Oratia Books

Lara Albanese is a physicist and educator who is the award-winning author of over 20 books about science for children, focusing on the cosmos. She is professor of physics at the Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy.
With Oratia Books: Space Maps

Diego Albuquerque is an editor and screenwriter who works in television and film in Rio de Janeiro. He became Brazil’s youngest published author when the first edition of his book Branquinho, O Dognauta was released in 1982.
With Oratia Books: Snowy the Doganaut


Wallace Badham compiled the handwritten and bound histories he entitled The Iron-Bound Coast after his retirement. Raised in Karekare, he retained a deep affection for the area and its history until his death in 2001.
With Oratia Books: The Iron-Bound Coast: Karekare in the early years

Martin Bailey is a well-known illustrator who has created numerous children’s books over a long career. He recently founded Black Chook Books, a publisher of pre-school books. Martin lives in Muriwai, to the west of Auckland.
With Oratia Books: The Taniwha in our Backyard
Trish Bowles is a freelance artist using watercolour and pencils who balances her work between commissioned paintings and panels and her main love, illustrating children’s books. She has more than 30 children’s books to her name. Trish lives in Christchurch.
With Oratia Books: Home Child
Website: http://www.trishbowles.co.nz

Ross Calman (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa, Kāi Tahu) is a well-known author and editor; his works include the revised Reed Book of Māori Mythology and Reed Book of Māori Exploration, along with several Māori–English dictionaries. Ross lives in Wellington with his wife and two children.
With Oratia Books: The Treaty of Waitangi; Favourite Māori Legends


Rosie Colligan is a Wellington-based illustrator and graphic artist who has a Bachelor of Design majoring in illustration from Massey University. She illustrates for clients in New Zealand and internationally, and formerly worked at Weta Digital.
With Oratia Books: When Dad Came Home

R.D. (Ron) Crosby is a Blenheim-based lawyer who was a partner in the law firm Gascoigne Wicks, specialising in resource management and tribal claims in the South Island. Now working as a barrister and author, Ron was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2011. His other works include Gilbert Mair: Te Kooti’s Nemesis and NZSAS: The First Fifty Years.
With Oratia Books: The Musket Wars: A History of Inter-Iwi Conflict; The Forgotten Wars (publishing October 2020)
Website: www.roncrosby.co.nz


Bob Darroch has written and illustrated numerous children’s books over a 30-year career, including his bestselling Little Kiwi series. He previously worked in advertising and as a cartoonist. Bob lives in Temuka, South Canterbury.
With Oratia Books: The Longdrop

Paola Della Valle completed her doctorate in English at the Universita degli Studi di Torino in 2007, specialising in Maori literature. Teacher, researcher and promoter of writing and cinema, she lives in Turin, Italy.
With Oratia Books: From Silence to Voice: The Rise of Maori Literature

peter-hs-lrPeter Dowling is the publisher of Oratia Books. Brought up in Christchurch and resident in Auckland, he has authored and revised a number of books on place names, international business and culture, including the updated edition of A.W. Reed’s Place Names of New Zealand in 2010.
With Oratia Books: Māori Place NamesRegions of New Zealand


Melanie Drewery (Ngāti Mahanga) is the author of more than 20 children’s books including several books in the Nanny Mihi series and the award-winning Tahi: One Lucky Kiwi. She takes inspiration from Aotearoa’s beach and bush. Melanie works as a writer and potter from her home in Ruby Bay, Nelson.
With Oratia Books: Nanny Mihi and the Bellbird; Nanny Mihi and the Rainbow
Website: www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writer/drewery-melanie

Tessa Duder is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated children’s authors, and has written more than 40 books in genres from junior fiction to adult history. Among her best-known works are the Alex quartet and her biography of Margaret Mahy. A keen sailor and advocate for children’s writing, she lives in Auckland.
With Oratia Books: Out on the Water; The Story of Sir Peter Blake
Website: www.tessaduder.co.nz


Tracy Duncan is an author, illustrator and teacher who grew up on the Coromandel Peninsula but now lives in Upper Mouter, Nelson. She has illustrated and written a wide range of children’s books, including all of the works in Melanie Drewery’s Nanny Mihi series.
With Oratia Books: Nanny Mihi and the BellbirdNanny Mihi and the Rainbow
Website: www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writer/duncan-tracy


Brian Easton is an eminent economist and statistician who is well known for his long-running columns in the Listener and Pundit. He has written extensively on many aspects of New Zealand’s economy, history and society, and is an honorary fellow or adjunct professor at six New Zealand universities. Brian lives in Wellington.
With Oratia Books: Heke Tangata: Māori in Markets and Cities
Website: www.pundit.co.nz/blogs/brian-easton


Gordon Ell is a writer and publisher with a life-long interest in New Zealand’s natural and historic heritage. He has written more than 30 books for adults and children, and founded and managed the Bush Press. Gordon lives in Takapuna, Auckland.
With Oratia Books: The NZ Series: Volcanoes and Earthquakes; The NZ Series: Rush to Riches – Kauri and Gold



Sarah Ell is an editor, writer and journalist who is the author of ten books. She has a Masters of Creative Writing from Auckland University and an innate love of New Zealand history and the environment. She lives with her family on Auckland’s North Shore.
With Oratia Books: The NZ Series: Pioneer Women; The NZ Series: Volcanoes and Earthquakes



Bronwyn Elsmore is a recognised authority on Maori religions and early spiritual interaction with Christianity. Formerly a senior lecturer in religious studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, she is the author of works including Mana from Heaven and Te Kohititanga Marama. She lives in Auckland.
With Oratia Books: Like Them That Dream: The Maori and the Old Testament; Mana from Heaven (ebook)
Website: www.flaxroots.com


Stacy Eyles (Ngāti Porou) is an art director, artist, and award-winning illustrator based in Wellington. He produces work in many different media, ranging from canvas and murals to clothing and television.
With Oratia Books: 12 Huia Birds bilingual


Jeff Evans is a writer and photographer who works for clients in New Zealand and overseas. An authority on Maori canoes, Jeff is the author of numerous books, and editor of Elsdon Best’s Notes on the Art of War. He lives in Auckland.
With Oratia Books: Maori Weapons in Pre-European New Zealand; Polynesian Navigation and the Discovery of New Zealand; Nga Waka o Nehera: The first voyaging canoes; Waka Taua: The Maori War Canoe
Website: www.jeffevansphotography.zenfolio.com

Steve Forbes is a freelance writer who has a background in local journalism, and is also well known as a guitarist in bands including The Kingites. He lives with his family in New Lynn, Auckland.
With Oratia Books: New Zealand Tattoo

Clive Fugill (Ngāti Ranginui, Tainui) has the Master Carver at the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute for over 20 years. He has undertaken carving on numerous meeting houses, completed works around the world and trained many of this country’s leading workers in whakairo (wood carving).
With Oratia Books: Te Toki me te Whao: The Story and Use of Māori Tools

Stefano Fusi is a Florence provincial councillor and former mayor of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, who has written a number of books on the Chianti region, past and present.
With Oratia Books: To the Gateways of Florence: New Zealand forces in Tuscany, 1944

Rongowhakaata Halbert (1894–1973) was an authority on East Coast genealogy and history, and renowned for his command of te Reo Maori. He was a member of many eminent boards, and adviser on Maori issues and language to bodies including the Maori Land Court, the Polynesian Society and the Department of Education.
With Oratia Books: Horouta: The History of the Horouta Canoe, Gisborne and East Coast
Read more: www.teara.govt.nz

Bradford Haami (Ngāti Awa) is an established author, producer/director, scriptwriter and historian who has written extensively about Maori history and culture. His books include the bestselling True Red and the award-winning Ka Mau Te Wehi. Originally from Whakatane, he lives with this family in West Auckland.
With Oratia Books: Urban Māori


Mary Harris was Clerk of the House of Representatives of New Zealand from 2007 until her retirement in 2015. She was the first woman to be appointed to this role, following a distinguished state sector career. Mary edited the fourth edition of Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand with current Clerk, David Wilson.
With Oratia Books: Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand
Website: www.en.wikipedia.org


Paul Harrison is the author or co-author of 11 published works on New Zealand aviation, with an emphasis on military aviation. Paul spent 35 years in the RNZAF, and was its unofficial historian. He has been editor of the RNZRSA Review and Aerolegacy, and a correspondent for Aviation News. He lives with his family in Paraparaumu.Wilson.
With Oratia Books: Seek and Destroy


Sir Bob Harvey, historian, writer and former mayor of Waitakere City, edited the Wallace Badham manuscript for publication. A prolific author, Bob is well known for books on Auckland’s West Coast (including Untamed Coast and Rolling Thunder), film and art.
With Oratia Books: The Iron-Bound Coast: Karekare in the early years; Voices from the Surf; Sea Edge
Website: www.en.wikipedia.org


Vanessa Hatley-Owen is a teacher support and mother of three who was shortlisted for the Storylines Joy Cowley Picture Book Manuscript Award in 2014. Vanessa is a member of Storylines and SCBWI, writes reviews for the Booksellers New Zealand blog, and previously wrote reviews for the US-based blog The Library Adventure. She lives in Howick, Auckland.
With Oratia Books: When Dad Came Home


Chris Hoult is a senior photographer known for his haunting landscapes and social documentary work in books such as Home Free (on New Zealand house-truckers) and Out West: A Photographic Journey through Auckland’s West. Chris lives outside Dargaville, Northland.
With Oratia Books: New Zealand Tattoo
Website: www.chphotography.co.nz


Graeme Hunt was an historian, author and commentator noted for his work on New Zealand business history. His works included The Rich List, Black Prince and First to Care. Graeme passed away in September 2010.
With Oratia Books: Hustlers, Rogues & Bubble Boys: White-collar mischief in New Zealand (ebook)
Website: https://en.wikipedia.org


Joan Joass  is a retired primary school teacher with science degree in geology and chemistry and a career that includes being a wine-laboratory technician and a bus driver. This is her first picture book. Joan lives on Herald Island, West Auckland.   
With Oratia Books: The Longdrop


Darryn Joseph (Ngāti Maniapoto) is a senior lecturer in Māori language at Massey University, Palmerston North, and the author of more than 23 books, mainly for Māori immersion education. Darryn is a trustee of Storylines and was a judge for the 2018 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
With Oratia Books: Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna/Listen to your Ancestors
Website: https://www.read-nz.org/writer/joseph-darryn/

robyn-kahukiwaRobyn Kahukiwa (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti) is one of Aotearoa/New Zealand’s most important contemporary Māori artists. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is in numerous art galleries, museums and private collections. She has written and illustrated numerous children’s picture books.
With Oratia Books: Ngā Atua: Māori Gods
Website: https://en.wikipedia.org 


David Kārena-Holmes has been a tutor of Māori grammar at schools and institutions in New Zealand since the 1980s, and has published several books on the subject. He contributes a fortnightly column on Māori language in the Nelson Mail., and his poetry and other writings have been widely published. David lives in Whakatū/Nelson.
With Oratia Books: Te Reo Māori: The Basics Explained


Merata Kawharu (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi) is a research professor at the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago. She has written widely on themes of Māori leadership, resource management and community; in 2012, she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to Māori education.
With Oratia Books: Whāriki: The growth of Māori community entrepreneurship
Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merata_Kawharu

Ross Kinnaird is an internationally recognised illustrator who lives in Auckland. He has collaborated with Dawn McMillan on a number of books including the best-selling Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms? and works regularly with publishers in North America. With Oratia Books: Doctor Grundy’s Undies; I Need a New Bum!; Woolly Wally (new edition); Mister Spears and his Hairy Ears; Squeakopotamus; Charlie and his amazing tales; I’ve Broken My Bum!; Sir Singlet (publishing October 2020)
Website: www.rosskinnaird.blogspot.co.nz

Hana Maihi (Ngāti Whatua) has a degree in graphic design from Unitec, and works as a heritage arts adviser for her iwi Ngāti Whatua ki Orakei. She has contributed design content to a number of exhibitions and publications.
With Oratia Books: The Tunnel in our Backyard

Giulia Malerba is a writer, editorial manager, and co-author of three cookbooks. Her first children’s book is the international bestseller, Food Atlas. Giulia lives in the foodie city of  Parma, Italy.
With Oratia Books: Food Atlas

Emily Mayhew is a military medical historian specialising in the study of severe casualty. She is the historian in residence in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London and a research fellow in the Division of Surgery. She is the author of several other books including the Wounded trilogy.
With Oratia Books: The Guinea Pig Club


Gavin McLean wrote or contributed to over 50 books in a distinguished career as an historian. He was an authority on New Zealand shipping, and published widely on the topic while working as a senior historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Gavin passed away in April 2019.
With Oratia Books: Shipwrecked: New Zealand maritime disasters
Website: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/112047294/


Dawn McMillan is a much-loved writer of children’s books and educational readers, who lives north of Thames. She has enjoyed a number of successful collaborations with illustrator Ross Kinnaird. Their best-known work together is Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms?, winner of the Children’s Choice Award at the 2003 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
With Oratia Books: Doctor Grundy’s Undies; I Need a New Bum!; Woolly Wally (new edition); Holy Socks; Mister Spears and his Hairy Ears; SqueakopotamusCharlie and his amazing tales; There’s a Tui in our Teapot; Home Child; I’ve Broken My Bum!Sir Singlet (publishing October 2020); There’s a Weta on My Sweater (publishing November 2020)
Website: www.dawnmcmillan.co.nz

Sir Sidney (Hirini) Moko Mead is a leading authority on Maori art and culture. He had a distinguished university career at Victoria University and internationally, has written numerous books, was a driving force behind the Te Maori exhibition, and has been a leader of his tribe, Ngāti Awa. He was knighted in 2009 for services to Maori and education. Now retired, he lives in Wellington.
With Oratia Books: Te Toi Whakairo: The Art of Maori Carving; Te Whatu Tāniko — Tāniko Weaving: Technique and Tradition

J.H. Mitchell (Tiaki Hikawera Mitira, 1870–1944) grew up in Thames, and from the age of 15 until his death lived in Wairoa. He was a dairy farmer, Maori interpreter, and authority on iwi history and whakapapa. He devoted his later years to the writing of Takitimu and the building of the Takitimu Carroll meeting house in Wairoa.
With Oratia Books: Takitimu

Leah Mulgrew grew up in Karekare and studied painting at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. Since graduating in 2003 with a B.FA., she has lived and exhibited in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. She works in art administration in Auckland.
With Oratia Books: The Castle in our Backyard; Te Pā Kaha kei tō tātou Iari

Malcolm Paterson 2Malcolm Paterson belongs to Ngāti Whātua iwi and is most closely linked with the marae of Reweti, Haranui and Ōrākei. Previously a medical doctor, Malcolm has for many years worked as a heritage advisor and advocate for Ngāti Whātua (and in the past for the Historic Places Trust). He lives with his family in Te Atatū, Auckland.
With Oratia Books: The Castle in our Backyard; Te Pā Kaha kei tō tātou Iari; The Tunnel in our Backyard; The Taniwha in our Backyard

Joe Te Kani Pere, the great-grandson of Wi Pere, took over the writing of his biography from earlier family members. A former teacher, he has a doctorate in English from the University of Waikato. He brought the work to completion with the support of the Wi Pere Trust.
With Oratia Books: Wiremu Pere: The Life and Times of a Maori Leader, 1837–1915

Krzysztof Pfeiffer is an internationally renowned photographer who has published more than 40 books around the world. He works as a professional photographer from his home on Waiheke Island, Auckland.
With Oratia Books: Te Ara: Maori Pathways Past, Present, Future
Website: http://kpphotonz.wix.com/kpphotonz

Bruce Potter is the award-winning illustrator of over 115 books including the internationally published children’s edition of The Whale Rider and the White Raven-listed Out of the Deep . Also known as an author, musician and stage performer, Bruce lives with his family in Alexandra.
With Oratia Books: Out on the Water
Website: www.brucepotter.co.nz

Christopher Pugsley is an internationally recognised military historian. A retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the New Zealand Army, he was a lecturer in military studies at universities in New Zealand and Australia, and retired in 2012 as Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Among his recent works are Sandhurst: A Tradition of Leadership and A Bloody Road Home: The Second New Zealand Division in World War Two.
With Oratia Books: Gallipoli; Te Hokowhitu a Tu; The Anzac Experience; The Camera in the Crowd; Le Quesnoy 1918

A.W. Reed (1908–1979) was an eminent publisher and author. With his uncle A.H. Reed he built A.H. & A.W. Reed into New Zealand’s leading book publisher of the twentieth century, and himself authored more than 200 books, a number of which remain in print. His works on Māori mythology have served New Zealanders for several generations.
With Oratia Books: Favourite Māori Legends; Māori Place Names; Legends of Rotorua and the Hot Lakes


Theresa Reihana(Ngāti Hine) is a visual artist who produces authentic indigenous art and design that captures the wairua or spirit of Māori. She has exhibited worldwide, and undertaken a wide range of illustration. Theresa lives near Kaitaia, Tai Tokerau.
With Oratia Books: Rona Moon/Ko Rona Māhina
Website: https://www.maoriartist.com