Diana Menefy has lived in rural New Zealand for the last forty-four years and writes with authority
about the wet, mud and muck of a farm. She was born in Christchurch. Growing up in the South Island gave her a rich collection of experiences and images: the snow on the mountains, the autumn
colours, the north-west winds and having to push her bike home as the pay-off for an express ride to
In 1974 Diana and her husband bought a dairy farm in Tapuhi, Northland. Life on the farm with a river that flooded and three adventurous children was a great background for a budding writer. Her first stories and articles were published in the New Zealand Farmer and School Journal in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
For the next ten years most of her published work was non-fiction although she had several short stories in anthologies. She worked as a parttime feature writer for the local paper, then went freelance to work on commissioned histories.
Running parallel with this was a passion for children’s literature that culminated as the specialty for
her master’s degree in education in 2001. 2001 saw her first junior novel, River Crossing, and her sixth commissioned non-fiction book, about Whangārei Hospital, published. Learning Media accepted four of her readers for the American market and sales of Pounamu New Zealand Jade, a book aimed at the tourist market. This was also the year Diana started to work for NorthTec tutoring
and doing the course design for the online diplomas of applied writing. She was a principal academic staff member at NorthTec for five years before she retired in 2015.
In 2010 Shadow of the ‘Boyd’ was published by HarperCollins and went on to be shortlisted in
the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and won the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal in 2011. In 2013 Diana
was asked to write one of the Kiwis at War series for Scholastic titled, 1915: Wounds of War which
was published in April, 2015.
In 2021 Diana published Nothing Stops the Floods – a history of the Hikurangi Swamp Scheme and the weather events that affected the people who live in the Hukerenui Survey District.
Diana is currently working on another historical novel about silver mining in New Zealand in the early 1890s and a YA murder mystery novel set in the equestrian eventing world.
She also had a picture book, I Had A Brother, with OneTree House, published in July, 2019.
The Shadow of the 'Boyd' eBook
About the Book:
One Tree House brings this much-loved, award-winning and historic children's book to a new generation of readers.
Based on a true story ...
This is a powerful story in which the bitter clash of two cultures is explored from the point of view of
a young boy who describes the horror that led to the massacre of those on the sailing ship the Boyd.
A handful of pākehā were left alive, and it is their enthralling story which unfolds in this tale of tragedy.
Finalist in New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2011 & Winner of the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal 2011
Our new Classic e-collection supports our literary history, classroom learning and reading for pleasure.
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