Our Staff

All staff of the publishing programme come directly from industry, where they honed their skills and knowledge. Most are still working for publishers alongside their teaching.

The programme also draws on the expertise of numerous specialist tutors and industry speakers. Many publishing professionals take classes through the year – whether to teach a core part of the curriculum or take a specialist lesson or simply as a visiting speaker.


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Odessa Owens

Odessa Owens has worked in publishing for fifteen years, making award-winning books for Te Papa Press until 2015, when she joined the Whitireia Publishing Programme. In 2016 she was the convening judge of the PANZ Book Design Awards, and in 2020 she was a judge of the Illustrated Non-Fiction category of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

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Marie Hodgkinson

Marie Hodgkinson is a 2012 graduate of the Diploma in Publishing (Applied). She has worked for Royal Society Te Apārangi, LexisNexis New Zealand and the New Zealand Book Council. Marie runs Paper Road Press, which publishes science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Theresa Crewdson

Theresa Crewdson completed the Diploma in Publishing in 2006 and the Editing Masterclass in 2012. She worked at South Pacific Press/Lift Education for nearly a decade and is now a freelance editor for both local and international clients.



Publishing Advisory Committee

The Publishing Programme operates under the guidance of an advisory committee, made up of representatives from industry, the community and the polytechnic, including a student representative.

The committee ensures that the programme is teaching the skills and knowledge that employers see as useful and relevant to the needs of their businesses.

Current members

Alex Collins, Chief Executive, Lift Education and South Pacific Press 

Kirsten McDougall, Publicity Manager, Victoria University Press

Chris Murray, Head of Content Management, LexisNexis NZ Limited

Pania Tahau-Hodges, Publishing Manager, Huia Publishers

Chris Tse, Editor and Communications Advisor, Office of the Auditor-General (and winner of the Best First Book Award for Poetry at the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards)

Claire Murdoch, Head of Publishing, Penguin Random House New Zealand

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