Naomi Arnold is an award-winning journalist who freelances from Nelson, New Zealand. 

She has been writing professionally for nine years, producing features, news, reviews, travel yarns, essays, and columns. Five of those years were at the Nelson Mail as a news reporter, feature writer, blogger, social media editor, and columnist, and she continues to contribute there. 

She has a first-class honours degree in English from the University of Otago and a post-graduate diploma in journalism from the University of Canterbury, and was top of her class in both qualifications. 

She writes about everything, but particularly loves stories about science, the environment, travel, and outdoor adventure. She spent three months reporting on science from Antarctica, a month covering the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and in 2013 travelled the United States for six weeks, investigating the digital delivery of longform feature writing as part of the University of Canterbury's Robert Bell Scholarship. From that came Featured, a growing collection of New Zealand's best non-fiction. (Hear more about Featured in this October 2015 interview with Radio New Zealand.)

She travels for work and is available for a wide range of writing including copywriting and editing. She also has experience in photography, radio, and filmmaking, and has been a media panellist at the Nelson Arts Festival as well as a mentor for student writers (main advice: Read). 

Connect with her on LinkedInTwitter, or Instagram, and see more of her work on Facebook, Flickr, or Contently.


Published in

Newspapers, radio, digital


Radio New Zealand

The Dominion Post

The Nelson Mail

The New Zealand Herald

The Press

The Southland Times

The Sunday Star-Times

The Sydney Morning Herald

The Wireless



Magazines and journals




Heritage New Zealand


North & South

Sky Sport


The Listener

Your Weekend

Overland (Australia)

Ten Spurs (US)

The Magazine (US)



A History of the Nelson Hospice (author - in production)

Tell You What: Great New Zealand Non-fiction 2016, Auckland University Press, Nov 2015 (feature story)

World of WearableArt: 30 Designers Tell Their Stories, Potton & Burton, Sept 2015 (author)

Tell You What: Great New Zealand Non-fiction 2015, Auckland University Press, Nov 2014 (essay)




2015 Canon Media Awards Regional/Community Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year

2014 Canon Media Awards Regional/Community Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year (Finalist)

2013 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Essay Prize

2013 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Reported Narrative (Finalist)

2013 University of Canterbury Robert Bell Travelling Scholarship in Journalism

2008 University of Canterbury D.W. Bain Prize; Robert Bell Scholarship; International Polar Year Antarctic Media Scholarship.

2003 University of Otago James Clark Prize; Helen Brosnan Memorial Prize; Lawrence Jones Prize for New Zealand and Post-Colonial Literature.