Friends of Randell Cottage AGM on 25 May

Friends of Randell Cottage AGM on 25 May

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Randell Cottage will take place on Wednesday 25 May from 11 am at the Alliance Française, 3rd floor Dominion Building, corner of Mercer and Victoria Streets.

President Leslie Brown encourages members and interested attendees to come along to mark the 20th year since the first Randell Cottage writer-in-residence moved into the Cottage in 2002.

The current New Zealand Resident, Rose Lu, will be the guest speaker.

Please RSVP to or call Robyn on (04) 476 4823 evenings by 20 May.


  1. Welcome
  2. Apologies
  3. Quorum: 10 people
  4. Receive and approve the Minutes of the 27 July 2021, Annual General Meeting of Friends of the Randell Cottage Writers’ Trust
  5. Matters arising from the Minutes
  6. Receive and consider the Annual Report from the FRC Committee Chair
  7. Receive and consider the Annual Financial Statements from the Treasurer
  8. Receive and consider the following recommendation from the Committee of the annual subscriptions for the year (2023/24): that subscriptions for 2022/23 remain at $15.00 for seniors/students, $30.00 for individuals, $45.00 for families and $60.00 for businesses as set at the 2020 AGM.
  9. The election of the Officers of the Society:
    President: Leslie Brown is prepared to stand as President again.
    Treasurer: Nominations for a Treasurer are welcome.
    Secretary: Robyn Skrzynska is prepared to stand as Secretary again.
  10. The election of at least three Ordinary Members of the Executive Committee.
    In accordance with the Rules, the Trust has the ability to select two members.
    Susan Stevens, Dame Fiona Kidman and Tim Gruar have expressed willingness to be nominated as ordinary members of the Committee again.
    Note: Any other nominations for President, Treasurer and Committee, with details of seconders and evidence of the willingness of the nominee to serve, should be emailed to the Secretary : in advance of the meeting.
  11. Any other business:
    The business part of the meeting will be followed by a conversation with our Randell Cottage resident NZ writer, Rose Lu.

Coffee, tea and juice will be served at the end of the meeting.

Sir Vincent O’Sullivan KNZM

Sir Vincent O’Sullivan KNZM

A woman holds a sword over a kneeling man in a suit
Sir Vincent O’Sullivan and Dame Cindy Kiro. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor-General.

On May 2, Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro presented Honours recipients with insignia recognising outstanding achievements and service.

Eminent author Emeritus Professor Sir Vincent O’Sullivan received the accolade when he was re-designated from a DCNZM to a KNZM.

New publications

New publications

Our congratulations to two writers with significant Randell Cottage connections whose works have just been published by Vintage, an imprint of Penguin Random House New Zealand.

So Far for Now

Book cover for So far for now bookDame Fiona Kidman, Randell Cottage’s founding trustee and long-time supporter, has released her latest book, So Far for Now. This is a new volume of Dame Fiona’s memoirs, recording her busy life filled with significant changes, new writing and fascinating journeys. It’s just out in bookshops around the country.

From being a grandmother to becoming a widow, from the suitcase-existence of book festivals to researching the lives and deaths of Jean Batten and Albert Black, she has found herself in new territory and viewed the familiar with fresh eyes. She takes the reader to Paris and Pike River, to Banff, Belfast and Bangkok, searching for houses in Hanoi and Hawera, reliving her past in Waipu and creating new memories in Otago.

Dame Fiona comments, “When I wrote my last memoir I thought nothing much would happen from there on in. But life keeps on happening and if anything it gets more interesting with every year that passes. There is nothing dull about old age; there may be griefs and  losses but there is also the triumph of survival.”

The Frog Prince

Book cover for The Frog PrinceChristchurch-based James Norcliffe was the Randell Cottage writer-in-residence in 2018 and celebrated the experience in an article: At Home in the Randell Cottage.

During his stay, he worked on his debut adult novel, The Frog Prince, which has now appeared in print. Described as an intriguing multi-layered novel with a dual narrative, it carries one storyline set in Kassel, Germany, in the early years of the nineteenth century, when the brothers Grimm were beginning to collect the folk stories they would later publish as Household Tales.

The second storyline revolves around the mysterious disappearance of Cara, a young teacher at an international school in Northern France, who writes her own version of the classic fairy tale of the frog prince and the princess. The book embraces historical fiction, is a love story and a mystery all rolled into one.

James Norcliffe is renowned for his award-winning children’s books and for his poetry. His latest children’s fantasy Mallory Mallory: Trick or Treat was released under the Puffin imprint of Penguin Random New Zealand.

Trustee and author Stephen Stratford

Trustee and author Stephen Stratford

head and shoulders photo of a man wearing glasses
Stephen Stratford

The Randell Cottage Writers Trust marks with deep sorrow the sudden death of our Trustee, Stephen Stratford, on Sunday 21 November.

Stephen was a highly valued member of our team, taking special responsibility for chairing the annual selection panel for the Creative New Zealand writer in residence.
We acknowledge the loss his passing represents to the wider literary community of Aotearoa New Zealand from his extensive career as a respected writer, editor and journalist. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife and daughters.
Save The Date

Save The Date

The AGM of the Friends of the Randell Cottage will be held at:

11:30 am
Tuesday 27 July
Alliance Francaise
Level 3
78 Victoria Street

After the AGM the current writer in residence, Lynn Davidson, will talk
about her work.

Refreshments will be served.