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Robert Philip Temple (born 1939 in Yorkshire, England) is a Dunedin-based New Zealand author of novels, children's stories, and non-fiction. His work is characterised by a strong association with the outdoors and New Zealand ecology.
His early work was non-fiction, describing mountaineering expeditions to New Guinea and New Zealand and includes Nawok! (1962) Castles in the Air: Men and Mountains in New Zealand (1969) and The World at Their Feet (1973).
Following this Temple produced a number of novels - The Explorer (1975), Stations (1979), Beak of the Moon (1981), Sam (1984), Dark of the Moon (1993), and To Each His Own (1999) - and many children's books, among which the most notable are The Legend of the Kea (1986), Kakapo, Parrot of the Night (1988), and Kotuku, Flight of the White Heron (1994).
More recently, Temple has turned to an autobiographical relation of his own mountaineering adventures (The Last True Explorer (2002)) and a history of the Wakefield clan in New Zealand (A Sort of Conscience: The Wakefields (Auckland University Press, 2002), which won the Ernest Scott History Prize in 2003, the Ian Wards Prize for Historical Writing in 2003, and the Biography category of the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He was also awarded the 2003 Creative New Zealand Berlin Writers’ Residency and the 2005 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement in non-fiction.