Oratia Books

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
Website: www.roncrosby.co.nz

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 (publishing November 2019)
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 (publishing November 2019)
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



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 and 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


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


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


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 re-emergence of Māori kin community entrepreneurship (publishing November 2019)
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! (publishing October 2019)
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 (publishing November 2019)
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! (publishing October 2019)
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


Febe Sillani is the celebrated author or illustrator of over 80 children’s books, many published internationally. Among her best-known creations is Celestino the little elephant. She lives in Trieste, Italy.
With Oratia Books: Food Atlas
Website: http://febesillani.blogspot.com

Tania Simpson (Tainui, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tahu) is CEO of Māori development company Kōwhai Consulting, Deputy Chair of Landcare Research New Zealand, and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal. She has written several works of tribal history. Tania lives with her family in Hamilton.
With Oratia Books: The Last Maopo

Nikki Slade Robinson is an award-winning children’s illustrator and author who lives in Opotiki. She has established a reputation for innovative, fun children’s books including the Muddle and Mo series and The Seven Stars of Matariki.
With Oratia Books: There’s a Tui in our Teapot

Don Stafford was a pioneering author of Māori and regional history who published 23 books during a long and distinguished career. Don received awards and honours including an MBE and an honorary doctorate from Waikato University, and was made Rotorua’s official historian. He passed away in 2010.
With Oratia Books: Te Arawa: A History of the Arawa People; A Wild Wind from the North

Julian Stokoe is a transmedia and animation director with a background in TV and design. He is director of mobile media developer Yoozoo. Julian lives with his wife and family in Laingholm, Auckland.
With Oratia Books: 12 Huia Birds

Paul Tapsell is professor of indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne, and was formerly director Māori at the Auckland Museum. A graduate of Auckland and Oxford universities, his previous books are Pukaki: a comet returns (1999), a Montana Book Award winner, and Ko tawa: Maori treasures of New Zealand (2006), with photos by Krzysztof Pfeiffer.
With Oratia Books: Te Ara: Maori Pathways Past, Present, Future; Pukaki — a comet returns (ebook); Pūkaki — te hokinga mai o te auahitūroa (translated by Scotty Morrison); Whāriki: The re-emergence of Māori kin community entrepreneurship (publishing November 2019)
Website: http://www.maramatanga.co.nz/person/professor-paul-tapsell

Pā Henare Tate (Ngāti Manawa, Te Rarawa) was a senior Māori leader in the Catholic Church. A former lecturer at the Catholic Institute of Theology, he obtained a doctorate from the Melbourne College of Divinity, and was a specialist in Māori spirituality. Pā Tate retired to Motutī, in the northern Hokianga; he passed away in April 2017.
With Oratia Books: He Puna Iti i Te Ao Mārama: A Little Spring in the World of Light
Website: http://blogs.library.auckland.ac.nz/arts/archive


Munro Te Whata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou) is an illustrator, animator, artist and writer who has illustrated several books and worked extensively in digital and print media. He lives with his young family in South Auckland.
With Oratia Books: Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna/Listen to your Ancestors
Website: http://munrotewhata.blogspot.com

Tim Tipene (Ngāti Kurī, Ngāpuhi) is the award-winning author of children’s picture books and junior novels including Kura Toa: Warrior School, Haere Jack Haere and Taming the Taniwha. A youth and self-defence counsellor, he leads the Warrior Kids programme (outlined in Warrior Kids: Warrior Training for Children). Tim lives with his family in Waitakere, Auckland.
With Oratia Books: Kura Toa: Warrior School; Bullies & Warriors; Warrior Kids: Warrior Training for Children; Patu; Māui — Sun Catcher
Websites: www.warriorkids.org and www.timtipene.com

Felipe Vellozo is an illustrator, cartoonist and designer who has illustrated a number of popular children’s books. Felipe lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.
With Oratia Books: Snowy the Doganaut

Zak Waipara (Rongowhakataa, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu), has illustrated and written for children’s books, comics, newspaper graphics, motion graphics and animations, and lectured in digital media at Auckland University of Technology. He is currently programme leader of Animation College’s new Bachelor of Animation Degree.
With Oratia Books: Māui — Sun Catcher
Website: www.zakwaipara.carbonmade.com

Philip Webb is a full-time freelance illustrator of children’s books who has created illustrations for many picture books, educational readers and chapter books. He has won New Zealand Post Awards for Dragor and Piggity-Wiggity-Jiggity-Jig. He lives in Wellington and works from his studio overlooking Wellington Harbour.
With Oratia Books: Holy Socks


David Wilson is the fourteenth and current Clerk of the House of Representatives of New Zealand. He was appointed in 2015, following a varied state sector career. David edited the fourth edition of Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand with the previous Clerk, Mary Harris.
With Oratia Books: Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand
Website: www.en.wikipedia.org

Matthew Wright is a prolific writer who has authored more than 50 books on a wide range of topics for all ages, principally relating to New Zealand history. Among his recent works are the Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand and Trains, Tunnels and Bridges. He lives in Wellington.
With Oratia Books: The New Zealand Wars; The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front
Website: matthewwright.net

Distributed Books

Marc Bonny grew up in Titirangi and after returning in 1995 , has dedicated himself to researching its history. He is an active writer, researcher and contributor to the West Auckland Historical Society.
With Oratia Media: Titirangi: Fringe of Heaven


Joy Cowley is an internationally recognised author of fiction for children (as well as adults). She has published more that 600 early readers along with numerous novels and short stories. In 2005 she was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to children’s literature, and in 2017 became a Member of the Order of New Zealand, the country’s highest honour. She lives in Featherston.
With Oratia Media: Writing from the Heart: How to write for children
Website: www.joycowley.com

Owen Gill is a public policy advocate who has worked in New Zealand and Australia in urban services, banking and regulation. He has an MBA from Macquarie University and degrees in politics and public policy from Victoria University of Wellington. He was born in Auckland’s west and lives there now.
With Oratia Media: Turning Point Auckland: Radical Policy to Prepare Auckland for Two Million People



Bruce and Trixie Harvey developed a strong interest in the history and environment of Titirangi; they edited the book Waitakere Ranges for the Waitakere Ranges Protection Society and Bruce is the author of Whatipu. Trixie passed away in 2018.
With Oratia Media: Titirangi: Fringe of Heaven

Tim Sole was formerly the chief executive of Civic Assurance, the local government insurance agency, based in Wellington. An actuary and senior manager, he is also an internationally published author of puzzle and game books, as well as photographic and inspirational titles including Life’s a Journey.
With Oratia Media: Assuring and Enduring: Fifty Years of Civic Assurance – Tested by Time and Disaster
Website: www.civicassurance.co.nz

Martin Toft is a photographer, photo book artist and educator who works on commissions and long-term collaborative projects. Born in Denmark in 1970, he has travelled widely and since 2004 has been based in Jersey, where he teaches photography at Hautlieu School. His work has been exhibited and awarded widely around the world.
With Oratia Media: Te Ahi Kā