Wellington City Libraries wishes to thank Derek Smith for allowing us to host his work on Wellington City Recollect on a Creative Commons basis. You are welcome to share his work with others on a non-commercial basis but please fully credit each photograph and do not alter or crop the images. These photographs remain under the copyright of the photographer; please contact us if you wish to reproduce any of these photographs in a book, publication, poster or use them in a similar commercial or semi-commercial format.
Born in the UK, Derek Smith migrated with his family to New Zealand at the age of six and grew up on Auckland's North Shore in the 1960s and 70s. He was interested in photography as a teenager but a change of career in the early 1980s led to this interest becoming a passion when his new job as a meter reader for the Auckland Gas Company gave him the opportunity to document the city with his camera. Derek recognised how transient urban environments can be and how important they were to document; our cities change quickly, yet as we live within them we are often blind to the changes that are occurring around us. In 1988 Smith moved to Lower Moutere, acquired a new meter reading job and was soon taking photographs across the Tasman District. Three years later he was accepted into the professional photography course at Wellington Polytechnic (today Massey University) and began documenting Wellington's cityscape. After his studies he acquired another meter reading job in the capital and the bulk of the photographs in this collection come from this period. In the mid-1990s, Derek and his wife Maclean returned to the South Island where they lived in several centres before settling in Kakanui near Oamaru.
Read more about Derek Smith and this collection here.