Debbie McCauley is a fifth-generation Pakeha New Zealander. Growing up in Whakatane and Tauranga, she showed an early talent for journalism. She has a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Humanities and Library & Information Studies and since 2003 has worked as a librarian at Tauranga City Library with an interest in local history and children's literature. She was a recipient of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Year Scholarship.
Her writing has been published in the New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal and Library Life and as a poet she has appeared in Bravado, The Bay of Plenty Times and Enamel magazine as well as being used in advertising for National Poetry Day.
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. Written in just three months, it brought together over 20 years’ genealogical research.
Debbie’s first book for children was Taratoa and the Code of Conduct: A Story from the Battle of Gate Pa which was a finalist in the 2015 LIANZA Children’s and Young Adult’s Book Awards. Her second children’s book, Motiti Blue and the Oil Spill: A Story from the Rena Disaster, won the Best Non-Fiction category in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It was chosen as a 2015 White Raven by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. The Blind Foundation also selected Motiti Blue and the Oil Spill to be produced in braille, large print and e-text.
Debbie enjoys writing narrative non-fiction with text in both English and te reo Māori, and working through the entire creative process from conception, research, writing and editing to organising translation and overseeing illustration, book design, printing, marketing and distribution. In 2015 she was the winner of the inaugural Creative Tauranga Writers’ Award.