Bee Dawson


I am a freelance author, specialising in social, local, family farming and garden histories. My 20 books include the recently published Otari, two hundred years of Otari-Wilton’s Bush (The Cuba Press, 2022), Lady Painters, the Flower Painters of Early New Zealand (Penguin, 1999), A History of Gardening in New Zealand (Random House, 2010), Mighty Moves, Heavy Haulage and House Moving in New Zealand (Random House 2012), six books for the RNZAF, including Laucala Bay, the Story of the RNZAF in Fiji (Random House 2017) and several rural/family histories including Puketiti Station (Random House 2013) and The Plimmer Legacy (Random House 2019).
I have written many articles, largely for NZ Gardener, but also for the Listener and House and Garden.
My website is:


  • Oral history
  • Photographic research
  • Research
  • Writing


  • Biography
  • Defence/military
  • Family
  • Gardens
  • Local
  • Women