Keith Newman (writer)

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Keith Newman is a New Zealand author, freelance writer and producer. He has had five non-fiction titles published dealing with historical subjects including Māori prophet T. W. Ratana and the movement he founded, the early missionaries and their relationships with the Māori people and a history of the Internet in New Zealand.

Early years[edit]

Newman was raised in Feilding in the central North Island of New Zealand and trained as a reporter from the age of 17 working on newspapers in Palmerston North and Waipukurau before joining the old NZBC as a radio and TV journalist. He spent two and a half years in Sydney managing and promoting rock bands before returning to Palmerston North in the late 1970s to start entertainment magazine Get Up 'n Go.[citation needed]

In 1981 he joined the news staff at Radio 2XS in Palmerston North where he produced a number of radio documentaries. He moved to Auckland in 1984 to work as a sub-editor on a weekly newspaper then went on to work as a feature writer and sub editor with Suburban Newspapers in 1986 before joining the Auckland Sun in 1988.[citation needed]


After 20 years of research Reed published his work Ratana Revisited – An Unfinished Legacy,[1] the first work on the Ratana Church and movement for nearly 25 years.[citation needed] Two years later he was asked by Penguin, which took over Reed Publishing, to write a condensed and more focused version which was published as Ratana – The Prophet in 2009.[2] Newman also wrote the article in Te Ara, the New Zealand Government online encyclopaedia, about the Ratana movement.

In between he was commissioned by InternetNZ to write the history of the Internet in New Zealand. The resulting book Connecting the Clouds – The Internet in New Zealand (Activity Press 2008) is also published as a wiki and available free under a Creative Commons license.[3]

In 2009 Penguin published his book Bible & Treaty: Missionaries Among the Maori, currently[when?] in its second edition and the follow-up title Beyond Betrayal: Trouble in the Promised Land was released in September 2013.

Wordworx web and CDs[edit]

Newman has hosted one of the longest running free content sites in New Zealand, as the webmaster of the Wordworx site, and has been writing about telecommunications and technology since the dawn of the 1980s. Under the umbrella Wordworx he archives many of the articles and features he has written over the past 25-years, including the annual Digital lifestyle magazine Home Technology, distributed in hard copy format as a supplement to The Sunday Star-Times which he wrote and edited until 2012.

Newman also hosts articles on New Zealand music, and content from his rhythm 'n verse poetry CDs, Buzz Words from 1997 and Cleaning Out the Garage in 2002.

Rock from the edge[edit]

Newman has written produced and narrated over 20 programmes for Radio New Zealand National's Musical Chairs series, mainly dealing with pop and rock musicians from the period of the 1960s and 1970s, predominantly those who had recording success locally and toured offshore.


Books published[edit]

  • Beyond Betrayal: Trouble in the Promised Land (Penguin 2013) ISBN 9780143570516
  • Bible & Treaty: Missionaries Among the Maori (Penguin 2010)[8] ISBN 978-0143204084
  • Ratana the Prophet (Raupo-Penguin 2009) ISBN 9780143010975
  • Connecting the Clouds – the Internet in New Zealand, (Activity Press / InternetNZ 2008) ISBN 0958263442
  • Ratana Revisited – An Unfinished Legacy (Raupo/Reed 2006) ISBN 9780790010571

Environmental action[edit]

Newman is also the spokesperson for the WOW (Walking on Water) lobby group. WOW is particularly concerned with coastal erosion in the Haumoana beach area where Newman lives.[9]


  1. ^ "Ratana Revisited: An Unfinished Legacy – An Interview with Author Keith Newman" (PDF). Chrysalis Seed Trust. February 2008.
  2. ^ Diamond, Paul (21 February 2009). "Politics and the prophet". The New Zealand Listener (3589). Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  3. ^ Griffin, Peter (22 September 2008). "REVIEW: Connecting the Clouds". Science Media Centre. Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  4. ^ "New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards | Previous Winners". 2011. Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Radio New Zealand Media Releases : New Zealand Radio Awards 2007 – Radio New Zealand Winners". Radio New Zealand. 30 April 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Qantas Media Awards 2004 – Print Results". 16 May 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  7. ^ "2004 Winners – TUANZ". 25 August 2004. Archived from the original on 13 August 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  8. ^ Price, Vicki (19 May 2012). "In God they did trust". Taraniki News Online. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Erosion lobby asks for help". Hawke's Bay Today. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2013.

External links[edit]