Writers Famous Writers from New Zealand

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List of famous writers from New Zealand, listed alphabetically with photos when available. New Zealand is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Kiwi writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of New Zealand and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

The list you're viewing has a variety of writers in it, like Alix Bosco and Billy Graham.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Kiwi writers?" and "Which writers are from New Zealand?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of New Zealand in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in New Zealand, but they're all of New Zealand descent.

1
Ngaio Marsh is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 87 (1895-1982) 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

2
Joy Cowley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Joy Cowley age 81 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

3
Keri Hulme is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 71 Keri Hulme is a New Zealand writer. Her only novel, The Bone People, won the Booker Prize in 1985.

4
Peter Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 56 Sir Peter Robert Jackson ONZ KNZM is a New Zealand filmmaker. He is best known as the director and producer of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy, both of which are adapted ...more

5
Richard Curtis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 61 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

6
Sam Neill is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 70 Nigel John Dermot "Sam" Neill, DCNZM, OBE is a British-born New Zealand actor who first achieved leading roles in films such as Omen III: The Final Conflict and Dead Calm and on ...more

7
Jane Campion is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 63 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

8
Margaret Mahy is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 76 (1936-2012) 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

9
Fran Walsh is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 58 Frances Rosemary "Fran" Walsh MNZM, is a New Zealand screenwriter, film producer and lyricist. She is the life partner of filmmaker Peter Jackson. They have two children: Billy and ...more

10
Richard O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 75 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

11
Jemaine Clement is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 43 Jemaine Atea Mahana Clement is a New Zealand comedian, actor and multi-instrumentalist, known as one half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with Bret McKenzie and the voice ...more

12
Taika Waititi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 42 Taika Waititi, also known as Taika Cohen, is a New Zealand film director, writer, painter, comedian, and actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2004 short film Two Cars, One Night. ...more

13
Michael Hurst is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 60 Michael Eric Hurst, ONZM is a New Zealand actor, director and writer, mostly on stage and television. He is probably best known internationally for playing Iolaus in the television programs ...more

14
Bret McKenzie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 41 Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie, ONZM is a New Zealand comedian, actor, musician and producer, best known for being one half of the Grammy Award winning musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords ...more

15
Andrew Niccol is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 57 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
Hugh Walpole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 57 (1884-1941) 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

17
John Clarke is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 70 John Morrison Clarke is a New Zealand comedian, writer, and satirist. He was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, and has lived in Australia since the late 1970s. He is a regular actor and ...more

18
Roger Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 72 Roger Donaldson is an Australian-born New Zealand film director, producer and writer whose films include acclaimed 1981 relationship drama Smash Palace and a run of titles shot in the United ...more

19
Jonathan Hardy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 72 (1940-2012) Jonathan Hardy was a New Zealand-born Australian actor, writer and director.

20
Hayley Westenra is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 30 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

21
Vincent Ward is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 61 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

22
Andrew Adamson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 51 Andrew Ralph Adamson, MNZM is a New Zealand film director, producer and screenwriter based mainly in Los Angeles, where he made the blockbuster animation films, Shrek and Shrek 2 for which he ...more

23
Niki Caro is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 50 Nikola Jean "Niki" Caro MNZM is a film director, producer and screenwriter who was born in Wellington, New Zealand. Her 2002 film Whale Rider was critically praised and won a number of ...more

24
Elizabeth Knox is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 58 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
Philippa Boyens is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Philippa Boyens, MNZM, is a New Zealand screenwriter and producer who co-wrote the screenplay for Peter Jackson's films The Lord of the Rings series, King Kong, The Lovely Bones, and the ...more

26
Janet Frame is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 80 (1924-2004) 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

27
Ian Mune is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 76 Ian Barry Mune, OBE, or Ian Mune as he is known, is a New Zealand character actor, director, and screenwriter. His screen acting career spans four decades and more than 50 roles. His work as a ...more

28
Robyn Donald is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 77 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

29
Bruno Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 54 (1941-1995) Bruno Lawrence was a New Zealand musician and actor. Initially notable as a musician and founder of 1970s ensemble Blerta, he went on to well-regarded roles in several major films; his ...more

30
Kevin Smith is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 39 (1963-2002) Kevin Tod Smith was a New Zealand actor and musician best known for starring as the Greek god of war, Ares, in the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and in its two spin-offs – Xena: ...more

31
Ruth Park is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 93 (1917-2010) 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

32
Daphne Clair is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Daphne Clair age 78 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

33
David de Vries is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 56 David de Vries is an Australian film writer, director and producer.

34
John Feeney is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 84 (1922-2006) John Feeney was a New Zealand-born director of documentary films. He worked with the New Zealand National Film Unit, National Film Board of Canada and made films and did photography in Egypt. He ...more

35
Stephen T. Kay is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 54 Stephen T. Kay is a New Zealand actor, director and writer of film and television.

36
Derryn Hinch is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 73 Derryn Nigel Hinch is a New Zealand-born Australian-citizen media personality, best known for his work on Melbourne radio and television. He was the host of 3AW's Drive radio show until December ...more

37
Andrew Dominik is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 50 Andrew Dominik is a New Zealand-born Australian film director and screenwriter. He has directed the crime film Chopper, the Western drama film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward ...more

38
Costa Botes is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 59 Costa Botes is a New Zealand writer, director and cinematographer, who works mainly in documentary.

39
David Bishop is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
David Bishop age 51 David James Bishop is a New Zealand screenwriter and author. He was a UK comics editor during the 1990s, running such titles as the Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000 AD, the latter between 1996 and ...more

40
Robert Stout is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 86 (1844-1930) Sir Robert Stout, KCMG was the 13th Premier of New Zealand on two occasions in the late 19th century, and later Chief Justice of New Zealand. He was the only person to hold both these offices. ...more

41
Paul Haines is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 42 (1970-2012) Paul Haines was an award-winning New Zealand-born horror and speculative fiction writer. He lived in Melbourne with his wife and daughter. Raised in Auckland, New Zealand, Haines moved to ...more

42
Gary Forrester is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 72 Gary Forrester is a musician, composer, novelist, poet, short-story writer, memoirist, and academic. He was profiled by Random House Australia as one of the major figures in the Australian music ...more

43
Geoff Murphy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Geoff Murphy age 79 Geoffrey Peter Murphy ONZM is a New Zealand filmmaker best known for his work during the renaissance of New Zealand cinema that began in the last half of the 1970s. His second feature Goodbye ...more

44
Danny Morrison is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 51 Daniel Kyle Morrison is a former New Zealand cricketer. He specialised as a pace bowler with a useful outswinger. He made his test debut for New Zealand in 1987 at the age of 21 against ...more

45
Rewi Alley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Rewi Alley Died at 90 (1897-1987) 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

46
Bert Bailey is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 85 (1868-1953) Bert Bailey was an actor and film producer.

47
Maurice Gee is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Maurice Gee age 86 Maurice Gee is a New Zealand novelist.

48
Roger Simpson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
age 73 Roger Simpson is a screenwriter and a television producer.

49
Liddy Holloway is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 57 (1947-2004) Elizabeth Brenda "Liddy" Holloway was a New Zealand actress and television scriptwriter.

50
Ernest Rutherford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Writers from New Zealand
Died at 66 (1871-1937) Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson, OM FRS was a New Zealand-born British physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics. Encyclopædia Britannica considers him ...more