The Friends of Randell Cottage support the work of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust. We help with the needs of the resident writers, carry out fundraising for maintenance and furnishings, promote upcoming events like the annual Open Day and writers’ talks, and build community support for the work of the Trust by maintaining links with similar groups in the arts, literary and local communities.

Around Open Day (usually held in conjunction with Wellington Heritage Week in late October or early November), you’ll find many of us in the Cottage gardens helping our part-time gardener prepare for this special annual event. And on the day, Friends join in guiding and hosting visitors to the Cottage. Open Day is a wonderful chance for the public and members to visit this historic home, learn about its past and discover more about the literary magic going on right under our noses!

Join the Friends

See our Founding Rules.

Read our 2023 Annual Report

Read our 2022 Annual Report
Read our 2022 AGM Minutes

Read our 2021 Annual Report
Read our 2021 AGM Minutes

Read our 2020 Annual Report
Read our 2020 AGM Minutes

Life Members
Beverley Randell (2021)
Susan Price (2021)
Honorary Member
Neil Harrap



Fiona Kidman credit Robert Cross

Dame Fiona Kidman DCNZM OBE is a Wellington writer. She has written over 30 books, including the prizewinning novel This Mortal Boy, winner of the Acorn Prize for Fiction (Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, 2019), the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, NZ Booklovers Prize for Fiction and the NZ Heritage Prize for Historical FictionHer latest work is a memoir So Far, For Now (2022). Her work is translated into several languages.

Fiona is a Trustee Emerita of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust. As a Katherine Mansfield fellow, she lived in Menton, France, in 2006, and travelled the country with a contingent of New Zealand writers promoting New Zealand literature. She is a recipient of Légion d’honneur (French Legion of Honour) and is a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres.


Jie Fang is pursuing a Master of Professional Accounting (CA path) at Te Herenga Waka/Victoria University of Wellington and working as a part-time accountant in an accounting firm. Before joining the Victoria University of Wellington, she was a financial controller for a German company in Shanghai, China. In addition, she worked for Siemens as a BA for ten years.

Jie is an outgoing and helpful individual who enjoys meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. She enjoys travelling, as well as staying active and connected with nature through hiking.


Robyn Skrzynski is a graduate of Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University BA in international languages, Robyn spent a year in France and Poland before returning to the teaching scene in Wellington in the 70s. She was a member of Alliance Française (AF) and an office holder on the committee for thirty years before retiring. As an Oral Historian, Robyn interviewed members of AF as part of the AF Centenary Oral History project in 2008. In 2010, Robyn was made a Life Member of the Goethe Society Wellington and the New Zealand Association of Language Teachers. Her passions are gardening, opera and playing tennis.

Susan Stevens is a graduate of Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University BA. and Massey University MA Admin, worked as a teacher for many years in NZ, Canada, England and Australia. She held the position of Principal of St. Mary’s Diocesan School, Stratford, and was later in charge of graduate students at Teachers’ College at Victoria.

Susan volunteers at Samuel Marsden Collegiate as a reader/writer for special needs students.

Tim Gruar is a project professional by day and a freelance journalist and reviewer by night. He writes, reviews and photographs for music and theatre websites (including, contributes to The Huttzone on Wellington Access Radio and

He is actively involved in Wellington and Lower Hutt theatre – both on stage and behind the lighting desk. And he also runs and writes for the Groove Book Report, a website dedicated to local writers and reading.

Redmer Yska is an award-winning writer and historian who has written across a range of subjects including post-war teenagers, Dutch New Zealanders like himself, Wellington City and a history of NZ Truth newspaper.

A Strange Beautiful Excitement, his 2017 biography of Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington childhood was longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. He’s recently completed a book about Mansfield’s European world in time for the 2023 centenary of her death.

Pip Murdoch is a retired Oncology Nurse, a mother, and grandmother. She lives in Wellington with her husband Simon, a retired diplomat.

Pip’s memoir, ‘Relative Strangers: A mother’s adoption memoir’ is set during a time of massive social change and inter-generational upheaval.

Pip has a wide variety of interests and brings with her a wealth of life

In accordance with the provisions of the Friends’ Rules, the Chair of the Randell Cottage Writers Trust, Christine Hurley, is an ex officio member of the Executive Committee.