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The Author
A Personal Statement
Neville Peat

Anyone fascinated by wild and remote environments, dynamic landscapes and unique fauna and flora cannot help but love New Zealand. I have explored much of this extraordinary island nation, from the far-flung tropical atolls of Tokelau – what I call ‘Farthest North’ – to the snow and ice of the Ross Dependency, Antarctica. These journeys and experiences have formed the basis of my books – more than 40 titles, spanning a quarter of a century.
Through my words and photographs, and at times in collaboration with other authors and illustrators, I have tried to convey something of the essence of New Zealand – its nature, its geography, its ability to astound and inspire. Most of my books still in print have a Southern New Zealand focus. Natural history and geography are major themes – the Wild series, for example, and a series of visitor guides. A number of my titles have been published as e-books. These include the Lark Trilogy – all three titles – and Shackleton’s Whisky.
My home lies within one of the country’s best-known nature precincts – Otago Peninsula on the ocean outskirts of Dunedin City. A short distance away are populations of Royal Albatross, Yellow-Eyed penguin, New Zealand sea lion and New Zealand fur seal, about which I have written much.
From my study I look out on Otago Harbour, where my Scottish ancestors, both sides of my family, arrived before the Otago goldrushes of the 1860s. I live at Broad Bay, Otago Peninsula, with my wife Mary.

Career highlights
Neville Peat
  • Author/illustrator of 40-plus titles, spanning a quarter-century.
  • News Editor, The Evening Star, Dunedin, 1972-74
  • Acting Editor, Tonga Chronicle newspaper, Volunteer Service Abroad assignment, 1974-75.
  • Information and Public Awareness work for New Zealand’s official Antarctic and overseas aid programmes for about 10 years, 1975-85.
  • New Zealand study tour leader for Smithsonian Journeys and other American educational tour agencies, based on the expedition ship Clipper Odyssey, from 1999 to 2009. Since then, guest lecturer with Orion, Ponant and Noble Caledonia expedition cruises in New Zealand and the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands.
  • The World Heritage Area nomination for the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands and the Rakiura National Park Public Discussion Document.
  • The inaugural Dunedin Citizen of the Year title in 1994 for a series of photographic souvenir books on Dunedin as well as the establishment of the Dunedin Environmental Business Network in 1993 and other environmental initiatives.
  • Otago Regional Councillor from 1998 (re-elected 2001 and 2004).
  • Chairperson of the Environment and Science Committee and the Council’s Deputy Chairperson 2004 to 2007.
  • Concept development, research and writing for Otago Museum’s 1,200 square metre landmark gallery Southern Land, Southern People, as well as information displays at the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head and the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre at Portobello Peninsula.
  • Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship 2007.
  • Orokonui Ecosanctuary trust board chairman 2010-2016.
  • The Copyright Licensing New Zealand Writers’ Award 2016.  
  • Dunedin City Councillor, 2013-2016
  • Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to conservation, New Year Honours 2018.


Neville Peat


1 Cowal Street, Broad Bay
Dunedin 9014, New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 478 0803
Email :