Marion Day


Meet Marion Day

Marion was born in the small town of Whakātane to Dutch immigrants. In 1944, her seventeen-year-old father was captured by the German SS. He was marched to a cattle wagon and later transferred to a train that would take him to the Hermann-Göring-Werke Salzgitter-Wattenstedt - an iron ore and armoury factory. He was assigned to Camp Barrack 46 and lived and worked in deplorable conditions. He would return to his village nearly two years later. Marion’s mother grew up on a farm in the south of Holland that was taken over by the Germans. At the end of World War II, with their country in ruins and with the help of the Dutch Government, her father was relocated to New Zealand. Her mother followed.

Marion’s parents moved her to Ōpōtiki when she was three years old. They became successful dairy farmers, and her father would later become one of New Zealand’s first kiwifruit growers, often referred to as ‘Ōpōtiki’s grandfather of kiwifruit’.

Ōpōtiki had a small population, predominately Māori. Entrenched in both European and Māori culture, this is where Marion made lifelong memories and friendships. She married Kevin Day (Whakatōhea) at seventeen and had two sons. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last, and she eventually spent sixteen years with Wellwyn (Joe) Harris Collins (Ngāti Kahungunu). Joe was one of the first Māori aerial venison recovery pilots, and they had a son. Joe died in a helicopter accident in 1996.

Marion became New Zealand’s second female microlight pilot, and her NZ Open Herb Garden (Meadow Magic) was featured on The Maggie Barry Gardening Show on national television. As part of this, she became interested in Māori medicinal medicine.

On a request in 2010 from The Halcyon Press, a New Zealand publisher, she wrote the successful book Injun Joe - The Legend of Smoking Joe Collins. After a reprint six weeks after its release and a further reprint that soon sold out, this book is now highly sought after, occasionally appearing on trade markets for anywhere from $60 to $180 a copy. Marion redesigned the book as a limited-edition collectable in 2021, and all 350 copies were pre-sold at $145.

After fifty years in Ōpōtiki, Marion and her partner Steve Podjursky made the move to the Marlborough Sounds. Steve, also a helicopter pilot, went from aerial venison recovery to captaining one of the biggest helicopters in the world—the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane—logging in Sarawak and then firefighting in Greece and Australia.

Marion has continued to write in a variety of genres after Injun Joe. She enjoys Māori lore and traditions, has a strong connection to nature (especially birds), hunting and anything adventurous and outdoorsy! She loves to write picture books for Kiwi kids.

Her Bio:

Marion Day has won adult and children’s writing contests, and she was a finalist in the Storylines Joy Cowley Text Awards. She has had stories published in both children’s and adult anthologies, including an international collection published by Exisle Press. Her biographies have made the NZ Best-Seller Lists.

Some of her nature series picture books have been recommended for The Better Start Literacy Approach for primary schools, and one of her pre-teen stories is in the ESA’s New Zealand textbook for secondary school pupils, Level 1 Literacy Learning Workbook. She has also had picture books accepted for Scholastic Book Fairs and her picture books have appeared on Country Calendar. Marion’s prose was accepted for publication in Penguin/Random House’s Bird Words, and her story Belladonna was published in Flash Frontier, an adventure in short fiction.

Marion has been named to the Page and Blackmore National Short Story Competition shortlist. Liberated was chosen for Poem in the Window, and she also took first place in the Page and Blackmore Poetry Competition. Marion was highly commended in the Enterprising Rural Women New Zealand Awards for her children’s books. She has also been enrolled as a Branch Member of Honour at the RWNZ National Office for her services in writing, and she won the National Rural Women’s/Ministry of Primary Industry short story and photo competition, which required her to accept her award in Parliament.

Check out her books in more detail here »

Contact me

Marion Day
801 Manaroa Road, Clova Bay
Picton 7282
P: (64) 03 579 8448

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Latest News:


Marion won the Rural Women's New Zealand National Short Story Competition - Present category. Her story will appear in the 2025 RWZZ Centennial Book, available in bookshops when published. Wellington City Libraries has chosen Pakupaku Pīwakawaka to have its pages transformed into billboards for a nature trail in one of Wellington's central parks. WCL works with the city's Parks, Sports, and Recreation staff on a project called Te Ara Pukapuka (Book Pathways). The billboards will be placed throughout nature trails and reserve pathways in Wellington for tamariki and their whānau to discover while exploring the region.

See news from 2023

See news from 2022

See news from 2021

See news from 2020

See news from 2019

Marion is a member of:

  • New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA)
  • Storylines
  • Rural Women New Zealand
  • NZSA Top of the South
  • Writers of Marlborough
  • Writers in Schools Programme