Southern Wanderer

A Habitat Restoration Pilot’s Life

by Peter Garden with Naomi Miller

At a time when our mandate to defend biodiversity and reverse the damage of centuries has never been clearer or more urgent, the legacy of helicopter pilot Peter Garden sets a critical example. For decades, he has been part of some of the most ground-breaking bird rescue projects in the world, at some of its most extreme latitudes. From helping to create rat-free havens in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Seychelles, the Pacific Islands, Puerto Rico and Alaska, to a twelve-year battle to rid sub-Antarctic South Georgia Island of rodents, Garden has teamed up with dedicated international pilots and conservationists to develop eradication strategies that work.   

Fog, gale force winds, freezing temperatures and red tape can thwart even the best laid plans and the sturdiest helicopters. But the successes have been thrilling. This story is part technical manual for future operators, part occasion to share in the sheer bloody-mindedness and perseverance it takes to backtrack on ecological negligence. On South Georgia, the songbirds are back: Southern Wanderer is Peter Garden’s testament to the recovery within our grasp.

“If  a reader is interested in aviation and a ‘can do’ attitude this book is a great story of wanderlust, flying ability, drive, focus and quiet humour. It is one of the best books I have enjoyed in recent times.  The narrative flows easily and some fantastic colour photographs and good maps enhance the journeys Peter has undertaken.”
– R J Tapper

195 x 250 mm, 380 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-0-473-57519-9
Cost: $60
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Fred Graham

Creator of Forms – Te Tohunga Auaha

by Maria de Jong with Fred Graham

WINNER, Ngā Kupu Ora / Māori Book Awards, Te Mahi Toi Award, 2014

This comprehensive survey of the art of Fred Graham details the artist’s life from his childhood in the Waikato to his career as a sculptor. Fred Graham is a leading figure in New Zealand’s art world. 

He began as an art teacher, and since 1984, he has been a full-time sculptor, producing a wealth of work and having sell-out exhibitions. His work is displayed in public spaces in New Zealand and several Pacific Rim countries. 

This book is richly illustrated with photographs of the artworks by award-wining photographer Geoff Dale, and it includes essays by Professor Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, Professor Robert Jahnke and Dr Jill Smith that discuss Fred Graham’s work in the context of New Zealand art. 

210 x 250 mm, 186 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-775-50134-3
Cost: $40
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Making Tracks

Walking in Mangawhai and Northland

by Jean Goldschmidt

Beginning with one spectacular coastal walkway, the volunteers of Mangawhai who loved
the outdoors, planned, developed and devised enough walks through bush, private land and
along beaches to offer up to thirty walks for the annual Walking Weekend. This is the story
of the first fifteen years and describes how a small coastal community in Northland produced
one of the first walking festivals, of the type now held throughout New Zealand. Walks are
described in detail and beautifully illustrated with maps, guides and colour photographs. Jean
candidly shares her experiences of learning through failure and the joy of success. Small
town New Zealand comes alive with the energy of its people galvanised under Jean’s
leadership. Read some of Mangawhai’s fascinating history, get to know some of the locals
and be inspired to put on your walking shoes!

260 x 200 mm, 248 pages, full colour with maps, softcover
Cost: $45
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

A Skylark Sings

by Norma Pretscherer and Karen Jarvis

Norma grew up on an isolated South Canterbury farm. Her father, a struggling
World War I veteran, raised 10 children on his own. She recalls wearing
underpants sewn from soft cotton flour bags and sleeping under potato sacks for
warmth in bitterly cold winters. Freezing nights, like the one when her sister
went missing.
Norma’s nursing career reveals how times have changed in the profession and
in the care and treatment of patients. She recounts moving stories of kindness
and compassion, along with a good dose of humour, such as the morning she
handed her elderly patients the wrong dentures! Norma does not flinch from
shrewd perceptions when reflecting on bringing up her own children and
helping husband Gus run his successful Remuera hair salon, at one time the
largest salon in Australasia.

195 x 260 mm, 244 pages, softcover, colour photos
Cost: $30
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Island View

by Maria de Jong

What was Hahei like before it became a thriving holiday settlement?

Hahei was once part of a large coastal farm and one of the children who grew up on that farm, Charles Harsant, tells his story. Charles grew up free range and barefoot. There were no roads and travel was by horseback or boat.

Charles’ wife Ann grew up in wartime England and as a young woman toured New Zealand in a Model A Ford. Ann describes her first view of Hahei:

“It was as if we had landed on a desert island. There wasn’t a footprint to be seen and the sand was made up of tiny pink shells which glowed in the setting sun. It was truly beautiful.”

The Harsant Brothers started farming in Hahei in 1912 and their descendants are still farming in the area. Their lives were closely intertwined with the first settlers in Hahei, the Wigmores. This book is a rich family history with tales of gum digging, kauri felling, soldiering and breaking in the land. It traces the family’s emigrant roots in England in the 1850s to modern day Hahei and is lavishly illustrated.

200 x 260 mm, 237 pages, softcover

Ian Devereux – To Cut a Long Story Short

by Karen Jarvis

To Cut a Long Story Short is a vivid account of an inventor who followed his passion and
believed in himself. From bullied farm boy to PhD scholar, to family man and founder of the
highly successful, internationally acclaimed company, Rocklabs, Ian Devereux has lived a
full and fascinating life.

Devereux gives a gripping account of his work as a forensic scientist on the Arthur Allan
Thomas case. Anecdotes from business trips to politically unstable countries, including near
death experiences, will engross readers. His unorthodox approach and willingness to take
huge financial risks gave rise to a niche marketing business model that was revered by
economists of the day.

Shining through this biography is Devereux’s generous and trusting nature, formidable
intellect and contagious sense of humour. Karen Jarvis’s lively narrative will keep the reader
engrossed to the end.

145 x 210 mm, 254 pages, softcover, colour photos
Cost: $40
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Deep Roots, Strong Wings

by Hope Ingham

Hope was raised in a tight-knit, rural South Otago community, but broke away from the strong farming tradition of her father’s family to attend Otago University in the 1950s, eventually becoming a teacher in the Hawke’s Bay where she met her husband, Don. Together, the couple started a family and a life in education, both achieving highly in their respective careers. In Hope’s memoir Deep Roots, Strong Wings, she reflects on her journey from farm girl to Auckland city apartment dweller through a collection of warm and honest stories.

190 x 270 mm, 141 pages, softcover
Cost: $35
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Up at Daybreak

by Maria de Jong with David Wilton

For 100 years the Wilton family have farmed on Wilton Road, near Morrinsville. This book
follows the life of David Wilton, who was born on the farm in a small cottage, without
running water or electricity. At age 16, David started working on the dairy farm full-time and
breaking in his own land. Generations of Wiltons have worked hard to transform the swampy
land, covered with manuka, and divided by gullies, into the lush, prime Waikato dairy land
that it is today.
A wealth of farming detail documents 100 years of farming and the changes that have
occurred. David relates stories of draught horses ploughing the land and carting milk cans to
the dairy factory; at milking time, men would squat down around 200 times – great fitness
work for rugby players!
This book will appeal to readers interested in a rural lifestyle. Strong threads of caring for
others, caring for animals, and a love of the land, run through the story.

Te toto o te tangata, he kai; te oranga o te tangata, he whenua.
Food supplies the blood of man; his welfare depends on the land

260 x 200 mm, 156 pages, softcover
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

In Search of the Gold Mount

by Maria de Jong 

In 1940, Gordon is determined to escape the hardship and fear of living in Japanese occupied China. At age 14, he flees China on a borrowed passport and travels to relatives in Fiji. There, he becomes independent at 15, and eventually marries and raises a family. Gordon’s own schooling was curtailed by war and he is determined to offer his own children an education. It is through building a successful café business in Suva that he is able to support his family. But there is a catch! In order to be successful, his wife, Alma, and their five children must help out. In the kitchen, Gordon learns to bake a variety of goods, from spicy curries wrapped in roti to delicious high, sweet buns. Alma learns the art of decorating wedding cakes. The children are often reluctant helpers, but through the café, they learn about team work and their own special strengths.

This is an honest and heartwarming account of Gordon’s life, from grinding poverty to prosperity.

210 x 148 mm, 161 pages, softcover
Cost: $25
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Murray Loudon

Filling the Gaps

by Murray Loudon

Murray Loudon wrote Filling The Gaps as a way of recording his story and that of his
ancestors for future generations. In his autobiography the former Olympic hockey player
looks back on his playing career and the tactics that won games.
Murray established a successful dental practice in Manurewa and gives insight into
how dentistry has changed; his teenage patients often asked him to pull all their teeth out!
The new borough of Manurewa was very different from the sprawling Auckland suburb it is
today; surrounded by fields, it had more of a village atmosphere. Murray was instrumental
in establishing a hockey and squash club in this community.
This book chronicles the history of the Loudon brothers, who emigrated from
Scotland to rural Canterbury in 1864. Letters written by Murray’s grandfather describe the
hardships of crop farming.
Throughout his story, Murray shares his thoughts on the importance of education,
prudence with money, honesty and perseverance as well as tips for young hockey players.
This narrative will fill the gaps for generations to come.

240 x 200 mm, 156 pages, softcover
Cost: $40
Email: mfdejong@slingshot.co.nz

Digging up the Past

by Peter Tayler

Peter Tayler planted his first crop of potatoes as a teenager on 12 acres of leased land near Orari in South Canterbury. Farming was booming in New Zealand in the 1950s, and Peter was not put off by the back breaking work of harvesting potatoes. With his father, Rex, he acquired land and started Tayler and Sons Ltd. Peter’s interest in spuds burgeoned as he travelled the world gaining knowledge and expertise. Sons Michael and Nick have joined their father in crop farming and today they cultivate crops on 800 hectares in Temuka. Peter has dug into his personal history to write an honest account of his early life, developing the farm, alongside tales of hunting and fishing trips in the wild south. 

250 x 195 mm, 380 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-0-473-57519-9
Cost: $60
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Two Remarkable Women

by Maria de Jong and Rosalind David

Melbourne in the 1890s – women can’t vote and unmarried mothers are social outcasts. Frances, a young journalist, believes in equal rights for women and their right to have children outside of wedlock. In 1905, pregnant and alone, she boards a steamship for London. Closely intertwined with the lives of Frances and her daughter Sally are the lives of Frances’ best friend Ethel and her husband, author Charles Chomley.

In London Charles Chomley is editor/proprietor of the British Australasian newspaper where Frances is a senior journalist. Frances and her children are frequent visitors at the Chomley’s grand residence – No. 5 – a hub for Australian writers, artists and politicians.

As an adult in rural Wales, Frances’ daughter Sally must learn to reconcile the past, her origins, and the loss of loved ones. Gardening becomes her passion.  

This intriguing double biography shows how women’s lives are shaped by society’s expectations and how social norms have changed. The book follows the lives of two strong women – Frances Fitzgerald Fawkner and Sara ‘Sally’ Rainforth.

200 x 260 mm, 188 pages, softcover, colour photos
Cost: $40
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Ruby’s Story

by Ruby Lyons

250 x 195 mm, 380 pages, softcover
Cost: $60
Email: mfdejong@slingshot.co.nz

An Ambitious Young Man

An Ambitious Young Man

by Tony Farrow

This honest memoir tells the story of young Farrow who left his unhappy home to sing as a
chorister in Lichfield Cathedral on a musical scholarship. Under the patronage of ‘Mr Dean’,
he progressed to Ellesmere College where he learnt to speak with a plummy accent and
‘behave like a gentleman’. At Ellesmere there was no heating, or hot water, and ice was
broken on the mere for the annual mid-winter swim. The austerity of boarding school
prepared Farrow for the tough regime of officer training at the Royal Military Academy
Sandhurst. This memoir records the experiences that shaped an ambitious young man who
went on to succeed in the business world and found his own company. Through events in
his own life, Tony developed empathy for fellow senior executives who suddenly found
themselves jobless. He pioneered a service to help with their recovery. At the heart of his
story is the love of his life – Heather.

150 x 210 mm, 369 pages, softcover
Cost: $30
Email: mfdejong@slingshot.co.nz

Clare

by Maria de Jong

250 x 195 mm, 380 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-0-473-57519-9
Cost: $60
Email: mfdejong@slingshot.co.nz

The Inheritance Thief

by Adrienne Nairn with Maria de Jong

What happens when someone in your family can’t be trusted? What happens when that person is
your brother, a former SAS soldier, who moves in on your elderly stepmother with an eye on the
inheritance? Cathy, observing this scenario, fears for the victim, yet the odds are stacked against her
as her brother moves to ostracise her from the family after a secret is revealed. How can Cathy
combat his tactics – tactics learned during his time with the SAS? Based on a true story, this account
shows the hurt and sorrow caused by an inheritance dispute and yet it is an uplifting read as we follow
Cathy’s struggle for justice. After moving to New Zealand, Cathy continues to fight her brother’s dirty
tactics through the courts. She engages the help of Frank, a lawyer with a gambling habit but a
determination to see justice done. The Inheritance Thief is a compelling story highlighting the growing
issue of financial elder abuse and one woman’s will to fight it.

127 x 203 mm, 220 pages
Austin Macauley Publishers
Cost: $30