Antoinette Shona Jones

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Wai

1957 -

Shona Jones was born in Hastings and educated at Frimley Primary School, Heretaunga Intermediate and Hastings Girls’ High School. She continued her studies at the University of Canterbury, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 1980. She then began work for Bramwell Grossman and Partners, a small provincial law firm in Hastings, assisting the senior partner. She then moved to the then Department of Māori Affairs where she was District Solicitor from 1984 to 1987.

From 1988 to 1994, she practiced law in Porirua, working predominantly in the Youth Court and District Court. She used this community experience at a policy level when she was employed by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, spending some time seconded to the then Minister’s office (Hon. J. Shipley) in Parliament when legislation with a particular effect on Māori women and families was being reviewed. When the term of this work ended, Shona spent some time assisting in the review of health services for tamariki and whanau Māori with the Health Funding Authority. Since 2002, she has managed several projects in the health and social services sector in Hawke’s Bay with a special emphasis on developing and implementing services aimed at improving educational, health and social outcomes for young Māori.

Shona writes fiction and non-fiction. She graduated from Bill Manhire’s short story writing course at Victoria University in 1997 and has attended many creative writing workshops over the years including those led by Patricia Grace, Fiona Kidman, Chris Else and Lauris Edmond at Whitireia Polytechnic, Porirua. The focus of these workshops was the short story genre.

During 2000-2001 while living in Melbourne, Shona enrolled in the Certificate of Professional Writing at Melbourne’s Council of Adult Education, with particular interest in the novel writing workshop led by Janey Runci, a respected writing teacher with international writing credits. Janey challenged and supported Shona to extend her writing skills to other forms.

Shona was a finalist in the Huia Short Story Awards in 1995, and was short listed in the Hawke’s Bay Today Short Story Competition, 2003. In 2003, she was also the winner of the Huia Short Story Award for the best short story in English by a Māori writer. Shona has written many in-house technical manuals, corporate reports, ministerial briefing papers and speeches, as well as managing the production of publications in the government sector.

Biographical sources

  • Correspondence from Shona Jones, 30 Nov. and 7 Dec. 2004.
  • Huia Short Stories 5: Contemporary Måori Fiction. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2003. 255.


  • "The Singing." Huia Short Stories 1995. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 1995. 111-113.
  • "Gauguin’s Flowers." Huia Short Stories 5. Contemporary Māori Fiction. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2003. 129-135.
  • "A Fair Bit of Parley." Huia Short Stories 6: Contemporary Māori Fiction. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2005. 81-94.