Writers Famous Authors from New Zealand

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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.
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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
Cassia Joy Cowley, DCNZM, OBE, best known as Joy Cowley, is a New Zealand author of children's fiction, novels, and short stories. Her first novel, Nest in a Fallen Tree, was adapted into the ...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
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
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
Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, CBE is an English screenwriter, producer and film director, who was born in New Zealand to Australian parents. One of Britain's most successful comedy ...more
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
Frank Sargeson was the pen name of Norris Frank Davey. He is considered one of New Zealand's foremost short story writers. Like Katherine Mansfield, Sargeson helped to put New Zealand literature ...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
Margaret Mahy, ONZ was a New Zealand author of children's and young adult books. Many of her story plots have strong supernatural elements but her writing concentrates on the themes of human ...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)
Robyn Donald is a prolific writer of romance novels whose birthplace and home are in Northland, New Zealand. She writes for the English Mills and Boon romance series, and all her books have also ...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
Elizabeth Jane Campion is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director based in Australia. Campion is the second of four women ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and is ...more
10
Ngaio Marsh is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Last ditch, Killer Dolphin, Final Curtain
Dame Ngaio Marsh DBE, born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1966. Internationally Marsh ...more
11
Hugh Walpole is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The Dark Forest, Rogue Herries, The cathedral
Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole, CBE was an English novelist. He was the son of an Anglican clergyman, intended for a career in the church but drawn instead to writing. Among those who encouraged him ...more
12
Richard O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The Rocky Horror Show
Richard Timothy Smith, better known under his stage name Richard O'Brien, is an Anglo-New Zealand writer, actor, television presenter and theatre performer. He wrote the cult musical The Rocky ...more
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
Daphne Clair de Jong 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, Clair Lorel, and Clarissa ...more
14
Pamela Stephenson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
How to Be a Complete Bitch, Bravemouth
Pamela Helen Stephenson Connolly is a New Zealand clinical psychologist, writer and actress who is now a resident in both the United Kingdom and United States. She is best known for her work as ...more
15
Andrew Niccol is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The Truman show
Andrew M. Niccol is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. He wrote and directed Gattaca, S1m0ne, In Time, and Lord of War. He also wrote and co-produced The Truman Show, which ...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
Nene Janet Paterson Clutha ONZ CBE better known by her pen name of Janet Frame, was a New Zealand author. She wrote novels, short stories, poetry, juvenile fiction, and an autobiography. Frame's ...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
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
Ronald Mathias Lockley was a Welsh ornithologist, naturalist. He wrote over fifty books on natural history. His son is palaeontologist Martin Lockley.
19
Vincent Ward is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
The navigator
Vincent Ward, ONZM is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter and artist. Ward was awarded an Order of New Zealand Merit in 2007 for his contribution to film making. Ward is best known for his ...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
Rosina Ruth Lucia Park AM was a New Zealand–born Australian author. Her best known works are the novels The Harp in the South and Playing Beatie Bow, and the children's radio serial The ...more
21
Hayley Westenra is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from New Zealand
Hayley Westenra
Hayley Dee Westenra is a New Zealand singer, classical crossover artist, songwriter and UNICEF Ambassador. Her first internationally released album, Pure, reached No. 1 on the UK classical ...more
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
Rewi Alley, 路易•艾黎, Lùyì Àilí, QSO, MM, was a New Zealand-born writer, educator, political activist, revolutionary, social reformer, potter, and member of the ...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
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
Elizabeth Fiona Knox, ONZM, is an award-winning New Zealand writer. She has authored eleven novels, three autobiographical novella, and a collection of essays. Her best known works are The ...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
David Hill is a New Zealand author, especially well known for his young adult fiction. His young fiction books See Ya, Simon and Right Where It Hurts have been shortlisted for numerous awards. ...more