Welcome to Penmanship Press

We set up Penmanship Press as a means of publishing the history of Todd Park whose establishment was of crucial importance to the future of Porirua. To our knowledge the closure of the plant was not being recorded in any form. This compelled us to start documenting by photography and text the demise of the motor assembly industry in New Zealand which resulted in the publication of: The University on the Hill - The History of Todd Park.

In 1987 we became involved in the social history of Porirua when we photographed 50 citizens who had contributed to the development of the city in its first 25 years. This year as the city celebrates its Golden Jubilee, we are launching our latest book: A Portrait of Porirua - The Creation of a Planned City.

A Portrait of Porirua - The Creation of a Planned City

Our story follows the coming of man, the settlement of the district, the Porirua Hospital and the U.S. Marine deployment in the district up until city status was achieved in 1965. The book's story conveys Porirua's journey with text and photographs up to the city's golden jubilee celebrations in October 2015.

  • Hardcover with dust jacket
  • 280mm x 320mm
  • 351 pages
  • 649 photographs in colour and black-and-white
  • A collectors edition - signed by the authors

Click here to download order form.

The University on the Hill - The History of Todd Park

The story follows the Todd Family from their early years in the Otago goldfields, into the wool processing stock and station agencies and the development of nationwide enterprises in motor vehicle assembly, petrol retailing and oil exploration.

  • Hardcover with dust jacket
  • 280mm x 290mm
  • 498 photographs in colour and black-and-white
  • A collectors edition - signed by the author

Click here to download order form.

About the Authors

Neil and June Penman settled in Titahi Bay as a newly married couple 60 years ago when Porirua was but a small village beside the meandering stream. During that time they have seen the town grow from its early beginnings and evolve into the splendid city it has become today.

June has always supported Neil in all his activities, from 35 years spent together conducting their woodworking business in Mana Avenue, Titahi Bay to her role as a coauthor of their latest book over the last seven years. Without a doubt her encouragement and assistance enabled this publication to come to fruition. They have a family of three daughters, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

June has held many voluntary treasurers positions over the years and is still involved with 'Friends of Pataka', 'Porirua Historical Association' together with annual reviews of seven other local organisations.

In 1987 Neil was awarded the Photographic Society of New Zealand's gold medal in Photojournalism. In the same year he was presented with the Gold Medal for Open Prints. Later in 1989 his portrait of 'Ramari Wineera and Her Extended Family' was the overall winner - from 30,000 entries from throughout New Zealand - of the inaugural Agfa-Listener Award.

Recently in 2012 Neil and June received 'The City of Porirua Voluntary Community Service Award' in recognition of their contribution to cultural activities.

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