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Tietoja minustaMcCauley, Debbie (1972- ) (Ngāti Kirimā) is an award-winning author and indie publisher. Her work has won the Best Non-Fiction category in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, been chosen as a White Raven by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, and selected by the New Zealand Blind Foundation to be produced in braille, large print and e-text. She believes in telling children stories from Aotearoa that will enrich their lives through a sense of place and belonging.
In 2012 Debbie arranged a family reunion and published her first book under her imprint Mauao Publishing; 'The McCauley Family of Katikati, New Zealand, 1876-2012' (Mauao Publishing, 2012). Written in just three months, it brings together over 20 years of her genealogical research.
Debbie’s first story for children was bilingual narrative non-fiction picture book 'Taratoa and the Code of Conduct: A Story from the Battle of Gate Pā' (Mauao Publishing, 2014), which was a finalist in the 2015 LIANZA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Awards. As part of the organising committee for the 2014 Battle of Gate Pā sesquicentennial, Debbie was inspired to tell the story of the battle in a way accessible to children. Illustrated by her 15-year-old daughter Sophie McCauley, and translated into Te Reo Māori by Tamati Waaka, it also proved to be a big hit with adults.
'Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill: A Story from the Rena Disaster' (Mauao Publishing, 2014) was Debbie’s second children’s book. Translated into Te Reo Māori by Tamati Waaka, it won the Best Non-Fiction category in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and was chosen as a 2015 White Raven by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany.
The following three years were spent researching 'The Treaty of Waitangi in Tauranga: Te Tiriti o Waitangi ki Tauranga Moana' (Mauao Publishing, 2018) which was illustrated by Whare Joseph Thompson, translated into Te Reo Māori by Tamati Waaka, and released on 10 April 2018. During the process, Debbie was contacted by Treaty researcher and writer Claudia Orange, with the result that she shared her research for the ‘He Tohu’ exhibition at the National Library of New Zealand.
'Ko Mauao te Maunga: Legend of Mauao' (Mauao Publishing, 2018) was illustrated by Debbie Tīpuna, translated into Te Reo Māori by Tamati Waaka, and released during Tauranga’s Matariki festival. Debbie wrote the book with the approval and support of kaumātua. It retells the traditional Legend of Mauao.
While on the Suffrage 125 Tauranga organising committee, Debbie was inspired to research and write the story of her suffragist ancestress. The result was 'Eliza and the White Camellia: A Story of Suffrage in New Zealand' (Mauao Publishing, 2018), illustrated by Helen Casey and translated into Te Reo Māori by Tamati Waaka. Eliza Wallis (née Hart) was a first-wave feminist who actively sought the Vote for Women. The book was released on 28 November 2018, 125 years after New Zealand women went to the polls for the first time.
Debbie is currently working on her next book for children and enjoys being part of the entire creative process from conception, research, writing and editing, to organising the translation of her work and overseeing illustration, book design, printing, marketing and distribution.