Mike Riddell

Mike Riddell is a New Zealand writer who has traversed a number of genres in his career. He began life in Porirua, and was educated for the main part in Christchurch, attending Christchurch Boys High School. After a period travelling the world, a stint in a Moroccan jail, and numerous McJobs, he married, helped to raise three children, and returned to study. This included time in Switzerland completing a Masters degree in Theology, where he was also foreign correspondent for NZ Outlook magazine – a left-wing political journal. For a time Mike was Minister of a church in Ponsonby, where he established the Community of Refuge Trust, a community housing organisation still in existence. He became a lecturer in theology under the auspices of Auckland University. His first book was published in 1992, one of ten subsequent published volumes. In 1997 his best-known novel, The Insatiable Moon was released, and Mike and family moved to Dunedin. There he began to write full time, alongside completing a Doctorate on the writings of NZ poet James K. Baxter, and lecturing at the University of Otago. In 2002, he wrote and produced a play, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, about James K. Baxter, which became a sell-out success and toured NZ, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cheltenham. His interest turned to screenwriting when in 2003 he was approached by a UK producer to develop an adaptation of his novel The Insatiable Moon. In the interim he produced the award-winning short film Cake Tin, and set up Screen Dunedin. Mike also originated and managed the first 48Hours film competition in Dunedin. In 2009 he co-produced the feature film The Insatiable Moon, which starred Rawiri Paratene and which won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the 2011 NZ Film Awards after six nominations. Since 2003, Mike has been involved solely in full-time screenwriting on a number of projects, and in 2012 was awarded a NZFC Talent Award. He began working with producer Tim Sanders on The Guinea Pig Club in 2006, a feature film to be directed by Roger Donaldson. Since Mike’s wife Rosemary (a stage and film director) was appointed as a District Court Judge in Hamilton, they moved to Cambridge in 2006. In 2019 Mike and Rosemary relocated to the small village of Oturehua, which boasts an extraordinary number of writers among a population of 30. There Mike continues to write full time, and manages a production and writing company, Holy Bucket Productions Ltd.


  • Adult Fiction
  • Adult Non-Fiction
  • Autobiography / Memoir
  • Film Scripts
  • Mind Body Spirit
  • Poetry
  • Plays
  • Scriptwriter


  • Novelist
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry Readings
  • Public Speaking
  • Readings
  • Readings (adults)
  • Screenwriting