Karen Stade


Following a journalism career in Nelson I elected to focus on what I loved writing about – history. Several books written to mark school anniversaries followed, along with a commission to research and write history stories for The Prow http://www.theprow.org.nz/.

Meet You At The Church Steps, an illustrated history of a city landmark, followed.

A Nelson Provincial Museum commission led to a book and exhibition about Appo Hocton, New Zealand’s first naturalised Chinese immigrant. I then curated an exhibition about New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Keith Holyoake and a series of World War I centennial exhibitions, with particular focus on the home front.

A five year project with fellow writer Karen Price to document the story of Nelson’s Italian community resulted in the publication of Pasta, Prayer & Promise, which was highly commended in the J.M. Sherrard Award (Recognising Excellence in New Zealand Local and Regional History).

I accept genealogical commissions and write family histories, including Driven by the Wind, the story of a Victorian sea captain, Henry Rose.

In 2017 I received a Queen’s Service Medal for services to historical research and the community. I am a former president of the Nelson Historical Society and the current editor of the society’s annual Journal.


  • Driven by the Wind

Published by River Press – 2019
ISBN: 9780994123459

  • Daring To Be Different

Published by Nayland College – 2016

ISBN: 978047334118

  • Pasta Prayer & Promise

Written with Karen Price

Published by Karen Price & Karen Stade – 2015

ISBN: 9780473302146

  • Meet You At The Church Steps

Published by Karen Stade – 2013

ISBN: 9780473254100

  • Appo Hocton

Published by Nelson Provincial Museum – 2010 

ISBN: 9780473161989

  • The School by the Sands

Published by Tahunanui School – 2008

ISBN: 9781877333040



  • Exhibition preparation
  • Heritage trail preparation
  • Indexing
  • Oral history
  • Research
  • Writing


  • Education
  • Family
  • Genealogy
  • Heritage
  • Immigration
  • Local
  • Regional