David Simmons is a scholar and student of Māori art and culture. He has written several books about Māori including The Great New Zealand Myth, Whakairo: Māori Tribal Art and Ta Moko: The Art of Māori Tattoo. He also co-authored The Māori Heitiki and Art of the Pacific. David was appointed Ethnologist of the Auckland Institute and Museum in 1968, becoming Assistant Director at Auckland Museum in 1978.
Prior to his time at Auckland Museum, David Simmons was appointed Keeper in Anthropology at Otago Museum from 1962 until 1968. He edited George Graham’s Māori Place Names of Auckland and prepared this popular account, in part based on the George Graham manuscripts in the Auckland Museum Library. In 2013 David was made an Associate Emeritus of the Auckland War Memorial Museum for his career as an outstanding researcher.
David's book The Carved Pare: A Māori Mirror of the Universe is currently out of print.