Louise and Gareth Ward, owners of Wardini Books

3:01 PM, 29 January 2024


Wardini Books has been a going concern in Havelock North for nearly eleven years and in Napier for nearly six

years. We took over the Havvers’ site (affectionately known as The Mother Ship) from Hawke’s Bay’s legendary Janeff Books, knocked down many walls and created the magical, book dust and adventure smelling haven that it is now is.

Between us, Gareth and I have had several interesting jobs and experiences and the shop’s environments reflect this: military, police, magician, musician, ultra-runner, writers – it’s all wrapped in the vibe of the place.


Our booksellers are magical, beautiful people who have made the shops what they are. They’re absolutely potty about books and reading and stories and connect with our community on so many levels. They run book clubs for children, young adults, grown-ups, Sci-Fi/Fantasy nerds and cook book enthusiasts and write reviews that you’ll find dotted on the books on yellow card.

Gareth’s books (The Traitor and the Thief, Brasswitch and Bot, and Tarquin the Honestseries) are at the heart of the place and we have a cosy crime novel that we’ve co-written coming out this winter. Adele Broadbent, a bookseller in our Napier shop, is the author of award winning novels for children and young adults and has another fabulous story on the brain boil.

Current favourites are Bird Life by Anna Smaill, a mesmeric examination of grief and individual realities, and the forthcoming The Grimmelings by Rachael King which is about to take the world of children’s storytelling by storm. We are also obsessed with Trent Dalton – the man can do no wrong. And Jack Heath and Catherine Chidgey and D.V. Bishop and John Boyne and Katherine Rundell and…well, you know how it is.

—Louise Ward, owner of Wardini Books