Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand | Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa


David Riley

David grew up in Māngere, South Auckland. He has a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology from Auckland University where he focused on Pacific culture and history. David has worked as a researcher for the MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies (Canterbury University) and as a freelance writer. He has 23 years’ experience as a high school English and drama teacher in South Auckland.

In 2009, David’s rap club for disengaged students featured on Television New Zealand. In 2011, his play, Rock Bottom, was shortlisted in Playmarket’s Plays for the Young competition. In 2012, Little Island Press published David’s first book for teenagers ‒ We Are the Rock, a collection of profiles of achievers who have Niuean ancestry.

David has written over 50 books for young people and many of them have won awards. David also runs writing workshops across New Zealand and the Pacific and helps children and adults to write and publish their own books.

Selected bibliography:

  • Wāhine Toa: Joy Cowley (Reading Warrior, 2021)
  • The Reading Tribe (Reading Warrior, 2021)
  • Rise of the To’a (Reading Warrior, 2020)
  • Wāhine Toa: Lisa Carrington (Reading Warrior, 2020)
  • Who Stole My Taro? (Reading Warrior, 2020)
  • Tokelau Heroes (Reading Warrior, 2019)
  • Fanene Peter Maivia – Son of Samoa (Reading Warrior, 2018)
  • Cook Islands Heroes (Reading Warrior, 2017)
  • Kickin’ It with Winston Reid (Reading Warrior, 2017)
  • Gold! (Reading Warrior 2016)
  • Golden Kiwis (Reading Warrior 2016)
  • Tongan Heroes (Reading Warrior 2016)
  • Jammin’ with Steven Adams (Reading Warrior, 2015)
  • Samoan Heroes (Reading Warrior, 2015)
  • Rugby: The History (Reading Warrior, 2015)
  • Rugby: The Players, the Skills and the Style (Reading Warrior, 2015)
  • Steppin’ with Benji Marshall (Reading Warrior, 2013)
  • We Are Rock (Little Island Press, 2012)


  • Storylines Awards Special Mention 2018 for Powering up with Joseph Parker
  • Storylines Awards Special Mention 2018 for Go Fiji, Go
  • Storylines Notable Books Award 2018 for Cook Islands Heroes
  • Storylines Notable Book Award 2015 (Non-fiction) for Jammin’ with Steven Adams
  • Storylines Notable Book Award 2015 (Non-fiction) for Samoan Heroes

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