Writers

Famous Authors from New Zealand

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Updated August 30, 2019 42.2k views 254 items

List of the most popular authors from New Zealand, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries authors have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of storytelling. Whether they're known for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or even technical writing, the famous Kiwi authors on this list have kept that tradition alive by writing renowned works that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Kiwi writers, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

List is made up of a variety of authors, including Neville Peat and Charles Elworthy.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous authors are from New Zealand?" and "Who are the best Kiwi authors?"

For further information on these historic Kiwi authors, click on their names. If you're a bookworm then use this list of celebrated Kiwi authors to discover some new books that you will enjoy reading.
1
Joy Cowley is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Red-eyed tree frog, Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey, Chameleon

Birthplace: Levin, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1936-08-07

Nationality: New Zealand

Cassia Joy Cowley (née Summers; born 7 August 1936) is a New Zealand author best known for her children's fiction, including the popular series of books Mrs. Wishy-Washy.She started out ...more
2
Eric Partridge is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
A dictionary of the underworld, A Charm of Words, Frank Honywood

Birthplace: DVD Region 4, Oceania, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1894

Nationality: United Kingdom, New Zealand

Eric Honeywood Partridge was a New Zealand–British lexicographer of the English language, particularly of its slang. His writing career was interrupted only by his service in the Army Education ...more
3
Mary Anne Barker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Remembered with affection, This troublesome world or 'Bet of Stow.', Spring comedies

Birthdate: 1831

Mary Anne Barker, Lady Barker, later Mary Anne Broome, Lady Broome, was an author.
4
Richard Curtis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Love actually, The King Who Killed the Minotaur, Affording Access to Quality Care

Birthplace: DVD Region 4, Oceania, Wellington, Wellington Region, Realm of New Zealand, + more

Birthdate: 1956-11-08

Nationality: United Kingdom, New Zealand

Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, (born 8 November 1956), is a British screenwriter, producer, and film director. One of Britain's most successful comedy screenwriters, he is known primarily for ...more

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#78 of 101 The Greatest Hollywood Screenwriters Of All-Time, Ranked #8 of 56 The Best Romantic Comedy Directors in Film History

5
Frank Sargeson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
A man and his wife, Conversation in a train and other critical writing, The Stories of Frank Sargeson

Birthplace: Hamilton, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1903-03-21

Nationality: New Zealand

Norris Frank Davey (23 March 1903 – 1 March 1982) was a New Zealand short story writer and novelist who wrote under the pen name Frank Sargeson (). Sargeson has been credited with introducing ...more
6
Margaret Mahy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
24 hours, The Catalogue of the Universe, The Changeover: A Supernatural Romance

Birthplace: Whakatane, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1936-03-21

Nationality: New Zealand

Margaret Mahy, ONZ (21 March 1936 – 23 July 2012) was a New Zealand author of children's and young adult books. Many of her story plots have strong supernatural elements but her writing ...more
7
Elizabeth Laird is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The day Patch stood guard, The day Veronica was nosy, The Garbage King
Elizabeth Laird is a writer.
8
Robyn Donald is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Paradise Lost, The Colour Of Midnight (Secrets) (Harlequin Presents, No. 1714)

Birthplace: Northland region, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1940-01-01

Nationality: New Zealand

Robyn Donald (born 1940) is a prolific writer of romance novels who lives in Kerikeri in Northland, New Zealand. She writes for the English Mills and Boon romance series, and all her books have ...more
9
Jane Campion is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
EXITO. Spanische Handelskorrespondenz, Das Piano. Roman, Jane Campion's The Piano

Birthplace: DVD Region 4, Oceania, Wellington, Wellington Region, Realm of New Zealand, + more

Birthdate: 1954-04-30

Nationality: New Zealand

Dame Elizabeth Jane Campion (born 30 April 1954) is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. Campion is the second of five women ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director ...more

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#126 of 226 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked #246 of 780 The Greatest Directors In Movie History #289 of 313 Famous People Most Likely to Live to 100

10
Ngaio Marsh is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Last ditch, Killer Dolphin, Final Curtain

Birthplace: Christchurch, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1895

Nationality: New Zealand

Dame Ngaio Marsh (; 23 April 1895 – 18 February 1982), born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British ...more
11
Hugh Walpole is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The Dark Forest, Rogue Herries, The cathedral

Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1884-03-13

Nationality: England, New Zealand

Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole, CBE (13 March 1884 – 1 June 1941) was an English novelist. He was the son of an Anglican clergyman, intended for a career in the church but drawn instead to writing. ...more
12
Richard O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The Rocky Horror Show

Birthplace: Cheltenham, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1942-03-25

Nationality: United Kingdom, New Zealand

Richard O'Brien (born Richard Smith; 25 March 1942) is an English-New Zealand actor, writer, musician, and television presenter. He wrote the musical stage show The Rocky Horror Show in 1973 ...more

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How Richard O’Brien Grew Up To Be The Mastermind Behind ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ #65 of 76 The Best Rock Opera Bands/Artists #19 of 20 19 Celebrities Who Have Defied Gender Stereotypes

13
Daphne Clair is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Infamous Bargain, Edge Of Deception, Flame on the Horizon

Birthplace: New Zealand

Birthdate: 1939-01-01

Nationality: New Zealand

Daphne Clair de Jong (born 1939 in New Zealand) is a popular New Zealand writer of over 75 romance novels since 1977 as Daphne Clair and Daphne de Jong, and under the pseudonyms Laurey Bright, ...more
14
Pamela Stephenson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
How to Be a Complete Bitch, Bravemouth

Birthplace: DVD Region 4, Auckland, Takapuna, Oceania, Realm of New Zealand, + more

Birthdate: 1949

Nationality: Australia, New Zealand

Pamela Helen Stephenson, Lady Connolly (born 4 December 1949), is a New Zealand-born psychologist, writer, and performer who is now a resident in both the United Kingdom and the United States. ...more

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#34 of 48 The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s #42 of 43 The Funniest Female SNL Alumni #32 of 51 The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members

15
Andrew Niccol is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The Truman show

Birthplace: Paraparaumu, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1960-01-01

Nationality: New Zealand

Andrew M. Niccol (born 10 June 1964) is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. He wrote and directed Gattaca (1997), Simone (2002), Lord of War (2005), In Time (2011), The Host ...more
16
Janet Frame is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The Carpathians, A state of siege, Daughter Buffalo

Birthplace: Dunedin, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1924-08-28

Nationality: New Zealand

Nene Janet Paterson Clutha (28 August 1924 – 29 January 2004) was a New Zealand author who published under the name Janet Frame. She wrote novels, short stories, poetry, juvenile fiction, and an ...more
17
Tim Hewat is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Who made the Mabo mess, Banking on the Bendigo, The Comet riddle

Birthplace: DVD Region 4, Oceania, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1928

Nationality: Australia, New Zealand

Timothy Edward Patterson Hewat was an Australian television producer and journalist. He has been described as the "maverick genius of Granada television's current affairs in its formative ...more
18
R. M. Lockley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
No Royalty A/C Trav.guide Channel Islands, Saga of the Grey Seal, Ocean Wanderers

Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales

Birthdate: 1903-11-08

Nationality: New Zealand

Ronald Mathias Lockley (8 November 1903 – 12 April 2000) was a Welsh ornithologist and naturalist. He wrote over fifty books on natural history, including a major study of shearwaters, and many ...more
19
Vincent Ward is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The navigator

Birthplace: Greytown, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1956-02-16

Nationality: New Zealand

Vincent Ward may refer to: Vincent Ward (director) (born 1956), New Zealand film director, screenwriter and artist Vincent Ward (politician) (1886–1946), New Zealand politician Vincent M. Ward ...more
20
Ruth Park is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Playing Beatie Bow, Things in Corners, The Harp in the South

Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1917-08-24

Nationality: Australia, New Zealand

Rosina Ruth Lucia Park AM (24 August 1917 – 14 December 2010) was a New Zealand–born Australian author. Her best known works are the novels The Harp in the South (1948) and Playing Beatie Bow ...more
21
Hayley Westenra is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Hayley Westenra

Birthplace: DVD Region 4, Oceania, Christchurch, South Island, Realm of New Zealand, + more

Birthdate: 1987

Nationality: New Zealand

Hayley Dee Westenra (born 10 April 1987) is a New Zealand singer, classical crossover artist, songwriter, and UNICEF Ambassador. Her first internationally released album, Pure, reached No. 1 on ...more

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#164 of 218 The Greatest New Female Vocalists of the Past 10 Years #424 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever #171 of 200 The Female Singer You Most Wish You Could Sound Like

22
Rewi Alley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Fruition, Amongst hills and streams of Hunan--in the fall of 1962, Land and folk in Kiangsi

Birthplace: Springfield, DVD Region 4, Oceania, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1897

Nationality: New Zealand

Rewi Alley (known in China as 路易•艾黎, Lùyì Àilí, 2 December 1897 – 27 December 1987) was a New Zealand-born writer and political activist. A member of the Communist ...more
23
J. Oswald Sanders is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Christ Indwelling and Enthroned, The pursuit of the holy, Disfrutemos de intimidad con Dios

Birthplace: Invercargill, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1902-10-17

Nationality: New Zealand

Dr. John Oswald Sanders was a general director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship in the 1950s and 1960s. He authored more than forty books on the Christian life. He became an elder statesman and ...more
24
Elizabeth Knox is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The high jump, Black oxen, Dreamhunter

Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1959-02-15

Nationality: New Zealand

Series Written: Dreamhunter Duet

Elizabeth Fiona Knox (born 15 February 1959 in Wellington, New Zealand) is an award-winning New Zealand writer. She has authored eleven novels, three autobiographical novellas, and a collection ...more
25
David Hill is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
An atlas of Anglo-Saxon England, Modern Matrix Algebra, Viva Colores: Un Saludo a La Indomable Gente De Guatamala

Birthplace: Napier, New Zealand

Birthdate: 1942-01-01

Nationality: New Zealand

David Hill (born 1942) is a New Zealand author, especially well known for his young adult fiction. His young fiction books See Ya, Simon (1992) and Right Where It Hurts (2001) have been ...more