UPDATED: Stuff has an excellent obituary to Margaret Mahy; it begins thus:
Margaret Mahy was one of the New Zealand's most prolific and best-loved children’s writers.
She wrote more than 100 picture books, 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories.
‘‘I don't think I prefer writing for one age group above another. I am just as pleased with a story which I feel works well for very small children as I do with a story for young adults,’’ she once said.
Her writing concentrated for the most part on human relationships and growing up, often delving into the supernatural.
The eldest of five children, she was raised in Whakatane.
Her first published story was called Harry Is Bad, written when she was just 7.
She studied for a Bachelor of Arts at Auckland University College and then Canterbury University College, graduating in 1955.
She then trained as a librarian.
Her first book, A Lion in the Meadow, was published in 1969. It and two later books, The Seven Chinese Brothers and The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate, are considered by many to be national treasures.
She became a fulltime writer in 1980 and her books have been translated into numerous languages.
She won numerous awards and honours, many of them international ones.
They include the Hans Christian Andersen Award, for her lasting contribution to children's literature, which was a career highlight.
‘‘I felt absolutely thrilled. It somehow seems impossible to think of winning it,’’ she told TVNZ.
She also won the Carnegie Medal in Literature from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject, twice - for The Haunting (1982) and for The Changeover (1984).
She was made a Doctor of Letters by the University of Canterbury and in 1985 she set up the Margaret Mahy Fees Scholarship at the university.
Mahy was made a member of the Order of New Zealand - the highest of the country’s honours and open to only 20 living people at one time - in 1993.
Margaret Mahy, one of New Zealand's foremost authors has died; the Herald reports:
Children's book author Margaret Mahy, one of New Zealand's most acclaimed literary figures, died today.Mahy, 76, died in Christchurch this afternoon after a brief illness, according to reports."...One of New Zealand's greatest-ever writers - I put her up there with Katherine Mansfield," wrote book blogger Graham Beattie in an online tribute to her.Ms Mahy, who wrote her first story when she was 7, has won numerous awards and honours for her contribution to New Zealand and children's literature.She has written more than 120 books which have been translated into 15 languages. She has also won many of the world's premier children's book awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award.Her book A Lion in the Meadow, published in 1969, launched her global career and she became a full time writer in 1980.