Kene Martin was born in Waiomio and was educated at Waiomio Primary School, Kawakawa District High School and Hamilton Girls’ High School. She trained as a teacher at Ardmore Teachers’ College and graduated with a Trained Teacher’s Certificate and Tohu Matauranga. She is a school teacher and children’s book author. She writes poetry, children’s writing, waiata, short story writing and articles. Kene shared a writing prize with Henare Everitt for her story "Te Whare Hurikuaro". She has attended various writing workshops and hui including the 1983 and 1984 national hui for writers, the 1985 hui for Taitokerau writers, the Whangarei Forum North in 1985, and a workshop at Whangarei’s Terenga Paraoa-Kaka Porowini Marae in 1987. Kene is from Kawiti Marae, Waiomio, Bay of Islands, and has recently been involved teaching in Kura Kaupapa Māori.
- Correspondence from Kene Martin, 18 Feb. 1998 and 1 July 2004.
- "Ghost Tiko." School Journal 3.2 (1986): 54-57.
- The writer recalls a time in her childhood when local children kept well away from two old logs by the side of the road because they were considered tapu.
- "Catching Rorowai." School Journal 4.1 (1986): 19-21.
- Written by Kene Martin. Illus. Jeanette Woollcombe.
- "The Old Well." School Journal 2.2 (1987): 2-8. 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 Books, 1994. 34-35.
- Written by Kene Martin. Illus. Murray Grimsdale.
- "The Gathering Place." School Journal 2.3 (1992): 37-43.
- After attending Uncle Hirini’s tangi, the young narrator and his Auntie Rewa are returning home on horseback when suddenly their horse Naggy rears up and refuses to go forward. Auntie Rewa states that they are being prevented from passing by the ancestral spirits who have gathered to take the spirit of deceased Uncle Hirini back to the spirit world.
- "My First Piupiu." Junior Journal 7 (1992): 23.
- Written by Kene Martin. Illus. Sharon Murdoch. A story describing Roimata’s efforts to be allowed to wear a piupiu.
- "Te Ruki Kawiti." The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ed. W. H. Oliver. Vol. 1. 1769-1869. Wellington, N.Z.: Allen & Unwin; Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1990. 219-221.
- A biography of Ngapuhi leader Te Ruki Kawiti who was trained at Te Whare Wananga mo nga Tohunga at Taumarere and developed a reputation as a famous warrior and as a peacemaker in the early decades of the 19th century. Martin writes of Kawiti’s resistance to the imposition of British rule, his opposition to the sale of Ngāti Hine land and his reluctance to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. Martin describes the various battles between Kawiti and Hone Heke, and the British troops during the northern war of 1845-1846.
- "Hineamaru." The Book of New Zealand Women - Ko Kui Ma Te Kaupapa. Ed. Charlotte Macdonald, Merimeri Penfold and Bridget Williams. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams Books, 1991: 294-295.
- An account of Ngāti Hine tupuna Hineamaru that describes her journey from Hokianga to the Bay of Islands when her father was searching for land for his family. As the oldest child, Hineamaru took on the mana of leadership after the death of her mother and eventually discovered fertile land in the Waiomio Valley, which she claimed for her people and which has remained with Ngāti Hine ever since.
- "Kawiti, Maihi Paraone 1807-1889." The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ed. Claudia Orange. Vol. 2. 1870-1900. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams Books, Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1993. 253-255.
- Martin provides a biography of Ngāti Hine leader Maihi Paraone Kawiti.
- "Kawiti, Kirihi Te Riri Maihi." The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. New Zealand Dept. of Internal Affairs. Vol. 4. 1921-1940. Wellington, N.Z.: Auckland UP with Bridget Williams Books and the Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1998. 265-266.
- A Mako Me Tuatara. Kopeopeo, Whakatane, N.Z.: Māori Publications, 1985. Rpt. in 1991.
- Written and illus. Kene Martin. This Māori language text concerning the exploits of Tuatara and Mako has an English translation and glossary at the end of the book.
- Kei Hea A Tangaroa? Kopeopeo, Whakatane, N.Z.: Māori Publications, 1985. Rpt. in 1991.
- Written and illus. Kene Martin. This children’s book written in Māori with an English translation of the text written at the end of the book, discusses different kinds of fish.
- Tu Tangata 24 (1985): 48.
- Martin writes in response to Margaret Orbell’s article "He waiata tangi mo Maihi Paraone Kawiti" registering her protest that Kawiti’s descendants were not consulted.
- Taku Kōhanga. He Purapura. Whanganui-a-Tara [Wellington], N.Z.: Te Ropu Mahipukapukakura, Te Tari Matauranga, 1987.
- Written by Kene Martin and Illus. Dick Frizzell.
- Te Niho Kaitiaki. Kopeopeo, Whakatane, N.Z.: Māori Publications, 1983. Rpt in 1988, 1991.
- Written and illust. by Kene Martin. This Māori language text for children focuses on dental hygiene and includes an English translation at the back of the book.
- Taringa Hokeke. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Pou Taki Kōrero, 1991.
- He Taonga Tākaro. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Pou Taki Kōrero, 1992.
- Kawiti. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Pou Taki Kōrero, 2004.
- "In Memory of the Old Kawakawa Post Office." Northern News 1984. No further details.
- "Waitangi Day." Tu Tangata 23 (Apr./May 1985): 15.
- In this poem written in Māori and English, Martin writes of the large contingent of Māori heading towards Waitangi on Waitangi Day and notes that it is not a day of celebration but ‘a sad day....Why celebrate the treaty, when so much is amiss?’
- "He Kōrero Aroha Mo Erana Tarei (nee Ellen Ngakoti, Waiomio)/Lament For An Old Waiomio Friend. He Waiata Tangi Na Ngāti Hine." Tu Tangata 27 (Dec. 1985/Jan 1986): 30.
- Martin mourns the passing of her childhood friend, Erana Tarei, in Māori and English.
- "Matekino Kawiti" In ‘He Maimai Aroha.’ Mana 32 (2000): 6.