Fred Graham Creator of Forms – Te Tohunga Auaha

by Maria de Jong with Fred Graham

Winner of the Arts category of the Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards 2014

Fred Graham is a leading figure in New Zealand’s art world. He started his career as an art teacher, and since 1984, he has been a full-time sculptor, producing a wealth of work, and holding 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-winning 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 250mm, 200 pages, softcover
ISBN: 978-1-775-50134-3
Cost: $49.99
Available from Huia Publishing:

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.

210 x 148 mm, 245 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-48027-1
Cost: $30

Deep Roots, Strong Wings

by Hope Ingham

Hope Ingham was inspired to write her memoir after attending a life writing course tutored by Dr Deborah Shepard at the University of Auckland. Her memoir was published by Life Stories in July 2020.

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, colour, softcover
Cost:  $40.00


Ruby’s Story

by Ruby Lyons

Ruby was two and a half years old when she lost her mother to appendicitis. The youngest of eight, she was placed under the care of her beloved Aunt Maggie, and together they moved between family members as Ruby grew up. Ruby’s early memories create a charming child’s view of the countryside and town life in early twentieth century Otago. In her teen years, she journeys to the North Island where she experiences the busy world of station farming. Ruby’s Story is a careful, delightful account of Ruby’s youth, living with extended family across New Zealand.

240 x 200 mm, 107 pages, colour, hardcover and softcover
Cost: $35 softcover

Good Clean Fun

by Karen Jarvis

Laurie Barclay combined his love of flying with farming, often transferring from cockpit to the cowshed in the afternoons. After a three-day stint in the air, he would swap his captain’s hat for a beanie and gumboots to rove the hills of Kohekohe, his farm on the beautiful Awhitu Peninsula.

Starting out as an aerial top dresser in the 1950s, Laurie was instrumental in forming the first privately-owned nationwide airline in New Zealand, SPANZ.  During his 40-year aviation career, Laurie mastered a vast array of aircraft, from two-seater Tiger Moths to 747s carrying over 600 passengers for Air New Zealand. 

Good Clean Fun is sprinkled with humorous and insightful anecdotes about life in the cockpit, on the farm and in the orchard.

210 x 148 mm, 163 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-45058
Cost: $35
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Sid’s War

by Maria de Jong

This is not a tale of heroism in the trenches of World War I but of survival. Seven hundred kilometres of trenches wound through France and Belgium from the Swiss border to the North Sea, a daunting prospect for any soldier let alone a 16-year-old farm boy from Southern Hawkes Bay. Sid Stanfield describes ‘going over the top’, blundering through mud, weighed down by eighty pounds of equipment, ordered to ‘charge’ under machine gun fire while 12-pounder guns lobbed shells from behind. It was an impossible task and he knew it. Whether it was luck or skill, Sid proved to be adept at avoiding death. Wounded four times and gassed, he survived what has been dubbed New Zealand’s ‘Blackest Day’ at the Battle of Passchendaele when 843 men lost their lives. This is Sid’s story.

210 x 148 mm, 72 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-46623-7
Cost: $25
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Making Tracks

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 200mm, 237 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-47530-7
Cost: $40
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by Maria de Jong

Clare Maingay grew up on a farm in Glenfield, bordering a tidal inlet of the Waitemata Harbour where she learnt to swim and sail. The youngest of five daughters, Clare’s carefree childhood days in the 1920s came to an abrupt end when the family’s fortunes crashed, the farm had to be sold, as well as the boat and motor car.

Clare shares tales from her youth, running a city office during the day, queuing for nylon stockings due to war shortages, and dancing with American soldiers at night. Eventually she fell in love with a young man from Te Aroha who was sent to the battlefields of Italy. Clare learnt about love and loss . . . like so many of her generation her life would be forever changed by World War II.

This book captures Clare’s memories of her life in her 99th year. Clare has faced adversity, shown resilience, clear judgment and lived her life with joy and verve.

240 x 200 mm, 101 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-39597-1
Cost: $35

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 near 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.

210 x 148 mm, 163 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-45058
Cost: $35
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To Cut a Long Story Short

by Karen Jarvis

This 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.

210 x 148 mm, 175 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-39269-7
Cost: $35
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Island View

by Maria de Jong

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. 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.

260 x 200 mm, 237 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN 978-0-473-19039-2

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!

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.

240 x 200 mm, 271 pages, colour, softcover
Cost: $35

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 heart-warming account of Gordon’s life, from grinding poverty to prosperity.

210 x 148 mm, 161 pages, colour, softcover
Cost: $25

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, 168 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN 978-0-473-29576-9
Cost: $35  
Click here to view pdf file  Click here to view an excerpt from the book.

I Remember Levuka

by Maria de Jong

Levuka in Fiji is the magical setting of Eileen’s childhood. There she played in a park ringed by coconut palms and swam in the refreshing mountain waters of the Falls. Her family loved to make music and play hockey.

Ambition spurs Eileen and her husband Ernie to leave the Islands and immigrate to New Zealand, where Eileen struggles to adjust to rainy winters and working seven days a week.

After raising a family, the couple retire to the Gold Coast of Australia. Aged 89 Eileen returns to her home town to find it much changed. Her recollections of growing up there are interspersed with the history of the picturesque old capital of Fiji and stories from her large family and the places where they have lived.

210 x 148 mm, 114 pages, colour, softcover
Click here to view pdf file  Click here to view an excerpt from the book.

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.

210 x 148 mm, 271 pages, colour, softcover
Cost: $30

Two Remarkable Women, Frances Fitzgerald Fawkner and Sara ‘Sally’ Rainforth

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.

260 x 200 mm, 177 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN 978-0-473-25706-4

Cost: $42
Click here to view pdf file Click here to view an excerpt from the book.

The Inheritance Thief

by Adrienne Nairn with Maria de Jong

What happens when there is someone in your family who can’t be trusted? What happens when that person is your brother, a former SAS soldier? 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 – learnt 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. Spanning two decades, this family feud is set in England, the Middle East and New Zealand.

The Inheritance Thief is a compelling story highlighting the growing issue of financial elder abuse and one woman’s will to fight.

202 x 125 mm, 219 pages, colour, softcover
ISBN 978-178823-811-3
Cost: $25
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