Annette Lees is the author of three books that explore our connection to nature: The Deep Sky Waits on the Outskirts of Town (Reed 1996);  Swim: A year of swimming outdoors in New Zealand (2018) (longlisted for the 2019 Royal Society Prize of the Ockham Book Awards); and After Dark: Walking into the nights of Aotearoa (2021).


Find her books here

Paula Morris, Presenter


Paula Morris MNZM (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Manuhiri) is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist and editor from New Zealand.
Her novel Rangatira, about her Aotea-born ancestor Paratini Te Manu, won the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction and the Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Award.
Paula regularly interviews some of the biggest names in literature at festivals around New Zealand. She teaches creative writing and is an associate professor at the University of Auckland.


Kennedy co-founded NZ Geographic magazine in 1989 and served as editor for 15 years before turning his hand to feature writing for the magazine. 
Additionally, he writes for National Geographic, has written many books and holds a regular slot on Radio NZ National’s Nine till Noon programme. Radio NZ describes Kennedy as an outdoorsman, adventurer, travel journalist and photographer.
His latest book Soundings: Diving for stories in the beckoning sea, has been described as ‘a love affair with the underwater world’.


Lizzie was raised on Aotea Great Barrier and writes twisty page-turners set in the far-flung places she has lived lived, as well as funny-sad memoir and short fiction.
Great Barrier Island features in her memoir, Xamnesia and story collection, Triumph: Collected Stories.
Her debut novel Polaroid Nights featuring a ‘kick-ass island heroine’ won the inaugural NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize.
Curator, Tim Higham


Tim Higham’s Island Notes: Finding my Place on Aotea Great Barrier Island received favourable reviews and was on the independent bookshops’ best seller list last year.


Described as “Part Man Alone, part love story, Island Notes explores questions of belonging, loss and impermanence and whether the life, seas and forests of a wild island can offer a reconciliation with our past. An off-grid house on Aotea Great Barrier Island promises to fulfil one man’s dreams, but he discovers to his cost that nothing can be taken for granted.


“Island Notes is a memoir that draws inspiration from some of the great nature writers, while establishing a distinctive and informed voice and a sense of place that could only be Aotearoa.”


Tim is an award-winning science writer and advocate for the wilderness who has worked in the past for Antarctica New Zealand, the United Nations Environment Programme and Hauraki Gulf Forum and currently supports the Tū Mai Taonga project on Aotea. 


Find his book here 


Don E McGregor lives on a 12acre block on Aotea Great Barrier Island and has a keen interest in yachting. He is a retired schoolteacher and was founding principal of an international school in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China.


He has six published novels, including Wistful Legacy set in Nazi Germany, which took five years to write, and Aisling’s Cloud, about the founding of the Irish Free State. He is currently working on an ambitious Roman novel.


Invasion New Zealand 1942, partly set on Great Barrier, took Don nearly two years to write and is based on careful research and plausible military strategy. It’s taking people to another time and mindset, he says. “Tryphena was all clear country for sheep farming, radios were expensive and people gathered round them for their news, and there was a real fear of the Japanese coming.


Find out more about him here


Jenni Ogden lives and writes on Aotea Great Barrier Island.


She writes novels; book club fiction with a psychological slant for readers who love to immerse themselves in a domestic drama with evocative settings, centred on families or close friends. Confronted with unexpected life issues, her characters must dig deep to discover what really matters, and ask themselves what they are willing to sacrifice for the people they love.


Her debut novel , A Drop In The Ocean, was published in May 2016, by She Writes Press and has gone on to win multiple writing awards and has sold 80,000 copies. 


The Moon is Missing, published in August, 2020, is set in London, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and Great Barrier Island.


Her latest novel, Call My Name, was published as e-book, paperback and audiobook in September, 2022


 Jenni’s non-fiction books including Trouble in Mind take their inspiration from her career as a neuropsychologist, and they are written for the general reader with an interest in case studies of people who suffer from neurological disorders, as well as professionals in the field. 


Find more about her here 


Wendy Dodds’ A Pattern of Shades was published in November and follows the intertwined affairs and joint-addled moods of five mothers preparing to perform at a community ball.


It is a “comedy drama” set in the communal living days of the 80s and the song referred to in the book was performed in Tryphena Hall, although identities have been carefully fictionalized.


Wendy is a shareholder of land at Waterfall Bay, south of Rosalie Bay, where she lived for three years before moving to Tryphena so her two children could attend Mulberry Grove School.


Now in her 70s, Wendy is Auckland-based but returns to the island regularly.


She is working on a new novel, the one she “always wanted to write”, about a post-apocalyptic world where the island’s collective spirit, strong women and insights she has gained of Te Āo Māori through wood carving combine to provide an alternative to outdated capitalism.


Find more about her here


Mike Scott wrote his recent novel Bait listening to Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin during lockdown after reading a series of Jack Reacher thrillers. 


Despite a disclaimer that “names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental” there’s uncanny similarities to a lot of locals in the book.


The ex-policeman, farmer and paper mill worker, did the gas run and mail run while living on the island for three years before moving to the Bay of Plenty last year.


“The book is ten percent love letter to the island,” he says.

Bait is the first in a series of Barefoot Fisherman Thrillers.


Find more about him here


Chris Morton FPSNZ is a photographer, a book creator and a publisher.


His books include Out There South, Out There North and Aotea, Land and People and have been published under his imprint Out There Media.


His photography work is primarily in landscape and documentary photography and has won awards and recognition in New Zealand and internationally. His work has featured in exhibitions around the world.


As one of the photographers working on the Our Place World Heritage Project, Chris has carried out assignments in a number of diverse locations all around the world.


Find his work here 



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