Kingi McKinnon was born in Auckland and moved to Te Awamutu in 1951. He was educated at Te Awamutu College and studied psychology at Massey University for a year. He spent three years in the armed services at Burnham and worked as a glazier. McKinnon married Leonie Rare from Ngāti Porou; they have two children. In 1996 he completed a Diploma in Freelance Journalism from the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies. McKinnon wrote short stories which were published in school journals and other publications, and were also been broadcast on the Ears programme on National Radio. He wrote two novels and won a number of writing awards including the 1991 Te Ha Te Atairangikaahu Commemorative Award for fiction writing, the Creative Todd New Writers Bursary, and Te Kaunihera Short Story Award in 1995. He was also a finalist in the 1996 Aim Book Award in the Junior Fiction category for his book White Bait Fritters. Some of his stories have been translated into Māori and published in the Nga Kōrero journals. McKinnon was part of the Book Council’s Writers in Schools programme. He was chosen as a winning contributor to a publication entitled The Six Pack. He was a member of the Te Ha "On the Bus" tour that travelled through the Taupo/Waiariki region in February 2004. The Kingi McKinnon Scholarship for Emerging Writers was established to honour Kingi McKinnon who died in September 2006.
- Phone call with Kingi McKinnon on 7 Sept. 1998.
- Te Ha questionnaire,1992.
- "Mud, Slush & Tuna." School Journal 2.3 (1991): 56-64.
- Roha tells of a miserable evening fishing for tuna with his two brothers. This story was initially published in Tu Tangata under the title "Cold feet, wet clothes and muddy paddocks."
- "Grounded." School Journal 3.1 (1994): 20-26. Rpt. in Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing for Children. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 4: Te Ara o Te Hau: The Path of the Wind. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1994. 199-201.
- When Jo’s bike is impounded by her father she discovers the benefits of fitness.
- "Hiria’s Heartache." Illus. Jenny Lautusi. School Journal 4.1 (1994): 32-36. Rpt. in Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing for Children. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 4: Te Ara o Te Hau: The Path of the Wind. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1994. 251-254.
- When the family holidays conflict with Hiria’s emerging romance with Willie Manu, Hiria is disconsolate until she meets the handsome Riki.
- "The Friday Frights." Illus. Murray Grimsdale. School Journal 4.2 (1994): 31-37.
- The narrator tells of his fear of the dark when walking home from the movies and his brother’s merciless teasing.
- "Chocolate Cake." Touchdown. New South Wales, 1994. No further details. Rpt. in Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing for Children. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 4: Te Ara o Te Hau: The Path of the Wind. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1994. 89-94.
- The adventures of three boys who are sent out to search for eggs.
- Whitebait Fritters. Auckland, N.Z.: Ashton Scholastic, 1995.
- Illus. Kelvin Hawley.
- The Friday Frights. Auckland, N.Z.: HarperCollins, 1996.
- A story illustrated by Phillip Paea in comic form about two young Māori going to movies once a month and going past the cemetery. This story was originally published in the school journal in 1994.
- When the Kehua Calls. Auckland, N.Z.: Scholastic New Zealand, 2002.
- Shortlisted for the 2003 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
- "Wiremu Goes Bobbing." Tu Tangata 32 (Oct/Nov 1986): 42-43.
- A children’s story describing Wiremu’s first experience bobbing for tuna with his father.
- "The Hangi." Tu Tangata 34 (Feb/Mar 1987): 37-39.
- A step-by-step account on the preparation and construction of a hangi.
- "The Folk of Nikau Valley." Illus. Kingi McKinnon. Tu Tangata 34 (Feb/Mar 1987): 40-43.
- "Cold Feet, Wet Clothes And Muddy Paddocks." Illus. Kingi McKinnon. Tu Tangata 36 (June/July 1987): 28-29. Rpt. as "Mud, Slush & Tuna." School Journal 2.3 (1991): 56-64.
- Roha tells of a miserable evening fishing for tuna with his two brothers.
- "Hohepa’s Goodbye." Huia Short Stories1995. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 1995. 115-121.
- "The Witch." The Body in the Drive Way. Comp. by Penny Scown. Auckland, N.Z.: Ashton, 1996.107-123.
- McKinnon states that this story is ‘about two boys hiding in the hills and spying on an old kuia who looks scary.’
- Tales from the Swamp. Auckland, N.Z.: Scholastic New Zealand, 2006.
- "The One That Got Away." Out of the Deep: And Other Stories from New Zealand and the Pacific. Ed. Tessa Duder and Lorraine Orman. Illus. Bruce Potter. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 2007. No further details.
- "Maiki." Get On The Waka: Best Recent Māori Fiction. Ed. with intro. By Witi Ihimaera. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed Books, 2007. 107-122.
- "Hemi and Jack." Pu Kaea: Te Reo Panui O Te Waka Mataatua 1 (Oct. 1992): 28.
- McKinnon wrote this monthly series for six or seven months.
- "Aiming High." Quote Unquote 34 (Apr. 1996): 18-21.
- Profiles of the 1996 Aim Children’s Book Awards nominees.
- Collins, Liz. "Award to Ngongotaha Writer." Daily Post 4 Nov. 1999: 2.
- Sharp, Iain. "Ghost Writer." Sunday Start Times 6 Apr. 2003. Sup. 33.
- Brown, Alison. "Kingi’s Kingdom." Daily Post 8 Mar. 2003: B6.
- Walker, Hohepa and Abigail Caspari. "Posthumous Literary Prize for Rotorua Author." Daily Post 18 Sept. 2006: 1.
- Findlay, Katherine. "Out of the Deep." Mana: The Māori News Magazine For All New Zealanders 75 (Apr./May 2007): 82.
- Thomson, Margie. "Kingi McKinnon: When the Kehua Calls." http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=1391889 7 Oct. 2010.
- Taku Hoa. Kōrero Mere Williams. Illus. Kingi McKinnon. Whakatane, N.Z.: Māori Publications, .