Tania Roxborogh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tania Roxborogh
Tania Roxborogh.jpg
Born Tania Kelly Roxborogh
(1965-09-01) 1 September 1965 (age 51)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Occupation Teacher, author
Years active 1989–present
Spouse(s) Phillip Roxborogh (1989-present)
Children Mackenna and Brianna

Tania Kelly Roxborogh (born 1 September 1965) is a New Zealand author who currently lives in Lincoln, Canterbury. She is the author of over 25 books, including Third Degree, Twenty Minute Shakespeare, and Fat Like Me and The Banquo's Son Trilogy. She also teaches English at the local high school.


Early life[edit]

Tania Roxborogh was born in Christchurch. When Tania was 3, her alcoholic father left home and she moved to Te Puke with her mother.[1][2] In 1972, at the age of 7, her mother met another man, who had 4 sons and a housekeeper who also had 4 children. They all moved in together and moved around Northland for the next few years. They finally settled in Titoki, west of Whangarei where Tania and her siblings attended Mangakahia Area School. However, in 1977, the family once again moved. By 1980, Tania had lived in 12 different houses and gone to 7 different schools.

Moving around made Tania's childhood unsettled and unhappy, so during her 5th form year in 1981, she travelled down to North Canterbury to live with her father. Unfortunately, this still did not work out and Tania did not want to go back to her mother, so she contacted Social Welfare who arranged for her to stay in Hawarden in a foster family.

Education Tania attended Whangarei Girls High School from 1979-1981 and Hawarden Area School (now Huranui College) from 1981-1982. In 1985, Tania began studying at Massey University in Palmerston North. Three years later, she went to Auckland Teacher's College and the following year began teaching English.[3] In 2015, she graduated from the University of Otago with a second B.A. This time in Māori Studies.

Marriage and children[edit]

In December 1989, Tania married Phillip Roxborogh. Her daughter Mackenna was born three years later in 1992 and Brianna, four years after that, in 1996.[1]


  • In 2002, Tania Roxborogh sat the Bursary English exam after a challenge from her Year 13 class as she hadn't taken it herself before and was taking her students through it.
  • In 2003, she underwent a gastric bypass operation after struggling with a serious weight problem as a result of her pregnancies.[4]
  • In 2006, she was awarded the Dunedin College of Education's Children's Writer in Residence which led to the family relocating from Auckland to Dunedin.
  • In 2010, her novel, Banquo's Son was shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards, awarded a notable book from Storylines: the Children's Literature Foundation of New Zealand as well as winning the YA section of the 2010 LIANZA awards.

Content and style of writing[edit]

Roxborogh's earlier works contain much biographical material. Many of the situations her characters find themselves dealing with are sourced from specific events in her own life. For example, the car accident Jeremy suffered in Runaway is exactly what she experienced. In Third Degree, a story about a 19-year-old university student Ruth, memories of a 10-year-old self are lifted straight from the memories of the time Roxborogh ran into her stepfather who was carrying a pot of boiling hot water. She was scalded very badly and suffered third degree burns. During her time in hospital she was not just scarred physically but was also subjected to a medical experiment.

Roxborogh's parenting books (No, it's Not Okay and Kids Behaving Bravely) reflect her observations and research associated with teaching adolescents. These two she co-authored with guidance counseller Kim Stephenson.

Philosophical and/or political views[edit]

Tania Roxborogh is a non-denominational Christian. Her brother-in-law John Roxborogh is a theologian.

Tania's motto for life is best said in Langston Hughes's poem 'Dreams': "Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly..."[2]


  • Performing with Purpose (1996)
  • Fifteen Minute Shakespeare (1997)
  • If I Could Tell You... (1997)
  • Three Funny Plays (1997)
  • Twenty Minute Shakespeare (1998)
  • Grit (1998)
  • Runaway (1998)
  • Compulsion (1999)
  • English Basics (1999)
  • Three Spooky Plays (1999)
  • More English Basics (2000)
  • Whispers (2002)
  • Limelight (2002)
  • The Essential Shakespeare Series: The Merchant of Venice (2002)
  • The Ring (2002)
  • Third Degree (2005)
  • Fat Like Me (2005)
  • The Essential Shakespeare Series: Macbeth
  • The Essential Shakespeare Series: The Tempest
  • No, It's Not Okay: How To Stop the Cycle of Bullying (2007)
  • Kids Behaving Bravely: Raising a Resilient Child (2008)
  • Space Gum (2008)
  • Banquo's Son (2009)
  • Bloodlines (2010)
  • Birthright (2013)


  1. ^ a b "Three funny plays by Tania Roxborogh Space Gum". New House Publishers website. Archived from the original on 6 June 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Roxborogh, Tania. "What makes a writer, Tania?" (MS-Word). Roxborogh website. 
  3. ^ "New Zealand Writers, Roxborogh, Tania". New Zealand Book Council website. 
  4. ^ "Fat like me". Penguin Books New Zealand. 2004. 

External links[edit]