiny on the Bounty, and Captain Bligh’s three visits to Tahiti.
  • Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds (2017; Auckland, Auckland University Press) 

Biographical accounts:

  • 2013  Anne Salmond, in ed. Cris Shore and Suzanne Trinka, Up Close and Personal: On Peripheral Perspectives on the Production of Anthropological Knowledge (Berghan Books):56-58.  (autobiography, based on oral interviews)
  • Anne Salmond, in ed. Deborah Shepard, Her Life’s Work (Auckland, Auckland University Press), 137-196 (autobiography, based on oral interviews)

Postgraduate supervision

Natalie Robertson, Māori Studies, co-supervisor


2007 - Hakluyt Lecture for the Hakluyt Society, London;

2007 - Montana Prize for History for Vaka Moana, contributing author;

2007 - Founding Fellow, New Zealand Academy of the Humanities;

2006 - Visiting Professor, École des Haute Études, France;

2005 - Special Lecture, International Congress for Historical  Sciences, Sydney;

2004 - Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement;

2004 - Montana Medal for Non-Fiction for The Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas;

2004 - Visiting Fellow, Cross-cultural Research Centre, Australian National University;

2004 - Caird Fellow, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, United Kingdom;

2002 - Distinguished Professor, The University of Auckland.

Areas of expertise

My research and teaching draw inspiration and insights from engagements across 'worlds' and philosophical traditions in New Zealand, the Pacific and Europe.

This work spans a range of disciplines - mainly anthropology, but also history, Maori Studies, Pacific Studies, linguistics, history and philosophy of science, and the environmental sciences.

Key areas of interest include Maori and Pacific philosophies and ways of living, past and present; Enlightenment science and philosophies, and their Pacific legacies; Experimental futures emerging out of the exchanges between these philosophies and cutting edge science, Exploration and voyaging; environmental issues; ecological restoration.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Member, Waimatā River Catchment Group Inc, 2020-

Member, Whakaruruhau, Oversight Panel, New Zealand History in the curriculum, New Zealand Government, 2020-

Project Sponsor, Te Awaroa 2012 -  


Te Awaroa is a project that aims to restore waterways across New Zealand, the lifeblood of the land - 1000 rivers by 2050. The idea arose during the Transit of Venus Forum in 2012, and is rapidly evolving with an expanding network across the country.

Chairperson, The Longbush Ecological Trust and Waikereru Ecosanctuary 2007 – , Gisborne

The Longbush Ecological Trust is a trust dedicated to the restoration of Waikereru, a 120 hectare ecosanctuary in Gisborne, a haven for rare and endangered native plants and animals.

Member, Air New Zealand Sustainability Advisory Group 2014 -

Member, Te Ao Māori Advisory Panel, review of the Resource Management Act, New Zealand Government 2019-2020

Member, National Advisory Panel, Tuia 250th Commemoration, New Zealand Government, 2016-2019

Project Sponsor, Starpath Partnership for Excellence 2007 - 2018.

Starpath is a Partnership for Excellence with the NZ Government. Based on world-class evidence-based collaboration with schools, teachers, students and parents, it aims to enable all young people in New Zealand - especially Maori, Pasifika and those from low income families - to fulfil their potential through education.


Board Member, Advisory Group for World Heritage Nomination, Taputapuatea Marae 2008  – 2018,   Ra’iatea, Society Islands

Taputapuatea marae is one of the most powerful voyaging sites in Polynesia. Once the headquarters of the 'arioi society and the heart of the 'Oro cult, Taputapuatea was the launching-place for many voyaging canoes that explored the Polynesian triangle. It has been nominated as a World Heritage site.

Trustee, Te Ha Trust 2013 - 2020

Te Ha is the charitable trust which is responsible for organising the commemoration of the 250th anniversary in 2019 of the arrival of Captain Cook's Endeavour, and the beginning of our shared history in New Zealand.

Member, World War I Advisory Panel 2012  – 2015

The Panel advises the New Zealand Government on the commemoration of the centenary of New Zealand's participation in World War I.

Patron of the following organisations:

  • Historic Places Aotearoa
  • Te Awaroa:  Voice of the River
  • American Field Service New Zealand
  • National Whale Museum
  • Whinray Kiwi Trust, Motu
  • Great Barrier Island Trust
  • Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust
  • R. Tucker Thompson Trust

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Salmond, A., & Lythberg, B. (2019). Spiralling histories: Reflections on the 1923 Dominion Museum East Coast ethnological expedition and other multimedia experiments. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 128 (1), 43-63. 10.15286/jps.128.1.43-63
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Billie Lythberg
  • Salmond, A. (2017). Tears of Rangi: Experiments across worlds. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. Pages: 511.
  • Salmond, A. (2015). The fountain of fish: Ontological collisions at sea. In D. Bollier, S. Helfrich (Eds.) Patterns of commoning (pp. 309-329). Amherst, MA: The Commons Strategies Group.
  • Salmond, A. (2014). Tears of Rangi: Water, power, and people in New Zealand. Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 4 (3), 285-308. 10.14318/hau4.3.017
  • Salmond, A. (2013). Anthropology, ontology and the Māori world. In C. Shore, S. Trnka (Eds.) Up close and personal: On peripheral perspectives and the production of anthropological knowledge (pp. 58-72). New York, NY: Berghahn Books. Related URL.
  • Salmond, A. (2012). Ontological Quarrels: Indigeneity, Exclusion and Citizenship in a Relational World. Anthropological Theory, 12 (2), 115-141. 10.1177/1463499612454119
  • Salmond, A. (2011). Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas. Auckland, Berkeley: Penguin Books NZ, University of California Press. Pages: 528. Related URL.
  • Salmond, A., & Salmond, A. (2010). Artefacts of Encounter. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 35, History and Human Nature (3-4), 302-317. 10.1179/030801810X12772143410205


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 2, Room 204
New Zealand

Web links