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Geoffrey Fairfield

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Geoffrey Fairfield

Jessica Wagstaff
Collection Technician, IDEA Project

Peterson, Olaf. (n.d) Geoff Fairfield, Hawera. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira. \u003ca href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"\u003ePH-1988-9-F111.11\u003c/a\u003e

Peterson, Olaf. (n.d) Geoff Fairfield, Hawera. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira. PH-1988-9-F111.11

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Frank Geoffrey Fairfield (23 March 1906 – 15 November 1995) was an engineer, author, local historian, and collector. The maternal grandson of Colonel Arthur Morrow and Mariamne Buckland, whom he lived with during his early years, Geoff spent much of his youth in the area around the Tāmaki River.

He discovered his first Māori artefact in a swamp near Buckland’s Beach while fishing, and it triggered a lifelong passion for archaeology. An outspoken opponent of the destruction of archaeological sites, he expressed dismay at early 20th-century quarrying of maunga such as Pigeon Mountain and the disregard shown for koiwi and tuahu at the site. Though he himself had collected both remains and objects from burial sites, he seems to have regarded himself as a preserver of history, and was instrumental in organising an archaeological survey on Maungakiekie before the monument to John Logan Campbell was erected.

Fairfield’s 1938 paper on Puketutu Pa is regarded as a pioneering example of aerial photography, and he is the author of several books detailing the history of the Pakuranga area. He was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for Public Services in 1993 for his many years of work.

Fairfield and his expeditions are the subject of photography by Olaf Petersen, his good friend and fellow tramping enthusiast, as they sometimes travelled together.

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The Fairfield Collection

In addition to the large collection of taonga and Pacific objects presented to Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the Fairfield collection also includes rock specimens, expedition photographs, research notebooks, and manuscripts you can find some of these highlighted below.

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 records

Selected works by Geoffery Fairfield.

Fairfield, F. G., (1933). Maori Fish-Hooks from Manukau Heads, Auckland. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 42(167) p. 145-155.

Fairfield, F.G., (1938). Puketutu Pa on Weekes' Island, Manukau Harbour. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 47(187) p. 119-128.

Fairfield, Geoff., (1992). Pigeon Mountain = O Huiarangi : the birth and death of a volcano. Tamaki Estuary Protection Society.

Fairfield, Geoff., (1995). Te Waiarohia o Ngaitai : the story of the Bucklands Beach peninsula. Tamaki Estuary Protection Society.  

Cite this article

Wagstaff, Jessica. Geoffrey Fairfield. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. First published: 6 October 2022. Updated: 9 November 2022.