Charlotte Yates Profile

Nick Bollinger
20 Jul 2017

In a professional musical career of nearly three decades, Charlotte Yates has worn a number of hats, both literally and figuratively. She was part of the comic-musical trio When The Cat’s Been Spayed, with their fruit-festooned headgear and high-camp renditions of Kiwiana classics such as ‘Taumarunui On the Main Trunk Line’.

She conceived and directed the large-scale recording and stage projects Baxter, Tuwhare and Ihimaera, based around the works of three of this country’s major literary figures. She has managed festivals and worked in different roles as an arts professional. 

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Charlotte Yates in Putty In her Hands, Victoria University of Wellington, late 1980s
Charlotte Yates, 2016
Singer-songwriter Mahinaarangi Tocker with Charlotte Yates in the early 2000s
Photo credit: Annelies van der Poel
The Desire & The Contempt album, Charlotte Yates, 1997
CHarlotte Yates - The Ruins of Love
Then the Stars Start Singing, Charlotte Yates's 2017 album
Charlotte Yates: a promo photo for the Dead Fish Beach album, 2001
Photo credit: Annelies van der Poel
Dead Fish Beach by Charlotte Yates, 2001
The James K Baxter compilation produced by Charlotte Yates, 2000
The tribute compilation album to Hone Tuwhare, produced by Charlotte Yates, 2007
Charlotte Yates - Given Up
Charlotte Sometimes flyer, designed by Phil Kelly, 1991
Curtain call at the concert marking the 10th anniversary of the Tuwhare album, December 2016.
Photo credit: Brady Dyer
The tribute compilation album to Witi Ihimaera produced by Charlotte Yates, 2011
Charlotte Yates, 2016
Charlotte Yates - Falling Down
Charlotte Yates
Charlotte Yates, Charlotte Sometimes, early 1990
Photo credit: Polly Walker

Charlotte Yates wrote bimonthly for NZ Musician from 1999 to 2001, then ran songwriting workshops for NZ Music Commission ad hoc from 2003 to 2013, and runs a songwriting coaching service/resource at