National Board

NZSA President – Mandy Hager

Mandy Hager is a multi-award-winning writer of fiction, predominantly for young adults. In 2019 she was awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, for life-time achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand’s literature for young people. She has won the LIANZA Book Awards for Young Adult fiction three times, the 2009 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards for YA fiction, a 1996 Honour Award, and six Notable Book Awards. Her historical novel for adults ‘Heloise’ was longlisted for the 2017 Ockham Awards and she also writes non-fiction and educational resources.
She has also been awarded the 2012 Beatson Fellowship, the 2014 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, the 2015 Waikato University Writer in Residence and the 2017 D’Arcy Writer’s Grant. She has tutored the novel for Whitireia’s Creative Writing Course for ten years, is a trained teacher and has an MA in Creative Writing. She has been a school trustee and was a board member of Dare Foundation for two years.

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Regional Delegates

Cristina Sanders – Central Districts Regional Delegate

Cristina Sanders lives in Hawke’s Bay, writes NZ colonial fiction and short stories and has a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing. Jerningham, her novel on the founding of Wellington, is due for publication soon, and she is currently working on a YA series. She grew up in Wellington’s Gateway Bookshop and has worked in libraries, for Collins Publishers NZ, Hodder & Stoughton UK and Booksellers NZ. She’s run two start-ups, worked in marketing and digital media, and teaches ESL to adult immigrants. In her spare time she studies history, runs hills and writes a book review blog.

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Susan Battye – Northern Districts Regional Delegate

Christchurch born, Susan Battye is an Auckland based educational consultant, playwright, teacher, editor, author and developer of children’s books, short stories and educational e and print based resources.

She has written many plays including; The Shadow of the Valley (with Thelma Eakin, OUP 1980), Living In, The Singing Lesson, Easy as Pie, (Longman Paul), Back Where You Belong (Meriwether USA), Jigsaw (Harcourt Reed NZ). Her dramatic sketch, Kiwis in Paradise was a finalist in the USA 2016 ‘Saving Endangered Species’ International Playwriting Competition. Her award winning short story, Mocked was published by NZSA Top in Horizons 3 (2017).

In addition to her educational titles for NCEA English, Social Studies and Drama with Sigma Publications, User Friendly Resources and ESA Publications, Battye has authored two novels in the Scholastic My Story New Zealand series: The Mine’s Afire! (with Thelma Eakin), shortlisted for the 2010 NZ Post Children’s Book awards and Cup Magic.

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Philippa Werry – Vice President and Wellington Regional Delegate

Philippa Werry is a children’s writer who began her career writing for the School Journal. Since then, her non-fiction, stories, plays and poems have been widely published and several of her children’s novels and non-fiction titles have been shortlisted for book awards or named as Storylines Notable Books. Philippa lives in Wellington; she is an online writing tutor, maintains several blogs and visits schools around the country as part of the Writers in Schools programme.

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Ray Berard – Central and Northern South Island Regional Delegate

Ray Berard is a Canadian born Kiwi writer based in Christchurch. He immigrated to New Zealand 1994 and had the fortune to live and work in many parts of the country. Writing was always a passion of his, and 2010 he was able to devote himself full time to writing his first novel, Inside the Black Horse based on a diary he kept during his years working in South Auckland and the Bay of Plenty. The book was released in October 2015 and received considerable critical acclaim, making the NZ Listener’s top 100 books for 2015. The long list for the Dublin International literary award, and winning the Ngaio Marsh Debut Novel in 2016. Ray has been a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors for several years and these days divides his time between help


Vanda Symon – Otago/Southland Regional Delegate

Vanda is the Author of the Detective Sam Shephard crime fiction series and the stand alone thriller The Faceless. She is a three time finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Fiction novel. A Dunedin resident, Vanda produces and hosts a monthly radio show for the Otago Southland NZSA called Write On, broadcast on Otago Access Radio, and is a regular reviewer for National Radio. Among the many roles she enjoys, Vanda is a writing mentor for the NZSA and she was the Chair of Copyright Licensing New Zealand, where she served on the Board for four years.

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