Famous New Zealander Writers

Find out more about the greatest New Zealander Writers, including Peter Jackson, Richard Curtis, Katherine Mansfield, Andrew Niccol and Fran Walsh.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite New Zealander Writers

Katherine Mansfield
3
Birthdate: October 14, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wellington
Died: January 9, 1923

Katherine Mansfield was a New Zealand modernist writer best remembered for her short stories. Her life and career inspired several films, plays, novels, and TV series. In 1973, she became the subject of a BBC miniseries titled A Picture of Katherine Mansfield. In 2011, actress Kate Elliott played Mansfield in a TV biopic titled Bliss.

 2 
Richard Curtis
(Screenwriter, Film director, Film producer, Television producer, Writer)

Richard Curtis
4
Birthdate: November 8, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton
4
Birthdate: March 4, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Whakatane

Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton is a New Zealand-born woman who was wrongfully accused of killing her nine-week-old daughter, Azaria. The child went missing when her family was on a camping trip, and Lindy was accused of killing the child after Azaria’s bloody clothes were found. She was later officially pardoned by the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. 

 4 

Christine Leunens
3
Birthdate: December 29, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States
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 5 
Ngaio Marsh
(Writer, Theatre director, Novelist, Autobiographer, Screenwriter, Stage actor, Film actor)

Ngaio Marsh
3
Birthdate: April 23, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Christchurch
Died: February 18, 1982

 6 
Fran Walsh
(Screenwriter, film producer who has won three Academy Awards for the final film of the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

Fran Walsh
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

 7 
Peter Hillary
(Mountaineer)

Peter Hillary
3
Birthdate: December 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Auckland
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 8 
Sonja Yelich
(Poet who has won acclaim for poetry collections like Clung (2004) and Get Some (2008))

Sonja Yelich
3
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

 9 
Janet Frame
(Novelist, Essayist, Poet, Writer, Short story writer)

Janet Frame
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dunedin
Died: January 29, 2004

 10 
Eleanor Catton
(The youngest author ever to win the prize (at age 28) and only the second New Zealander)

Eleanor Catton
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, Canada

 11 

Sir Hugh Walpole
3
Birthdate: March 13, 1884
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: June 1, 1941

 12 
Ryan Nelsen
(Association football player, Writer, Association football manager)

Ryan Nelsen
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Christchurch

 13 
Keri Hulme
(Novelist)

Keri Hulme
2
Birthdate: March 9, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Christchurch, New Zealand

 14 

Witi Ihimaera
2
Birthdate: February 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gisborne, New Zealand

 15 

Margaret Mahy
2
Birthdate: March 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Whakatane, New Zealand
Died: July 23, 2012

 16 
Chloe Gong
(Author of young adult fiction)

Chloe Gong
0
Birthdate: December 16, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Shanghai, China

 17 
Michael King
(Historian & Biographer)

Michael King
2
Birthdate: December 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wellington
Died: March 30, 2004

Michael King was a New Zealand biographer, historian, and author. He is remembered for writing a book titled Penguin History of New Zealand, which became a best-seller and the most famous New Zealand book in the year 2004. A much-respected writer, King won several literary awards, such as the Feltex television writers' award and Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.

 18 

James K. Baxter
2
Birthdate: June 29, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dunedin, New Zealand
Died: October 22, 1972

 19 

Patricia Grace
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

 20 
Ruth Park
(Author)

Ruth Park
2
Birthdate: August 24, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: December 14, 2010

 21 
Eric Partridge
(Lexicographer)

Eric Partridge
2
Birthdate: February 6, 1894
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Waimata Valley, New Zealand
Died: June 1, 1979

 22 

Fleur Adcock
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Auckland

Fleur Adcock is a New Zealand poet and editor. She is of English and Northern Irish ancestry and has lived much of her life in England. She studied Classics at Victoria University of Wellington and began her career as an assistant lecturer at the University of Otago. She has worked as a freelance writer since 1980.

 23 
Joy Cowley
(Children's fiction, including the popular series of books Mrs. Wishy-Washy)

Joy Cowley
0
Birthdate: August 7, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Levin, New Zealand Levin, New Zealand

 24 
Maurice Gee
(Novelist)

Maurice Gee
1
Birthdate: August 22, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Whaketane, New Zealand

 25 
Nicky Hager
(Investigative Journalist and Author)

Nicky Hager
0
Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: Levin, New Zealand

 26 
Hone Tuwhare
(Author)

Hone Tuwhare
1
Birthdate: October 21, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kaikohe, New Zealand
Died: January 16, 2008

 27 
Ronald Mathias Lockley
(Ornithologist)

Ronald Mathias Lockley
2
Birthdate: November 8, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cardiff, United Kingdom
Died: April 12, 2000

 28 

Frank Sargeson
1
Birthdate: March 23, 1903
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamilton, New Zealand
Died: March 1, 1982

 29 

Allen Curnow
1
Birthdate: June 17, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Timaru, New Zealand
Died: September 23, 2001

 30 

Sylvia Ashton-Warner
1
Birthdate: December 17, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stratford, New Zealand
Died: April 28, 1984

 31 

Kapka Kassabova
1
Birthdate: December 17, 1908, 1973
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sofia, Bulgaria

 32 

Douglas Stewart
1
Birthdate: May 6, 1913
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eltham, New Zealand
Died: February 11, 1985

Douglas Stewart was a 20th-century Australian poet, writer, essayist, and editor. He served as the literary editor of the Australian magazine, The Bulletin, for two decades. He published 13 collections of poetry and numerous short stories, essays, and articles in his prolific career. He also edited several poetry anthologies. He received the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry in 1967. 

 33 

Maurice Shadbolt
1
Birthdate: June 4, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: October 10, 2004

 34 
C.K. Stead
(Author)

C.K. Stead
1
Birthdate: October 17, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

 35 
Murray Chandler
(Chess player, Writer)

Murray Chandler
0
Birthdate: April 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

 36 
Robert Wade
(Chess Player)

Robert Wade
1
Birthdate: April 10, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dunedin, New Zealand
Died: November 29, 2008

Frederick Edward Maning
1
Birthdate: July 5, 1812
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jeanville, Ireland
Died: July 25, 1883

 38 

Mary Anne Barker
1
Birthdate: January 29, 1831
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica
Died: March 6, 1911

 39 
Jane Mander
(Novelist)

Jane Mander
1
Birthdate: April 9, 1877
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ramarama, New Zealand
Died: December 20, 1949

 40 

Sir Keith Sinclair
1
Birthdate: December 5, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: June 20, 1993

 41 
Lydia Wevers
(Literary historian whose research focussed on New Zealand literature and print culture, as well as Australian literature)

Lydia Wevers
0
Birthdate: March 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hengelo, Netherlands
Died: September 4, 2021