Kathleen Gallagher (New Zealand writer)

Kathleen Gallagher (born 1957) is a playwright, filmmaker, poet, and novelist from New Zealand.[1][2][3][4]


Gallagher was born in Christchurch, New Zealand.[1] She started writing at age 18[1] after learning how few female playwrights there were,[2], and was writing plays for theatre by 1984.[5] Gallagher has written and produced at least 15 plays,[2][1] working with the Blue Ladder Theatre Group and the Women's Action Theatre[1] Her plays have been performed both on stage and on radio, in New Zealand and in Australia.[1][3] She also wrote poetry at the same time and has published three collections.[1] Another New Zealand poet, Dame Fiona Kidman, described her work saying "the presentation of these poem is exquisite, the work itself is interesting and image laden, often delicate in style."[1]

Gallagher is an advocate for peace, and has directed multiple documentaries on the environment, spirituality, and the peace movement.[2] These include the documentary Peaceful Pacific, and the documentary Tau Te Mauri – Breath of Peace, which describes New Zealand's peace movement towards becoming nuclear-free.[1] The film Seven Rivers Walking – Haere Mārire, which she co-directed with Galyene Barns, premiered at the 2017 NZ International Film Festival.[6]

Gallagher has an ATCL in drama from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, a BA in history and religious studies from the University of Canterbury, and a Postgraduate Diploma in accounting from Victoria University of Wellington.[1] She has worked as an accountant and has lectured accounting and taxation at the University of Auckland and Nelson Polytechnic.[1]


New Zealand Playwrights Award 1993 – winner[5][3]

New Zealand Radio Awards 1996 – finalist for Charlie Bloom[1][5][3]

New Zealand Media Peace Awards 1996 – finalist for Charlie Bloom[1][5][3]

Sonja Davies Peace Award 2004 – winner for Tau Te Mauri – Breath of Peace[1][7]

World Peace Film and Music Festival – commended for He Oranga, He Oranga[1]


Film and television

Jimmy Sullivan (2000) as director and writer[2]

Tau Te Mauri – Breath of Peace (2004) as director and writer[2]

Peaceful Pacific (2004) as director[2]

He Oranga, He Oranga (2007) as director, writer and producer[2]

Barefoot Peacemakers (2008) as producer[2]

Earth Whisperers Papatuanuku (2009) as director, writer and producer[2]

Water Whisperers Tangaroa (2010) as director, writer and producer[2]

Sky Whisperers Ranganui (2011) as director, writer and producer[2]

Nancy Wake: The White Mouse (2014) as executive producer[2]

Hautu (2016) as director[2]

Seven Rivers Walking – Haere Mārire (2017) as co-director[6]

Poetry collections

Tara (1987)[1][3]

Gypsy (1993)[1][3]

Twilight Burns the Sky (2001)[1][3]

Plays and play collections

Mothertongue (1999), a collection of four plays: Mothertongue and Jacaranda (both written with Kate Winstanley), and Offspring and Banshee Reel (both written with Gen Rippingale)[8]

Peace Plays (2002), a collection of three plays: Charlie Bloom, Hautu, and Shanty and the Angel.[9] Charlie Bloom was first performed in 1996.[1]

Earthquakes & Butterflies (2018)[10], an adaptation of her 2015 novel


Earthquakes & Butterflies – Otautahi Christchurch (2015)[1][10]

Īnangahua Gold (2018), with drawings by Michael Coughlan[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Gallagher, Kathleen". www.read-nz.org. January 2017. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Kathleen Gallagher". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kathleen Gallagher". New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) – Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  4. ^ "Seven Rivers Walking". RNZ. 2017-08-29. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  5. ^ a b c d Joyce, Janet (June 2007). "A breath of peace: an interview with Kathleen Gallagher" (PDF). Chrysalis Seed Arts. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  6. ^ a b "Seven Rivers Walking – Haere Mārire | Film | NZ On Screen". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 2019-09-09.
  7. ^ Screen, NZ On. "Kathleen Gallagher | NZ On Screen". www.nzonscreen.com. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  8. ^ Gallagher, Kathleen; Winstanley, Kate; Rippingale, Gen (1999). Mothertongue : four plays of Women's Action Theatre. Publishing Giant Press. ISBN 0958358265.
  9. ^ Gallagher, Kathleen (2002). Peace Plays. Doygal Press. ISBN 0473088088.
  10. ^ a b Fletcher, Jack (21 Feb 2018). "Creative Conversations: Earthquake play a chance to process and talk about Christchurch's loss". Stuff. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  11. ^ Gallagher, Kathleen (2018). Īnangahua Gold. KingFisher Publishing. ISBN 9780473459451.

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