About Us

The Waiheke Literary Festival began as the Waiheke Book Festival in 2007 and takes place in spring each year on Auckland’s Waiheke Island, a popular tourist destination and home to a vibrant creative community.

The annual festival brings together local and internationally respected authors, critics, artists, journalists and film in an inspiring event which takes place in several of Waiheke’s iconic venues.

The festival engages with the community through public events and installations and in 2014 hosted the Fringe Festival for the first time.


June 2016

We’d like to update you on what’s happening with the Waiheke Literary Festival this year. 

Following on from last year’s Festival, our Director Janis McArdle has decided to step down due to the pressures of expanding her own business.  We are greatly indebted to Janis for the enthusiasm and professionalism with which she carried the 2015 Festival and wish her well in her private endeavours.

The Trustees are now seeking a replacement Director and exploring how best to progress the Festival,  either in its current format or in some other guise.  

Consequently we have resolved to put the Festival on hold for 2016 and aim to re-emerge with fresh ideas for Waiheke Literary Festival 2017.

To do this we need a new Director and a team of enthusiastic people to help plan and run our next Festival. 

If you are willing to put your name forward, or can suggest others who you think are appropriate for the following tasks, please get in touch with me.

The tasks which we would like to allocate in the next few months are:

  • Director
  • Programme Committee Convenor
  • Fund-raising and Marketing Co-ordinator
  • IT Co-ordinator
  • Venue and Logistics Co-ordinator
  • Trustee

There will of course be other tasks and responsibilities once a Director has been appointed so if you have skills and experiences that would be helpful but aren’t mentioned above, please do get in touch. 

Please email me with your contact details and how you might like to help up move this exciting project forward. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Best regards,

Gordon Cuthbert

Chairman, Waiheke Book Festival Charitable Trust



Our Board


Gordon Cuthbert is a retired Consulting Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers NZ. He has lived full time on Waiheke for nearly two years having first bought a property here thirty years ago.

Though reading is not an all-consuming passion, Gordon takes books most places and snatches quiet reads between gardening, photography, property maintenance, travelling and entertaining grandchildren, often by reading to them!

Gordon has been a Rotarian for thirty years and served as president of the Rotary Club of Remuera in Rotary’s Centenary Year. As chair of the Literary Festival Trustees he has special responsibility for financial control.


Nalayini Brito is executive director of an award winning international consulting company and prior to this she held various senior corporate roles in the finance and banking industry.

A book lover and a patron of the arts, she has been a Trustee of the Waiheke Book Festival for 3 years and has had a bach in Rocky Bay for 25 years.

Nalayini has diverse interests which have resulted in the successful production of plays and charity events and these interests are complemented by her involvement in sailing, astronomical pursuits and community activities.


Steve Grbic and his wife Suzie moved to the island three years ago when he became a trustee of the Waiheke Literary Festival.

Steve is a communications consultant who has worked with organisations in the retail, food, beer, hospitality and IT industries. From the island he continues to work with clients around New Zealand, particularly in the areas of medical science and transportation.

Steve is committed to helping men improve their health through lifestyle changes and is a trustee of the Men’s Health Trust NZ. His interests include foreign cinema, tai chi and books, in particular philosophy, biographies and crime thrillers.