The Paekakariki Arts Walk was opened on Sunday 30 August 2015.

Michael O’Leary appeared at the opening and blessing for the project. Michael, a significant local artist, is included in the walkway with his poem ‘Track Gang & Shunters at Paekakariki’ .


Michael’s poem included in the Paekakariki Arts Walk

Here’s a link to the website about the project:


Micheal O’Leary speaking at the opening of the Paekakariki Arts Walk, 30 August 2015


Michael O’Leary’s collected railway poems Main Trunk Lines has been released through HeadworX Publishers in Wellington. Copies of the new paperback edition can be ordered direct from HeadworX, email: See information and details on the book below:

New Book Information from HeadworX

Title: Main Trunk Lines: Collected Railway Poems
Author: Michael O’Leary
Editor: Mark Pirie
Release: September 2015
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-473-32917-4
Extent:  80 pages
Category: NZ Fiction
Format: paperback
Publisher: HeadworX

About the Book

Michael O’Leary’s new book is the first to collect his entire oeuvre of New Zealand railway poems.

Spanning over 30 years of his writing, it runs the length of the railway in Aotearoa and depicts many of the country’s railway stations and towns.

The central poem of the book is O’Leary’s sequence Station to Station, a cognac dedicated to the rock artist David Bowie.

Mark Pirie writes in the foreword: “Michael’s poems take the reader on their own rail journey, stopping from station to station and recording the life and times of the people and places around them. But the train can also be a metaphor for life, the great journey we are all part of which encompasses both love and death. There’s no stopping for long with Michael, as the next train arrives and the next journey awaits.”

O’Leary’s well-known love of all things rail led him to become a trustee for the Paekakariki Station Museum after he settled on the Kapiti Coast in the 1990s. He currently operates Kakariki Bookshop next to the Paekakariki Station Museum.

‘I don’t know of any living New Zealand writer who is a bigger railway enthusiast.’ – Iain Sharp, Sunday Star-Times

About the Editor

Mark Pirie is a New Zealand poet, editor, writer and publisher. Website:


Cover photo by W W Stewart, A P Godber collection, Turnbull Library