2021 Event Participants

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Mary-anne Scott

Young Writers' Workshop

Mary-anne Scott is a writer and musician from Havelock North, NZ. She has written five novels for young adults and children, Snakes and Ladders, Coming home to Roost, Sticking with Pigs, Spearo and Fantastic Mr Bean.
Mary-anne has four adult sons and five grandchildren. She is an avid reader, a guitarist and singer and writes a weekly column for Stuff News.

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Owen Marshall


Novelist, short story writer, poet and anthologist Owen Marshall has written, or edited, over thirty books.  He has held fellowships at the universities of Canterbury, Massey and Otago, and in Menton, France.  In 2000 his novel Harlequin Rex won the Montana New Zealand Book Awards Deutz Medal for fiction.  Marshall is an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury, which awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 2002.  He received  the ONZM in 2000 and the CNZM in 2012 for services to literature, and in 2013 the Prime Minister's Award for Fiction.


Grahame Sydney


Grahame Sydney has become one of New Zealand’s most significant and enduring artists. His work spans over 4 decades and encompasses oils, watercolours, egg tempera, lithographs, etching and photography.
Always a willing writer, Sydney is the author or significant contributor to several other books including: ‘Landmarks’ 2020 (a companion piece to ‘Timeless Land’ written in collaboration with Brian Turner and Owen Marshall), ‘Grahame Sydney Paintings: 1974 – 2014’, Grahame Sydney’s Central Otago’  2011 (photographs), ‘Promised Land’ 2009 (gold history of Central Otago) and the much loved ‘Timeless Land’ (1995 [now in its fifth reprint]).’
He has been awarded an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to painting.


Brian Turner


Brian Turner is a well-known New Zealand writer and a member of one of his country's most famous sporting families. Turner is a former New Zealand hockey player, and has published best-selling sports biographies (with Colin Meads, Josh Kronfeld, Anton Oliver and Glenn Turner). His many other works include poetry, TV scripts, plays, and non-fiction offerings. Turner has won multiple awards for his works,and was the Te Mata Estate NZ Poet Laureate 2003-2005.

His latest work, Landmarks, is a collaboration with Owen Marshall and Grahame Sydney.

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Hamish Saxton

Landmarks (Chair)

Hamish Saxton is the CEO of Hawke's Bay Tourism.

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Ghazaleh Golbakhsh

The Girl from Revolution Road

Ghazaleh Golbakhsh is an Iranian-New Zealand writer, filmmaker and Fulbright scholar.
Ghazaleh has written various short films that have screened internationally including the recent documentary This is Us which centred on Muslim New Zealanders for RNZ and NZ on Air. 
She is currently developing her first feature screenplay with the NZ Film Commission and Miss Conception Films (producer Ainsley Gardiner who produced Boy and The Breaker Uppers) which focuses on two young Iranian women who grew up in the suburbs of Auckland. The screenplay was selected as part of the Aotearoa Writer's Lab 2015 for Script to Screen and was shortlisted twice for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. 
Ghazaleh has an MA in Screen Production from the University of Auckland and studied post-graduate screenwriting and directing at the University of Southern California, where she worked for the Sundance Institute. She is currently undertaking her PhD with creative practice.

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Anna Cottrell

The Girl from Revolution Road (Chair)

Anna Cottrell is a journalist, oral historian and documentary producer/director, whose thoughtful and engaging works have gained international recognition. Previously a TV News reporter and current Affairs producer, Anna has been writing articles, directing and producing documentaries for over 25 years.

Anna’s overseas film trips took her to Sri Lanka for New Zealand, An Immigrant Nation; to Sweden for the trial of peace activist Owen Wilkes; to China for the One Child Family documentary, and more recently two trips to Iran to research and film The Kiwi, the Knight & the Qashqai.

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Lynda Hallinan

Bubbles and Books

Former NZ Gardener editor, author, broadcaster, amateur home-brewer, pickler, preserver, part-time farmer, occasional farmers’ market stallholder and mad-keen gardener, Lynda Hallinan has spent half her life writing about her passion for plants.
In 2009, she met her husband Jason Hinton and moved to a 65-acre smallholding in the Hunua Ranges, south-east of Auckland, where she’s raising two children, Lucas and Lachlan, plus 14 cattle, 8 sheep, a dozen chooks, two kunekune pigs and too many houseplants to count!

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Roger Hall

Bums on Seats

A prolific and successful playwright, Roger Hall QNZM QSO has consistently written for the stage, alongside scriptwriting for film and television. Hall’s writing is known for its comedy, political and social purpose, and underlying pathos. His plays have toured widely and have been performed at international venues. 
Hall has been honoured with numerous awards and titles for his contribution to performing arts, including a New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal, a Scroll of Honour from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand, and the 2015 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.

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Mick Ormond

Bums on Seats (Chair)

CHB Farmer and retired (by directors) small time board treader, and long time fan of Sir Roger's plays which have not only had a huge impact on NZ professional theatre, but so importantly for us have enabled amateur dramatic societies to thrive in the provinces by filling our theatres to the brim.  He threatened to make Winding Up his last, but he's pretty sure that's Bullshit.

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Mary Holm

Money with Mary

A Qantas Media Award winning columnist, Mary writes a Q&A personal finance column in the Weekend Herald. She is interviewed on money issues every second Thursday on National Radio, and presents highly praised seminars. She is a director of Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL), and frequently discusses personal finance in the media.
In the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Mary was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), for services to financial literacy education.

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Peter Seligman

Money with Mary (Chair)

Peter Seligman of Dunotter Strategic Wealth has over twenty years of experience in the financial world; from investment banking to the Life industry, as well as personal financial planning. Having been authorised to advise in the UK, Singapore and now New Zealand, Peter offers a valuable international perspective on financial matters

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Steff Green

How to Rock Self-Publishing Workshop

Steff Green (Steffanie Holmes) is a USA Today bestselling author of the paranormal, gothic, dark, and fantastical. Steff received the 2017 Attitude Award for Artistic Achievement, and was a finalist for a 2018 Women of Influence award. Her books are enjoyed by thousands of readers all over the world.
Steff is also the creator of Rage Against the Manuscript, an online community for writers to learn about self-publishing, finding their readers, and building a badass author brand. Steff's passionate about helping authors from all walks of life find their voice and tell their story.

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Rose Carlyle

Crime with Rose Carlyle

Rose Carlyle is a law professor who has written intermittently throughout her life and who began writing fiction in 2016. She was awarded first class honours in her creative writing Masters at the University of Auckland and was granted a prestigious mentorship under which she developed and completed this manuscript. She spends her spare time to far-flung places and currently lives in New Zealand. The Girl in the Mirror is her debut novel.


Charity Norman

Crime with Rose Carlyle (Chair)

Charity Norman is the best-selling author of six novels including BBC Radio 2, Richard and Judy and World Book Night titles, a Ngaio Marsh Awards finalist and UK Reading Agency Book of the Year. Her latest, The Secrets of Strangers, was released in 2020. 
Charity was born in Uganda, grew up in England and met her future husband - a Hawke’s Bay man - under a Bedford truck in the Sahara. For fifteen years she practised as a criminal barrister and mediator out of York chambers, until in 2002 she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. She has three almost-grown children, and too many cats

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Dr Hinemoa Elder


Dr Hinemoa Elder is of Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kurī, Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi descent.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist working community and inpatient settings, youth forensic and neuropsychiatry. Dr Elder is an advocate for use of Te Reo Māori, the Māori language.
Hinemoa has been the Māori Strategic Leader at Brain Research NZ for the last 5 years.
She has also completed a PhD and NZ Health Research Council Eru Pomare Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
Dr Elder is a deputy psychiatrist member of the NZ Mental Health Review Tribunal and a Specialist Assessor under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003.
Hinemoa has been a Director of Emerge Aotearoa a national NGO working to support those with mental health, addictions and with social housing since 2015.
Hinemoa received the NZ Order of Merit for services to Māori and Psychiatry in 2019.
Dr Elder was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Science Advisor’s Cannabis Panel in 2019 for the referendum in 2020.
Dr Elder travelled to Antarctica in late 2019 as part of Homeward Bound a global leadership programme for women in science.
Hinemoa is the Chair of the Indigenous working group of the International Association of child and adolescent Psychiatrists and Allied Professionals (IACAPAP) and is on the working group of the section of child and adolescent Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association.

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Alexa Cook

Aroha (Chair)

Alexa is a Senior Newshub Reporter based in Wellington, though she originally hails from Central Hawke's Bay.
She is an international multi-award winning journalist and started with Newshub in 2020 after moving back to New Zealand from the UK, where she was a broadcast journalist for BBC News. Working for the BBC she covered the UK elections in Bristol, ongoing Brexit negotiations, and the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown in March. 
Her news stories and documentary from spending a week mustering cattle after the Kaikoura Earthquake won her an International award in 2018 for the best agricultural multimedia journalist. Alexa also produced exclusive stories on crime in the apiculture industry, drugs in the dairy sector and water quality. She was a finalist for the NZ Radio Awards in 2018 and has won several national awards for her rural journalism, including MPI’s award for Excellence in Agricultural Journalism.

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Tim Saunders


Tim Saunders farms sheep and beef near Palmerston North. He performs poetry as part of The Rouseabouts, a trio of poets and musicians, and has had poetry and short stories published in Turbine|Kapohau, takahē, Landfall, Poetry NZ Yearbook and Flash Frontier. He won the 2018 Mindfood Magazine Short Story Competition, and placed third in the 2019 and 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Awards. He also won the 2020 Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition. His book, This Farming Life, was published by Allen & Unwin in August, 2020.

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Jeremy Roberts


Jeremy Roberts is a resident of Napier, where he MC’s at Napier Live Poets and interviews poets on Radio Kidnappers. He is also a poetry book reviewer. His first poetry collection was ‘Idiot Dawn’, with another collection, ‘Cards on the Table’ published in 2015. Jeremy also contributed a poem for the recently released book ‘Somewhere a Cleaner’ and won the Earl of Seacliff poetry prize in 2019.

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Cristina Sanders


Cristina Sanders is a historical fiction writer living in Hawkes Bay. Cristina’s debut novel, ‘Jerningham’, about Jerningham Wakefield and the recklessness of colonial New Zealand, was published in 2020 and shortlisted for the NZ Heritage Literary Awards. Her second novel, ‘Displaced’, won the Storylines Tessa Duder Award in 2020 and has just been published. Displaced, for young adult readers, is the story of the early settlements of Napier and Norsewood.

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Angus Gordon


Angus Gordon of Clifton has just had his new book ‘Historic Homesteads of Hawkes Bay’ published. This will be his third book, following on from ‘In the Shadow of the Cape,’ a History of the Gordon Family of Clifton, and ‘Famous Times’, a book about historic woolsheds. Angus is currently compiling a collection of his poetry.