Patricia Howitt @ Freelence Creative


Thank you for visiting this site.

I am a South Pacific artist, illustrator and writer - lawyer by trade. Forbidden to do art as a career, I exhibited and sold artworks in my free time from a busy, office-bound job as a government lawyer. My creativity was fuelled by forays to the NZ wilderness to keep sane.

Creative Writing

My offline job specifications always included an unwritten requirement to be able to write well.
I was fortunate that in my first career job, which involved all legal work for a major government department, I had as my drafting mentor probably the greatest Law Draftsman this country has ever seen - Denzel Ward.

Don't let anyone tell you that legal drafting has to be cryptic and hard to read. Denzel drafted the most lucid, clear and elegant prose ever to grace the New Zealand law books. My first employer, the NZ Customs Service, was responsible for many acts and regulations every year, and it was one of my tasks to take the department's instructions and prepare the first draft of the required legislation for the Law Draftsman to work on before the laws were introduced to Parliament. Needless to say, these drafting sessions with the head of the Law Drafting Office formed the basis for me of many years of writing to come. It was a function I carried with me into my next employment with the Ministry of Transport, being responsible for law drafting for the Marine and Aviation divisions.

Later as a solicitor with the Accident Compensation Corporation working with medico-legal issues, I was for a short time only (thank goodness) assigned to writing Ministerial replies to complaints from members of the public about the handling of their cases. In the longer term, I was one of a few Review Officers who were given judicial powers to hear complaints formally - and this involved the preparation of written decisions traversing the facts and the law. These often ran into several pages, and had to withstand the scrutiny of a High Court Judge on appeal, and maybe even the NZ Court of Appeal. Things have changed - and not for the better - since those days.


I wrote my first book while I was still at school, and of course numerous assignments for my Arts degree, before I even started on the law. As part of my career work though, I co-authored two official publications:

  • 'Trends in Law Related to Conservation and Preservation of Natural Resources' New Zealand Journal of Ecology, Vol 2: 67-70. with the then Head of the Commission for the Environment (1979);
  • 'Destructive Recreational Uses of Forests: Discussion of the Off-Road Vehicle Problem' NZ Forestry Council Bulletin Number 4, published March 1980.

From 1980 to 1982 as CEO of the NZ Deerstalkers Association, I prepared a number of papers on the Association's behalf including:

  • Petition to Parliament on the Hunting of Wapiti (elk) in Fiordland, and associated Submission to Parliamentary Select Committee. (1980-81)
  • 'Submission to the New Zealand Forest Service Review Committee' (1981);
  • 'Submission to the Committee of Enquiry into Crown Pastoral Leases' for the New Zealand Hunting Council (1981);
  • 'Notes of Hearings of the Committee of Enquiry into Crown Pastoral Leases in Timaru on 15-17 February (1982).

and during that time had several hunting articles published in a national newspaper based in the capital city.

My dad died in 1985 so I moved home to the country - a big change. I taught business law at Polytechnic and became secretary of a national breed society, co-authoring a financial report to its AGM in 1989 and publishing its magazine for several years.

In 1996 I was involved in a campaign to save medical services in my local small community, becoming for a short time the first secretary of the Trust set up to manage the service. Later, I was co-opted onto the Trust Board, and from November 2013 to April 2014 was its Interim CEO. The services overseen by the Trust included a health clinic employing 4 medical practitioners, short term emergency beds, nursing services and a 23 bed rest home.

Graphic Design and Illustration

In conjunction with NZDA I produced a Portfolio of Prints of Game Animals for its International Hunting Exhibition in 1978. After that more opportunities for illustration work opened up, a situation that continued after my move away from the city.

In all I illustrated 4 government publications, 5 national newspaper articles, 2 series of posters (for NZDA and MAF - 8 in total), and produced cover artworks for pre-release Boer and Zim Angora Goat Catalogs (for Landcorp) and the Northland Telephone Directory (in the days when Telecom sponsored art competitions for cover design).

Meantime the net had become my lifeline, as I freelanced in graphics and HTML website design. For 5 years from 2004 to 2009 I was sole graphics designer for an Australian web development company, until that project folded - sadly.

I have illustrated 2 books: 'Memories of New Zealand Deerstalking' ed Tony Orman ISBN 0 589 01379 (1981) and 'Taketakerau The Millennium Tree' by Marnie Anstis ISBN 978-1-877577-68-0 (2012).   'Taketakerau' is officially a children's book, but it is definitely the kind of children's book that adults will love.

My current writing projects are books for Kindle and (my pet project) a series of children's books, which I'm hoping to have ready for the market shortly.

To contact me, you are welcome to use the form on the Contact page. It delivers a message to my email box which I check regularly during the day.



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