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a writer's journal
Welcome to my website!News
Operation Nest Egg Chick
New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame
The Last of Manui's Dolphins
Running the Country
The Call of the Kokako
New Zealand Hall of Fame
Eco-Rangers: Save the Planet
Save Our Seas
I write children’s books and freelance articles. Some of my titles include: 'New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame', 'The Last of Maui's Dolphin', 'Operation Nest Egg Chick', 'Running the Country!', 'Eruption!', 'The Call of the Kokako', 'New Zealand Hall of Fame', 'Rangitoto', 'The Rock Standing in the Ocean', 'Save Our Seas', 'Eco-rangers Save the Planet', 'Dogs on the Job', 'Operation Nest Egg', 'Bird's-eye View'. You can read my blog to find out what I have been doing.

I also:
•   Write educational units to go with my books
•   Write educational books for the international market
•   Write freelance educational units, articles and short stories
•   Interview authors from New Zealand and overseas
•   Review NZ Children's books on KidsBooksNZ blog
•   Blog about positive things kids are doing for the environment
•   Visit schools to give talks and workshops
•   Skype schools to give book talks

I also give author talks and workshops to students and teachers - find out how to book me on the Teachers' Page.

Have a look inside some of my books and hear about what inspired me to write them.

As well as buying my books from your local or favourite bookstore you can buy them online from Long White Cloud Books – there's a shop button on the top right of this page.


New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame shortlisted for the LIANZA Esther Glen award, finalist for the Children's Choice (non-fiction category) New Zealand Children's Book Awards, and selected as a 2015 Storylines Notable Book (non-fiction category).

Released in October 2014 – a bigger size 'Rangitito' and a new children's book 'Operation Nest Egg Chick' published by Long White Cloud Books!

Released in August 2014 – a children's non-fiction book called 'New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame'.

'Running the Country' won a 2014 Storylines Notable book award in the non-fiction category.

Released in February – a picture book called 'The Last of Maui's dolphins''

Ebooks you can buy – two enhanced children's non-fiction e-books. 'The Rock Standing in the Ocean: Te toka tu moana: RANGITOTO' and 'Operation Nest Egg Chick'.

'Eruption: Discovering NZ Volcanoes' was shortlisted for the LIANZA Awards 2013 in the non-fiction category and received a 2013 Storylines Notable book award in the non-fiction category.

'New Zealand Hall of Fame' now available in soft-back cover for $29.99 in all good book shops.

'New Zealand's Hall of Fame: 50 Remarkable Kiwi won the Children's Choice Non-fiction category at the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2012!

'New Zealand Hall of Fame: 50 Remarkable Kiwi and 'The Call of the Kokako' were shortlisted in the LIANZA Awards in the non-fiction category. Congratulations to Heather Arnold for being shortlisted in the LIANZA Awards in the Illustration category for The Call of the Kokako. The award ceremony is held on the 6th August 2012.

'New Zealand's Hall of Fame: 50 Remarkable Kiwi' and 'The Call of the Kokako' received a Storylines Notable Book Award 2012 in the non-fiction category!

'Rangitoto' was a finalist in the 2010 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards in the non-fiction category!

'Save Our Seas' has received a 2010 Storylines Notable Book award in the non-fiction category!

If your school would like to interview me or have a virtual workshop you can book me via the Book Talks website! We'll talk and see each other by using Skype technology.

Teachers, download the long awaited Discovering New Zealand Non-Fiction Children's Book teaching unit. If you book me for a day long author talk and workshop I'll give a free talk to your teachers (in the lunchtime or after school) about how to incorporate New Zealand non-fiction books into your reading programme and a dynamic non-fiction writing educational unit.

I'm planning to do lots of school visits in the Auckland region so if you want me to visit your school, get your teacher to send me an email.

Read about the value I give and receive from Writers in School talks – read more.

I hope to see you at a book launch or school visit one day...



I'm looking forward to seeing you at some of the following events:

More Events coming soon.

I'm planning to do lots of school visits in the Auckland region, as well as around the country in 2015 - so if you want me to visit your school, please send me an email.


Talk to Maria on her Eco-RangersNZ blog

Find out what happens on a kiwi release on Motuora Island

"My signature is writing books with an environmental message."

"Just a quick note to let you know how much we as a school appreciated the workshops and author talk last week. The students got so much from the opportunity, and were so excited by having met you."
Margie Askin-Jarden,
Teacher, Riccarton Primary School