David Carson-Parker — 23.10.12

One of the country'€™s most dedicated arts supporters, Arts Foundation Governor and friend, David Carson-Parker, has passed away

David Carson-Parker died of a heart-attack on the way home from the opera (one of his great loves) in Wellington on Saturday night. Our deepest condolences to David's partner Jeremy Commons and David's many friends and family.

David's involvement with the Arts Foundation continued his long ‘career' in the arts, which he conducted alongside his extensive business career. He was President of the New Zealand Society of Potters in the 1960s and went on to be involved across a number of disciplines. His positions have included President of the Craft Council, Chairman of the Printmakers Council, member of the Downstage Trust Board and Board of Directors of Downstage Theatre. He was a Council member and President of the Friends of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, founding Director and Chairman of the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra Trust and, until 1998, a Trustee of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts. He was Chair of the New Zealand National Youth Choir and Deputy Chair of the Embassy Theatre Trust.


David made a significant contribution to the Victoria University MA in Creative Writing. He established and funded the David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize awarded to a student from the Scriptwriting stream of the MA in Creative Writing. He was a dedicated supporter of musical and literary activities and events associated with the University and through these activities was awarded a Hunter Fellowship from Victoria University.

David was a tireless advocate for the Arts Foundation and a generous supporter. He would often ring the office with great enthusiasm for a new idea, scheme or solution. He contributed significantly to Governance and will be missed. David and Jeremy hosted many Trustee and Governors' meetings, as well as the Arts Foundation's Annual General Meeting at their home in Mt Victoria.   We have enjoyed Jeremy and David's company on many an occasion.

David was particularly proud of his contributions towards the selection of Arts Foundation Icons. Through the Arts Foundation, David personally funded an oral history (now with the Oral History Unit of the Alexander Turnbull Library) of Constance Kirkcaldie.

There will be a service for David at Old Saint Paul's, Wellington, at 2.00pm on Monday, 29 October.