Dave, son of Patsy and the late Trevor (TC) Collard followed in his parents' footsteps and launched a lifelong association with the hospitality industry.
He was born in Wanganui then the family moved to Awanui in 1958, where his parents bought their second hotel. In 1966, they built a hotel on Norfolk Island and by the time Dave had completed his education they were in Opotiki, followed by Whitianga.
Dave moved to Kaitaia to manage the hotel there before he and wife Lee crossed the Tasman to run a pub in Sydney for a couple of years. They returned in 1980, to the Whakatane Commercial Hotel, followed by Te Kuiti, an industrial lunch bar in Auckland, then a hotel in Paeroa, and in 1984 Kaitaia's Star Bar (now the Gecko Cafe).
Dave was a Councillor on the Far North District Council for several years and is a super busy contributor to the community. Notable is his leading role in staging the Snapper Bonanza on Te Oneroa-a-Tōhe. The original competition, Snapper Classic, started in 1982 and in 2011 David Collard and John Stewart took over the reins, transforming it into The Ngai Takoto 90 Mile Beach Snapper Bonanza. It is arguably the world's largest snapper surf casting competition, drawing thousands of people from around the country each year.