Friday, June 17, 2016

From the subterranean launch of The Tunnel in our Backyard

An unforgettable launch last evening of The Tunnel in our Backyard in a volcanic cave between Three Kings and Mt Eden. Congratulations to author Malcolm Paterson and illustrator Hana Maihi for their achievement, and sincere thanks to the Albert-Eden Local Board for supporting the event. 

Photos by Justis Kamu, courtesy of The Well-Connected Alliance 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New children's book lights up Auckland heritage for Matariki

Out in good bookstores tomorrow, The Tunnel in our Backyard is a fun picture book that brings history and the environment to life for primary-school age kids .

The second in the Sharing our Stories series is published to coincide with a celebration of Matariki, the Māori New Year.

Ngāti Whātua author Malcolm Paterson and illustrator Hana Maihi tell the continuing adventures of cousins Jennifer and Tui as they discover that right around them in Auckland are stories and landscapes just as exciting as what's on Playstation or TV.

The 'tunnel' in the book's title refers both to the giant road tunnel under construction in Waterview, and the volcanic tunnel the kids discover running under Mount Albert/Owairaka.

The 32-page book is in English with plentiful Te Reo vocab (explained in footnotes), and includes a map and links to help readers and schools connect with their local heritage. 

Click here for more about The Tunnel in our Backyard.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

PANZ International Conference shapes up to be a milestone event

Excitement is growing ahead of the PANZ International Conference 2016 from 30 June to 1 July in Auckland.

The Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) has brought together an impressive line-up of international and New Zealand speakers for the conference - in line with the theme Local Publishing, Global Thinking.

More than a hundred publishing and creative industry professionals are expected to attend the event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in central Auckland.

A full programme and details are available on the PANZ website conference page.

I'm really looking forward to engaging with some of the top publishing brains from around NZ and the region in what promises to be a stimulating couple of days.

- Peter Dowling, Publisher, Oratia Books

Monday, May 16, 2016

Oratia on Māori Television

Oratia Books publisher Peter Dowling was interviewed today for Te Kāea, which aired at 5.30pm on Māori Television. Below is a snippet from the Online News Team:

Oratia Media rebrands and expands

By Online News Team 
A new year, a new name, and expansion. This year marks a new departure for Oratia Media as they relaunched their books programme as Oratia Books.
Oratia Books are committed to supporting Māori Books and Māori Authors.
This year Oratia Books will publish at least ten titles, including new books from bestselling authors like Christopher Pugsley and Dawn McMillan & Ross Kinnaird, as well as titles from a number of new authors.

Images from tonight programme

Monday, April 18, 2016

Taking a closer look at grammar

It's good to see editors' collective Coles & Lopez promoting attention to English grammar and usage.

Check out for India Lopez' take on apostrophes, commas and more ...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Anzac Experience out today

Christopher Pugsley's remarkable account of the Anzac soldier is in bookstores today.

The Anzac Experience: New Zealand, Australia and Empire in the First World War ranges from the experience of imperial soldiers in the South African war to themes like Gallipoli, discipline and morale, and the influence Australian, Canadian and New Zealand forces had on each other as they evolved into the 'Diggers' by the end of the First World War.

For more details check our Books page.

ISBN: 978-0-947506-00-1
RRP: $45.00
Specs: Paperback, 240 x 170mm portrait, 356 pages, black & white, 60 photos

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oratia Books: reaching globally from the Waitakeres - PANZ News

Oratia Books is the feature in the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) News this week:

Oratia media teamBetween them the Oratia Media publishing team have seven languages – Japanese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and te reo Māori as well as English – so it is no wonder their publishing is reaching both New Zealand and world markets.
Oratia Books has a place to stand in the hills of the area’s West Coast Road on their own acre and a quarter with home and office surrounded by native forest. Their publishing reflects West Auckland too – three recent titles and a fourth in production are all firmly grounded in the Waitakeres. Voices from the Surf, 80 years of Karekare surf lifesaving history, events and recollections edited by Sir Bob Harvey was a highlight for the company last Christmas.
However, the Oratia tūrangawaewae had unlikely beginnings....


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Oratia Media rebrands and expands

The Oratia Books logo
Independent publishing company Oratia Media is today launching a new corporate identity as part of an expansion of its business and publishing programme.

All of the company’s publishing and media activities are now unified under the Oratia brand, with the Libro International publishing imprint being wound into an enlarged programme called Oratia Books.

“The change reflects a natural evolution of our business, which we set up in 2000 as a media and editorial services company with an international focus,” commented Founder and Publisher Peter Dowling.

“Today our core business is publishing books with a strong New Zealand and Māori orientation, and the Oratia name captures that along with our grounding in the beautiful Waitakere Ranges.”

The new brand retains the nikau tree symbol designed in 2000 by co-founder Alessandra Zecchini, with a new logo suite created by Cheryl Smith of Macarn Design featuring the strapline ‘Quality books, media and publishing services’.
As part of the rebranding, Oratia is moving to a new website,,             
which offers better interactivity on mobile devices and by month’s end will include an e-commerce facility.

    Peter Dowling
A reshuffle of core roles sees Dowling become Publisher; co-founder Alessandra Zecchini as Media Director; long-serving books editor Carolyn Lagahetau as Editorial Director; and former New Holland Publishers head Belinda Cooke on board as Sales & Marketing Consultant.

All email contacts are also moving to the domain. Distribution remains with long-term logistics partners Publishers Distribution Ltd, with sales representation by Paul Greenberg (North Island) and Peter Gray (South Island).
“We have a really energised team that in 2016 will be producing at least ten new
Oratia Books, along with a similar number of commissioned projects for clients,” Dowling said.

The company is showing its commitment to the resurgent New Zealand books market with a five-year publishing programme and a new catalogue to be released in early April, commented Belinda Cooke.

“It’s great to see positivity in the New Zealand market and we intend to put our money where our mouth is and deliver quality books, media and publishing services for clients, customers, readers and writers everywhere,” Cooke said.

– ENDS –

For further information, contact Belinda Cooke,, 021 481 044

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dawn McMillan on Radio NZ's Nine to Noon

Kathryn Ryan did a lovely interview yesterday with Dawn McMillan on Radio New Zealand National's Nine to Noon show.

Dawn talked about humour, writing for kids and her latest collaboration with illustrator Ross Kinnaird -  Mister Spears and his Hairy Ears. 

Click on this link to listen:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mister Spears reviewed and Radio NZ interview scheduled

Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird's Mister Spears and his Hairy Ears got a great review in yesterday's New Zealand Herald:

Upcoming: mark the date for Dawn's interview with Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand National's Nine to Noon show, Tuesday 9 February at 11.20 am.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Voices from the Surf profiled on Radio NZ National

Voices from the Surf: 80 Years of the Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club was profiled on Radio New Zealand National on 27 December, in an interview with editor Sir Bob Harvey and club stalwart Matt Wade. Click below to listen:

Voices from the Surf is available from good booksellers around New Zealand.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Belinda Cooke to manage marketing for Oratia Media

Media Release18 December 2015

Respected publishing and communications consultant Belinda Cooke has joined independent publisher Oratia Media in a part-time capacity as Sales & Marketing Consultant.Belinda was Managing Director of New Holland Publishers (NZ) for 16 years before opening her own consultancy in January 2015.Earlier this year Belinda led a wide-ranging market survey for Oratia, which set the platform for a relaunch of the business in early 2016.She will oversee the marketing of the rebranded Oratia publishing programme, dealing directly with booksellers and the media, as the business pursues a growth strategy.Belinda will continue to run her consultancy alongside her Oratia role, offering marketing and 
communications services to publishers and other clients in the arts, food, wine and health arenas.Oratia Media Managing Director Peter Dowling welcomed Belinda’s contribution: “We’ve known Belinda for many years and have the greatest respect for her professional abilities.“It’s exciting that we are now working together and I’m sure we’ll benefit greatly from her expertise across the publishing industry.”Belinda Cooke commented: “I’ve always admired Oratia’s focused and culturally significant 
publishing programme, and it became clear during the market survey I conducted earlier in
 the year that this is a widely held view in the industry. So I feel privileged to be able to work with Peter and his team to increase the exposure of their books and services.”

About Oratia MediaFounded in 2000, Oratia Media publishes quality books with a focus on Māori, children’s, history and general non-fiction. The boutique company, based in Oratia in the Waitakere 
also supplies publishing and media services to organisations and individuals. 
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