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Remembering Wednesday Davis

Updated: Jul 6

01-01-1998 to 29-06-2024

Wednesday Davis snorkelling at Te Kohuroa/Matheson Bay
Wednesday Davis snorkelling at Te Kohuroa/Matheson Bay

It was with immeasurable sadness that the Mountains to Sea whānau heard of the loss of a true ocean champion and all round spectacular human being, Wednesday Davis.

Wednesday Davis

Wednesday started her Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) journey back in 2018 as a volunteer, quickly wowing our team with her enthusiasm, passion and knowledge for the ocean. She rose through the ranks to Senior Snorkel Guide rapidly due to her impressive in-water confidence and teaching ability.

Wednesday in 2018 at an EMR volunteer training event.

During this time, Wednesday was completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Auckland in marine science, whilst also working as an aquarist/educator at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium. Right from the start, Wednesday excelled at being an spectacular science communicator.

Her generosity in sharing her skills and knowledge with others knew no bounds. Her energy and smile was infectious and she showed great care and kindness when revealing the underwater world as a snorkel guide.

If you asked Wednesday why she was so passionate about the ocean, she would often mention her formative experience with the clean up efforts after the Rena oil spill. The most damaging maritime disaster in Aotearoa's history. Seeing first hand the harm that humans can have on the ocean and the wildlife that call it home, set her on a path to ensure the future of te moana was bright and full of hope.

Wednesday swimming with dolphins at Goat Island marine reserve

She continued to volunteer her time on our community snorkel day events, with some of her favourite adventures being out to the islands in Tīkapa Moana/Hauraki Gulf as well as the Poor Knights Islands.

Wednesday snorkelling at the Poor Knights

To no ones surprise, she continued to her pursue her ocean passions by completing a masters with first class honours in marine science in 2022, with her research on multi-species foraging associations being featured in NZ Geo. As she was finishing her masters we had the great privilege of having her join EMR as a crew member.

Snorkel guiding in the Whangateau Harbour

She was an invaluable addition as a coordinator, delivering our schools programmes and community events across Auckland. During her time with us she was instrumental in building the profile of our Te Ika o Te Tau/Fish of the Year competition, utilising her beautiful ocean art and savy social media skills to raise awareness of the vast array of unique ika we have in Aotearoa.

Artwork designed by Wednesday Davis
Artwork designed by Wednesday Davis

Her passion also spread into the freshwater space as she helped our sister programme Whitebait Connection on īnanga egg searches, fish surveys, water quality monitoring and school visits.

From Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) founder Samara Nicholas, "Wednesday was like the Aunty on the movie ‘Boy’ she had all the cool marine jobs! EMR really enjoyed her contributions to our team and she was influential is supporting the growth of our engagement events in the Auckland region. She was extremely passionate about the marine environment and added huge value to our volunteer development and ‘Fish of the Year’ competition. Our heart breaks for friends and whānau. The team will miss her immensely."

Taken by Koha Kahui-McConnell

Some of her favourite past times whilst working as a coordinator were lovingly gazing at marine life, fish selfies, creating beautiful marine designs and colouring pages, nerding out over the weirdest of critters, snorkelling by torch light, dolphin hangouts and kayaking chit chats to name a few.

Youth leadership was another great passion of Wednesday's, accumulating many skills through her time as a Kupe leader, a BLAKE Leader, YWCA Y25 Alumnus and founder of UMSS (University of Auckland Underwater Marine Society). She was a mentor to many up and coming EMR volunteers and helped strengthen our volunteering programme as our volunteer coordinator, helping to create a positive and welcoming volunteer culture for all.

Through her time delivering marine education programmes in schools she also helped foster the next generation of ocean kaitiaki/guardians who will help continue on the critical work of looking after te moana.

In June 2023, Wednesday finished her time with us as a coordinator and returned to the University of Auckland, as a part of the faculty as a marine technician. Continuing to build her skills in the marine science space, particularly on the University's new research vessel Ika.

Despite departing as a EMR crew member, Wednesday continued to volunteer on our community events, a clear reflection of her immense generosity to marine conservation causes, and her enjoyment in encouraging others to experience te moana first hand.

Wednesday lived life to the fullest and was a powerful voice for the ocean. Her legacy will continue to live on within the many people she has inspired throughout her life and the incredible impact she has made in the marine science/conservation community and beyond.

The Mountains to Sea - EMR & WBC whānau will miss you deeply Wednesday, you will remain in our hearts always.

Moe mai rā Wednesday 💙


On Monday 8th of July at 11:00am a memorial service will be live-streamed and can be viewed with this link.

If you have any stories or photos you would like to share of Wednesday, please send these to

Written by Sophie Journée - edited by Lorna Doogan. Photographs by Sophie Journée unless otherwise stated.

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