Alison Ballance

Wanaka Time
BOOK 1: 5.00pm to 6.00pm, Sunday 25 JUNE
Wanaka Session
Book 1

Alison Ballance is a zoologist, writer and broadcaster. In 2017 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to natural history, film-making and broadcasting. She spent nearly 13 years presenting and producing RNZ’s science and environment programme Our Changing World. Before that she spent 18 years directing and producing wildlife documentaries for NHNZ and international broadcasters. Alison has written 30 books. The first edition of Kākāpō – rescued from the brink of extinction drew on her long association with the Kākāpō Recovery Programme and won the 2011 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize. It was revised and republished in 2018. Hoki – the story of a kākāpō and New Zealand’s Great White Sharks – how science is revealing their secrets were both non-fiction finalists in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and Southern Alps – history and natural history of New Zealand’s mountain world was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards.

At this year’s NZMFF, Alison will be launching her new book Takahē: Bird of Dreams, charting the history of the Takahē Recovery Programme, Aotearoa’s longest-running species conservation effort. This year, the programme celebrates its 75th anniversary and hopefully, a milestone event – takahē numbers exceeding 500. Despite setbacks, mixed success and often slow progress, there have been significant wins, including a gold standard captive breeding programme at Burwood Takahē Centre.