Wednesday, July 14, 2021

New team members bolster Oratia Books

Oratia Media is delighted to welcome three part-time staff to the Oratia Books team, reflecting the growth of our business and our commitment to diverse and inclusive publishing.

Long-time freelance contributor Frances Chan has taken on a part-time role as Senior Editor, working alongside Editorial Director Carolyn Lagahetau to manage editorial projects and the manuscript submission process. 

Frances Chan

Frances has over 30 years’ editorial experience in book and magazine publishing, having worked for Scholastic, Pearson, Weldon Owen and Bauer Media, among others. In her spare time she hosts the 95bFM Jazz Show, DJs around town, bakes and ebikes. 

Annie Martin has taken up the role of South Island Sales Representative. Originally from Toms River, New Jersey, Annie is now resident in Lyttelton and will represent Oratia Books around Te Waipounamu while continuing her employment as a sales and production manager for Smith's Bookshop and Cadsonbury Publications, Christchurch. 

Annie Martin

A graduate of John Cabot University, Rome, Annie speaks basic Italian, is a keen photographer in her spare time and is enjoying getting to know more of New Zealand. She replaces long-time sales agent Jeremy Bliss, who has retired.

Arantxa Zecchini Dowling has begun supporting Oratia in the casual role of Marketing Assistant while she completes her double degree at the University of Auckland this year, studying towards a BA (majoring in politics) and BCom (international business and marketing).

Arantxa Zecchini Dowling

Resident in central Auckland, Arantxa also works as a retail manager for specialist magazine store Mag Nation, and is a keen cook, reader and music fan. She is trilingual in English, Italian and Spanish.

"We're really fortunate to have these three dynamic and talented women contributing to the growth of Oratia Books,"commented Publisher and Founder Peter Dowling.

"Each brings a strong suite of skills within our flexible working set-up. 

"Special thanks to Tony Murdoch at Smith's Bookshop for encouraging Annie to collaborate with Oratia and develop both of our lists." 

Contact details for the new staff are:

Frances Chan –

Annie Martin –

Arantxa Zecchini Dowling – 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Concise introduction to the New Zealand Wars adds a further dimension to The NZ Series

The New Zealand Wars  

Matthew Wright

Respected historian Matthew Wright has condensed his years of research and writing on the New Zealand Wars into this concise guide for readers of all ages. 


Building on his major works on the subject including the masterful Two Peoples, One Land (2006), Wright here consolidates his analysis into one introductory book full of illustrations, sidebars, boxes and maps. 

At 100 pages, The New Zealand Wars has over 70 images, many in colour, showing historical paintings as well as modern photos that can help direct visitors to battle sites today.


Why did the New Zealand Wars occur? Who fought them and how did they proceed? Where were these battles fought?

The New Zealand Wars answers these questions in probing text.

It introduces the wars’ major incidents, movements and people — including the Battle of Gate Pa and Pai Marire, and figures such as Colonel G.S. Whitmore and Te Kooti. 

Wright shows that the wars, which pitted British settlers and allied Māori against other Māori from 1845 to 1872, really ended up as a civil war fanning flames in many regions.

The New Zealand Wars is the fifth in The NZ Series, for a general and school readership, and tailored to the new Aotearoa New Zealand Histories curriculum.

Click on these links to read about other titles in the series — Rush to RichesPioneer Women, Volcanoes and Earthquakes and First Encounters.

The author

Matthew Wright is the author of over 60 books on a wide range of topics for all ages, principally New Zealand history. A highly respected historian, he is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His other books with Oratia are Freyberg — A Life’s Journey and The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front. He lives in Wellington.

Publication: 8 July 2021  |  RRP $29.99  |  ISBN:  978-0-947506-93-3
Paperback, 240 x 160 mm, 100 pages, colour

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