David McGill is a New Zealand social historian who has published 54 books. Born in Auckland, educated in the Bay of Plenty and at a Christchurch seminary, he trained as a teacher and did a BA at Victoria University of Wellington. He worked as a feature writer for The Listener, Sydney’s The Bulletin, London’s TVTimes, wrote columns for the Evening Post in Wellington and edited a local lifestyle magazine before becoming a full-time writer in 1984. His book subjects include Ghost Towns of New Zealand and the country’s first bushranger, local and national heritage buildings, Kiwi prisoners of war, the history of the NZ Customs Department, a biography of a criminal lawyer, a personal history of rock music, a rail journey around the country, historical and comic novels, several thrillers and six collections of Kiwi slang. He collects owl figurines and reads thrillers.
Books Available for Purchase. Click on a title below for more details.
(View David’s full list of published works at the bottom of this page).
A complete list of books by David McGill:
Cityscapes, Methuen, 1977
Tales of the Terrace, St Andrew’s Church, 1979.
In Praise of Older Buildings, Methuen, 1980
Ghost Towns of New Zealand, Reed, 1980 and 1997
The Other New Zealanders, Mallinson Rendel, 1982; No 1 NZ bestseller.
The Pioneers of Port Nicholson, Reed, 1984
Harbourscapes, Growl Press, 1984
The G’Day Country, Platform Publishing, 1985
My Brilliant Suburb, Platform Publishing, 1985
POW: The Untold Stories of New Zealanders as Prisoners of War, Mills, 1987
The Kid from Matata, Grantham House, 1987
A Dictionary of Kiwi Slang, Mills, 1988; No 1 NZ bestseller.
The Dinkum Kiwi Dictionary, Mills, 1989
I Had a Squashed Banana, Mills, 1989
Kiwi Babyboomers, Mills, 1989
The Lion and the Wolfhound, Grantham House, 1990
The Guardians at the Gate, Silver Owl Press, 1991
The Adventures of Horace-Thomas the Magic Horse, Silver Owl, 1991
Lower Hutt: The First Garden City, Hutt City Council, 1991
No Right to Strike, Silver Owl/NZ Police Service Organisations 1992
Whakaari, Silver Owl, 1995
Gold in the Creek, Silver Owl, 1995
McGill’s Dictionary of Kiwi Slang, Catchphrases, Characters and Kiwiosities, Silver Owl, 1995
I Almost Tackled Kel Tremain, Silver Owl, 1996
Landmarks, Godwit, 1997 and Phantom House, 2005
David McGill’s Complete Kiwi Slang Dictionary, Reed, 1998
Full Circle: The History of the St James Theatre, Phantom House, 1998
From N to Z, Reed, 1998
The Dolly Lolly Diaries, Silver Owl, 1998
David McGill’s Rude New Zealand Limericks, Grantham House, 1999
Good Old Kiwi Identities, Grantham, 2000
Island of Secrets, History of Matiu/Somes Island, Steele Roberts/Silver Owl, 2001; No 1 bestseller
Wellington — A Capital Century, Transpress, 2003
The Monstrance, Silver Owl, 2003
The Reed Book of New Zealand Quotations, Reed, 2003
In Xtremis, Silver Owl, 2004.
Stacey: The Life, Style and Trials of a Great New Zealand Criminal Lawyer, Silver Owl, 2005.
The Girning of Government House, Silver Owl, 2005.
The First New Zealand Bushranger, Silver Owl, 2006.
From My Cold, Dead Hands, Silver Owl, 2007.
The Treadmill Tapes: Confessions of a Compulsive Pop Picker, Silver Owl, 2007.
The Mock Funeral: A Novel of the Irish Riots on the Goldfields of New Zealand, Silver Owl 2008
The Communion of the Easter Bun-Rabbit: The Food Lives of a Kiwi Here and There, Silver Owl 2008
The G’Day Country Redux: A Rail Journey Back into New Zealand, Silver Owl 2009
Shaking 1960, Silver Owl 2010
A Dictionary of Noughties Kiwi Slang, Silver Owl 2011
Geyser in the Creek, Silver Owl 2011
The Compleat Cityscapes, Silver Owl 2012
The Promised Land, Silver Owl Press 2012
The Slightly Mysterious Little Drummer Boy Who Became Mayor of Auckland, Silver Owl Press 2013
Stamp in the Creek, Silver Owl Press 2014
Kingfisher, Kingfisher, Take My Luck, Silver Owl Press 2014
The Death Ray Debacle, Silver Owl Press 2015
The Plot To Kill Peter Fraser, Silver Owl Press 2016
On a Bodgie Bike, Silver Owl Press 2018
Death of an Agent, Silver Owl Press 2019