THE MICHAEL KING WRITERS' CENTRE TRUST
Geoff Chapple was the first resident at the centre when it opened in 2005. His play Hatch, written at the house, was a major success at the AK07 Arts Festival and has toured New Zealand since.
A noted journalist, Chapple has written six books of non-fiction, including 1981: The Tour and Rewi Alley of China. Alley was also the subject of his 1998 opera libretto, performed at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts (with music by Jack Body). He has written radio drama and co-wrote the screenplay of Vincent Ward's acclaimed film The Navigator.
Chapple initiated the idea of a New Zealand-long tramping track – Te Araroa. He left his position as deputy editor of The Listener to begin work for Te Araroa Trust, which is now putting the trail in place. Geoff was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to tramping, tourism and literature in the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List.
The centre aims to promote all aspects of New Zealand's literature, including fiction and non-fiction, and to recognise Michael King's stature as a writer, historian, biographer and someone who helped New Zealand understand its cultural roots.