Celebrate the winter solstice in style with our fantastic line up of authors, guest speakers and Puke Ariki teams.
Historian and writer Andrew Moffat has been telling Taranaki stories at Puke Ariki since 2005. Andrew will be coming up for air from working on upcoming exhibitions and to talk with us about his research.
To see Andrew's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
To be a full-time writer in New Zealand requires literary versatility, and as a multi-award winning fiction writer, playwright, children’s writer, reviewer and journalist David Hill has that in spades. With over 30 books and plays published, he is best known for teenage fiction, but has contributed to newspapers, radio, and many New Zealand journals.
To see a list of David's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
New Plymouth author (and one-time librarian) Elizabeth Smither has published 18 collections of poetry, was a Te Mata poet laureate and was awarded an Honorary DLitt from Auckland University and the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement. Aside from being an internationally prizewinning poet, she writes novels, journals and short stories. Her most recent poetry collection, Night Horse, has been awarded the 2018 Ockham Poetry Award.
To see a list of Elizabeth's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
A paediatric speech language therapist, primary school teacher and business owner, Helen enjoys reading and creating poetry that reflect her observations of life. Founder of Pop Up Poetry Taranaki, she has performed her poetry at WOMAD and regularly publishes her musings on Instagram @thebandanabard.
James Davidson has been working away on Moa in coastal Taranaki for the best part of a decade. Originally published as single issues; Moa has been a way for James to explore the layered history and mythology of New Zealand through the medium of comics. James is a committed educator and is a Deputy Principal at Opunake High School. He resides in the picturesque town of Opunake with his wife and three children and can think of nothing better than waking up with the view of the beach on his left and Mt Taranaki on his right.
To find out more about James' work check out his Moa Comic website.
To see James' published books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
These days Janet Hunt is a Taranaki writer and graphic designer but in the past she has done a number of other things including being a teacher. She grew up by the bushline on the slopes of Mt Taranaki, where, on a clear day, you can see right across the farms, towns and hills of Taranaki to the ocean, gleaming like a mirror in the distance.
Janet has written a number of books, some for children and some for older audiences. They include: Hone Tuwhare: A Biography (1998), A Bird in the Hand: Keeping New Zealand Wildlife Safe (2003), From Weta to Kauri: A Guide to the New Zealand Forest (2004), Wetlands of New Zealand: A Bitter-sweet Story (2007), E3 Call Home, a true story of godwit migration and misadventure (2009), Our Big Blue Backyard: New Zealand’s Oceans and Marine Reserves (2014). Janet also co-authored Paradise Saved: The Remarkable Story of New Zealand's Wildlife Sanctuaries and How They Are Stemming the Tide of Extinction (2014). Several of her books have been shortlisted for awards, with A Bird in the Hand winning the New Zealand Post 2004 Book of the Year and Wetlands of New Zealand, winning the 2008 Montana Award for Non-Fiction.
How to mend a Kea: + other fabulous fix-it tales from Wildbase Hospital is Janet’s latest. It was published by Massey University Press in 2017 and tells the story of Wildbase, the veterinary hospital for New Zealand wildlife at Massey University in Palmerston North. We meet key people involved in the care of wildlife that is hurt or ill, get an overview of what happens in a day and get to know a selection of patients, including, of course, the very mischievous kea, patient # 78129, on the cover! Along the way, we also learn the larger story of New Zealand’s network of people who rescue and care for wildlife, including bird rescue centres, veterinary clinics and private citizens.
To see a list of Janet's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
Lesley Dowding is an International Storyteller and a registered member of the Storytelling Guild NZ. Her performances are adapted to suit all ages and many are interactive. Lesley tells stories in parks, libraries and to school groups. She has a great collection of puppets and is well known for her Adult Gruesome Grimm tales. Author, audio presenter for Gilt Edge Publishing and consultant to schools - once heard never to be forgotten, Lesley’s tales are not to be missed
To see a list of Lesley's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
Rebecca and Linley have been writing together for several years. They have had three children’s books published so far: Daniel’s Matariki Feast, Strawberries for Christmas and Tamanui: The brave kōkako of Taranaki. They are always working on something exciting.
To see a list of Rebecca and Linley's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
Lola Blades dragged herself from the swamps of Palmy, now based in Auckland, but representing Taranaki as the current FIERCE Taranaki Supreme Winner presented by Flash Mob Entertainment. She is colourful, talented and full of charisma and beautiful charm! Drag queens reading in public libraries originated in New York, and has travelled around the world, coming to you now in New Plymouth.
Mandy Hager is a multi-award winning writer of fiction for young adults. She has won the LIANZA Young Adult Book Award for fiction 3 times (Smashed 2008, The Nature of Ash 2013, Dear Vincent 2014), the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards for YA fiction (The Crossing 2010), an Honour Award in the 1996 AIM Children’s Book Awards (Tom’s Story), Golden Wings Excellence Award (Juno Lucina, 2002), Golden Wings Award (Run For The Trees, 2003) and Five Notable Book Awards. She has also been awarded the 2012 Beatson Fellowship, the 2014 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship and the 2015 Waikato University Writer in Residence. In 2015 her novel Singing Home the Whale was awarded the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award, and the Best Young Adult Fiction Award from the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It has also been named a 2016 IBBY Honour Book, an international award. Her latest book is an historical novel for adults, titled Heloise, long-listed for the Ockham Book Awards. She is a trained teacher, with an Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts (Whitireia) and an MA in Creative Writing for Victoria University. Her Blood of the Lamb trilogy has been published in the US by Pyr Books. She also writes adult fiction, short stories, non-fiction, educational resources, blogs and articles, and currently tutors the Novel Course for Whitireia’s Creative Writing Programme.
To see a list of Mandy's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
Melissa moved to Taranaki in 2011 after living in Auckland and its surrounds for many years, and she now calls Ōākura, home. Mother of two young boys, she has returned to regular writing, mostly poetry and short fiction. Since 2000, her work has appeared in various competition anthologies and more recently in Takahē and the New Zealand Poetry Journal a fine line.
Award winning poet and academic, Michele grew up in Taranaki before heading off into the world and now calls Auckland home. Michele’s poetry has won numerous awards, and her latest works are based on research from the Taranaki region.
To see a list of Michele's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
Mikaela's short fiction, creative non-fiction and poems have appeared in literary magazines such as Turbine and Sport. She is studying women’s empowerment and creativity in the Pacific and writing a novel set in Vanuatu. She is interested in the way language is shaped, what is lost in cultural collisions, in translation and between generations.
More information is available on Mikaela on her Victoria University PhD page.
Part time Singer Songwriter Missie Moffat has been writing and performing for over 12 years and makes up half of the well-loved Taranaki band 'Glass Boat'. Her intuitive drive to write comes from wanting to reach a place where word and melody, phrasing and rhythm align to capture a moment in her personal experience.
Nikki was born in Te Puke but grew up mainly in Opotiki, in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. As soon as Nikki could hold a crayon, she drew. Both her parents are artistic. They gave Nikki a magical childhood full of books, paper, crayons, plenty of animals… and lots of time in the outdoors. When Nikki was 5 she decided that when she grew up she wanted to draw pictures for children’s books. She had no idea if she could really do that but spent hours and hours drawing and writing and finally achieved her goal. Nikki started working professionally after she graduated from Wellington Polytechnic in 1989 with a Diploma of Visual Communication Design (illustration). Nikki won Best Picture Book in the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults with The little Kiwi’s Matariki, illustrated Te Kura Pounamu Medal winning book Te Puriri/The Puriri Tree and has a number of Storylines Notable Book Awards. She has illustrated well over 70 titles and is author/illustrator of 12, with more on the way. These days Nikki works from home, which gives her the best of both worlds: plenty of time to be both a mum - and author/illustrator in her studio. Being surrounded by native bush, a goat, cats, a large resident family of wekas and other assorted native creatures gives plenty of inspiration.
To see a list of Nikki's books check out the Puke Ariki Library catalogue.
Don’t be deceived by its quiet impression: enter the Research Centre gates and you can hear the voices of many and discover the traces of millions. Accounts and relics, ships arriving from afar, both Māori and Pākehā. Audacious adventurers, chiefs, queens, tohunga, scientists and soldiers. Children, homemakers, entrepreneurs, artists and eccentrics. Step through the gates and explore their stories and ideas -- our region’s fictions and realities.
Isn’t this your dream job? Selecting and buying fabulous books, magazines, newspapers and electronic resources! When the Collections and Digital Services Team receives new material, they ready it to go out on the shelves or on the web. They add items to the library catalogue so you can find them. Well practised in mending collection items that have become worn out or broken, including the electronic backbone of the library. All this so you can access what you need, when you need it, as much as possible.
The Customer Support Officers (CSOs) are your first point of contact at Puke Ariki Library – these are your go-to guys and gals. This team uses their knowledge of the library collections to provide book recommendations, facilitate Puke Ariki events and services, organise book transfers, re-shelving, and answer all queries! They deliver frontline assistance to all library customers, and aim to assist wherever they can. No job is too big or too small!
Our days are full of children, teens, families and fun! Our reading journey begins with beautiful babies and their whanau as we introduce them to the world of books. We travel with them as they learn to read and encourage them to become adventurous and expand their reading horizons. As they enter high school we become super heroes with the ability to recommend the right book at just the right time. Kapow! Take that Reading Logs! We run a number of fabulously fun programmes throughout the year including school holidays and summer reading, as well as specialised sessions for pre-schoolers, class and groups visits. Don’t we sound exciting?