Atholl Robertson has a keen interest in tutoring and mentoring and believes that the learning process never stops – the more you know, the more you realise how much you still have to learn.

Atholl completed MA in English at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He also has a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Auckland and is a chartered engineer with more than 40 years’ industrial experience in mechanical and electrical engineering. He is a NZIBS-qualified proofreader and editor.

He has extensive experience in drafting and editing of technical documents, multidisciplinary academic publications, dissertations and theses. He has worked extensively with and mentored people for whom English is a second language.

Atholl moved from the UK to New Zealand in 1994 but has since spent much time working overseas; in Japan, the Middle East, the UK and Australia. Back in NZ, he now does contract engineering assignments, thesis and journal editing, and blog and website editing. His other interests are literature, classical music and matters celestial. He lives on Auckland’s North Shore with his wife Cathy.

NZIBS Tutor: Brian Miller

Brian Miller

Brian completed BSc at Otago University. Most of his working life has been spent in education, media, teaching, lecturing, writing, photography, publishing and selling books.

During his years in Papua New Guinea he built up an extensive photographic collection, resulting in the highly acclaimed pictorial book ‘The Highlands of Papua New Guinea’.

Brian ran ‘Tapui Children’s Books’ for over 20 years, selling books to schools and libraries throughout the South Island. He sold his bookshop and now he concentrates on writing and publishing.

After converting to Digital Photography in 2005, Brian found so many people struggling with the conversion to digital that he wrote the pocket book ‘Digital Cameras the easy way’. This book sold over 8000 in the first year and has now helped people all over New Zealand and Australia understand their digital cameras. This successful book forms the core of his Digital Photography course.

Brian lives in Dunedin alongside the Otago Harbour. With his wife, Diane, he has written a history of the Otago peninsula titled ‘Macandrew Bay’. He loves the outdoors, particularly Central Otago and the Southern Alps.

NZIBS Tutor: Chas Foxall

Chas Foxall

Chas lives in Auckland and is the creator of the photography course. He is an experienced art educator at both secondary and tertiary levels, specialising in photography, graphic design and visual art. He has studied at The Domus Institute in Milan and Savannah College of Art And Design in Atlanta and Savannah USA.

He has wide experience in photography, having worked as a freelance photojournalist in South East Asia during the 70’s. He has a particular interest in digital photography and its applications in commercial and fine art.

Having recently retired as Head of Faculty at a large high school, Chas continues to create artwork both in photography and painting. His work is held in many private collections in NZ and overseas, including the Wallace Art Collection.

Besides photography, Chas enjoys surfing and sailing, and is a keen sea kayaker.

Dick Ward, your proofreading and editing tutor, arrived from the UK in 1989 with his wife and family, looking for fresh challenges in a new land. In Britain he taught English, Social Studies and Economics to apprentices and adults studying for university. He also headed a team of specialist social workers.

In New Zealand Dick held a teaching and research post at Manawatu Polytechnic (UCOL) and ran creative writing courses. After winning a creative writing competition, he started writing a humorous newspaper column, which ran weekly for ten years. Meanwhile, he became sole journalist and sub-editor on a weekly Wanganui newspaper. Thence to editor of another community paper, Ruapehu Press. Hands-on writing and editing is his strength. Training new people is his passion.

Now Dick does assorted freelance writing work, is associate-editor of an events industry magazine, proofreader and sub-editor of an on-line tourist trade magazine. He is a lifestyle block farmer with 11 acres for sheep, dairy goats, poultry, and a friendly donkey. He is helped by his wife Wendy.

Learn from the greatest! All Blacks Legend, Ian Jones (aka ‘the Kamo Kid’) has played 105 games, including 79 test matches. He is one of the most capped All Black and the best lock New Zealand has ever had. His international career spanned 11 seasons, covering the amateur era right through to the birth of the professional game. He played in three Rugby World Cups and was a member of the team who won the Bledisloe Cup several times.

Hailing from the Whangarei suburb of Kamo at the top of the North Island, Ian has always been known as the ‘Kamo Kid’. His love for sports is second to none! In addition to playing for All Blacks in 1990s, Ian also had a three-year stint in English rugby with Gloucester and WASPS.

Since his retirement in 2004, Ian has worked as a rugby commentator and presenter for Sky TV. He is an inspiring, entertaining and articulate speaker with excellent knowledge and extensive experience. He has also written for numerous publications, including the NZ Herald and Rugby News. In the New Year Honours 2010, Ian was appointed Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), for services to rugby.

Janice Marriott is our course creator and tutor for both the Writing Stories for Children and the Poetry courses. She has published in a wide range of genres for children and adults, and won prizes for her poetry.

Janice Marriott has been awarded the 2018 Margaret Mahy Medal. She has published autobiographical life style books, novels and children’s books. Her acclaimed book ‘Thor’s Tale’ won the NZ Post Junior Children’s Best Book Award for 2007. In 1996 her children’s novel ‘CROSSROADS’ won the Aim Children’s Best Book of the Year Award.

Janice has been a Writer-in-residence twice, the first Foxton Fellow and a member of the NZ Institute of Manuscript Assessors. Besides writing stories and regular columns for magazines, plays for radio, and documentaries, Janice has written scores of informative and educational stories for children of all ages.

NZIBS Tutor: Jean Drew

Jean Drew

We are fortunate to have had Jean develop our Romance Writing Course. Jean founded the New Zealand Romance Writers Society, so she is absolutely the best person to teach others how to write romance stories. Her own romance books sell worldwide under various nom-de-plume names.

Jean will show novice romance writers how to recognise the characteristics which make the ideal hero and heroine; they are never perfect individuals. Each has some personal quirk or fault to overcome as they go seeking their love mate. You will learn techniques which convert a reasonable story into a ripping page-turner. Jean shows her students how to put a cliff-hanger or a heart-stopping-moment at the end of each chapter. Then readers have to turn the page, even if it is 2am.

Jean lives in Auckland, but originally came from England. She loved the movies while growing up and that’s probably where her love of storytelling started.

Jill has been editor of six magazines covering architecture, travel and lifestyle. These include Aorangi, AA Traveller, Third Age, Home & Building, Motorhomes, Caravans & Destinations, and the Air New Zealand inflight magazine – of which she was editor for 11 years. She has also been freelance contributor for many New Zealand and overseas publications, and written four travel books. Her book ‘At Home On The Road’ won the inaugural Whitcoulls Travel Book of the Year award.

Jill was joint founder and a past president of the New Zealand Travel Writers Association. She has travelled widely in New Zealand, Australia, South America, Europe, Great Britain, North America Africa, India, China and Indo-China. Jill tutored in travel writing and creative writing at University of Auckland Continuing Education for many years.

She is a popular guest lecturer at tertiary venues around New Zealand and she now tutors NZIBS students in Freelance Journalism and Travel Writing & Photography. Many students who have attended Jill Malcolm’s training courses have gone on to enjoy their own successes in publishing.

Joan is a professional writer, teacher, lecturer and mentor to new writers. Joan has been a travel agent and extensive world traveller. Joan has been our tutor since 1996.

Her skills cover creative writing, journalism, family history and play scripts. During 1999-2001 Joan was President of NZ Society of Authors. This required her to travel widely and represent NZSA authors in dealing with publishers etc.

Joan’s own work includes these novels: Cast Two Shadows, Voyagers, Canterbury Tales, Mother Tongue and her latest novel, Yes; a play: The Stars Go Down; instructional guides for writers: Writing Your Family History and So You Want To Write. You’ll find Joan very patient and helpful.

Writing has been a life-long passion for Joanna, with a first chapter book published in serial form in the Nelson Evening Mail when she was nine followed by high school prizes for poetry and non-fiction essays. She graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1967 with a BSc Hons (1st class) and returned to university in the early 1990s to complete a BA. She has written everything from articles for trade and interest journals, interpretation panels and brochures on historical, environmental, and cultural topics, to award-winning fiction and non-fiction books that range from social and environmental history to historical and adventure novels for children, young adults, and adults.

Mentoring and supporting other writers has always been part of her writing life, including critiques for writers during thirty years’ experience as an editor/writing tutor for the Forest Research Institute and Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, student mentoring for Hagley Writers’ Institute, and for the last five years has been a mutual critiquer of historical fiction with a small peer group of international writers.

Joanna has been short-listed six times in the Children’s Book of the Year Awards, twice winning her category. Two of her non-fiction titles for adults won New Zealand Awards in History, her historical novel Shifting Currents was short-listed in the 2021 Heritage Book awards, and Riccarton and the Deans family was a finalist in the 2016 Heritage Book Awards. Joanna was the 2009 University of Otago College of Education Children’s Writer in Residence. Her usual home is in Christchurch and she has a grown-up family of three and five grandchildren scattered around the world. When she is not writing, she spends time tramping and struggling to tame a wild garden.

NZIBS Tutor: Phil Linklater

Phil Linklater

Phil Linklater, your Life Coach Tutor has managed sales teams, was a sales and management staff trainer and is experienced in marketing, packaging, commercial property, horticulture import/export, and small business development. He was the consultant called in to implement creative and innovative management solutions when clients had problems. His business communication background includes trade negotiations with businesses in Asia and Europe.

Phil is a qualified Life Coach, master practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and is a Reiki Master. Phil works closely with individuals and small-medium business owners.

Tina Shaw is a novelist, short story and freelance writer who lives in Taupo. Her stories have been published in anthologies, literary journals and magazines. Her recent novel for adults is The Children’s Pond (Pointer Press) which was shortlisted for the 2015 Ngaio Marsh Award. In 2013 she edited the Bateman New Zealand Writer’s Handbook.

She is a winner of the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, has held the Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers’ Residency, and was Writer in Residence at the University of Waikato. She has also written junior and young adult fiction, including Into the Hinterland, and its sequel Dogs of the Hinterland as well as books for the ‘Kiwi Bites’ and ‘Mainsails’ series. Her young adult novel About Griffen’s Heart was a Storylines Notable Book in 2010. in 2018 she won the Storylines Tessa Duder Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

Tina has many years experience as a manuscript assessor. She is a mentor and assessor for the NZ Society of Authors. Her website is

With an early professional background as a secondary educator, Val Gyde has over twenty years’ experience as a senior manager in both private and public tertiary education institutions.

These roles provided her with extensive insights into, and capabilities with, the production, editing and publication of commercial education resources in a range of written and electronic formats; completion of research, preparation of curriculum documents, NZQA submissions and applications; and copywriting for a broad range of business documentation, including proposals, annual reports, prospectuses and newsletters.

As a strong advocate of lifelong learning, she holds a Master’s degree (first class honours) and a professional editing qualification (with excellence). Her areas of particular professional interest are Education (Teaching and Learning Theory, Curriculum Design, Educational Psychology, E-Learning); Business (Organisation and Management, Human Resources, Educational Management and Administration); the Arts (Visual, Music and Performance, Art History); and Design (Graphic, Digital Technologies).

Located in sunny Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, Val is now a Director of her own company, providing proofreading and copyediting services to a range of businesses.