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Honorary Doctorate

Gavin Bishop

24 July 2023

Doctor of Education 2016


Gavin Bishop is one of New Zealand’s foremost children’s writers and illustrators, having received over 45 national and international awards for his work, and was awarded The New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013 for his contribution to literature.

He has published over 70 books, 40 non-fiction stories and 30 educational readers, many of which have been translated into twelve languages, including Te reo. Much of his work is constantly used in mainstream New Zealand pre-schools, schools, Kohanga Reo and Kura kaupapa Māori. 

Among these books are the well known Mrs McGinty and the Biare Point, Bidibidi, The Horror of Hickory Bay, Katarina, Hinepau, and winner of the 2000 New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year Award – The House that Jack Built.

Mr Bishop’s distinctive ink and watercolour illustrations are a feature of both his traditional and original stories – stories that cover a wide range of topics including Māori myths and legends, traditional English language tales, children’s readers and, more recently, stories from New Zealand History for older readers.

He has also written the libretti, or words, for two children’s ballets for the New Zealand Royal Ballet and scripts for two television series. His works have been adapted for stage and screen, including 3D animated picture books.

He is widely travelled and, through UNESCO, has been a guest author and speaker in Japan, China, Indonesia and the USA, where in 1996, he was guest lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Mr Bishop has made a significant, long-term contribution to his own field and to New Zealand’s cultural development and understanding. In doing so, he has made a major contribution to the wider national and international community. His endeavours have brought credit to himself, his family and the University.

Citation authorised as true and correct at December 2016.

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