Tearaway Magazine began in Wanganui, in the 80s, with typewriters.

One day, after tending the veggie garden, Vicki and John Francis decided to start a magazine. There was probably a bit more to it than that, but let’s get to the good bit. 

This magazine would be dedicated to the youth of Aotearoa, the pre-internet youth, that is.

It would dispense life advice, but it wouldn’t be preachy. It would provide fashion and music news, but it wouldn’t be shallow. It would be a place for Kiwi teens, in their neon hightops and unapologetic mullets, to come together and discuss, in their own language, the things that mattered most to them. It would be distributed to all the high schools in the country, at no cost to the young peeps.

The magazine would be named TEARAWAY: The Voice of New Zealand Youth. And it would become known and loved by every teenager from North to South. That was 1986.

Years later, John and Vicki would decide to do other things. 

Just before that though, their daughter Rain came home after travelling… broke… and jobless. With no real direction. It happens.

TEARAWAY was still cruising along and John wanted out. You can probably guess the rest. 

Rain grew up around the very workings of this magazine. She had a stint as Music Editor in the grunge-drenched 90’s and and before that was part of what could be considered a child labour operation (jokes!), opening thousands of competition entry envelopes.

When John and Vicki moved on, Rain took over the magazine and kept it thriving for years until 2019, when she passed the reigns to Alexandra and Nick Cownie.

So, that, in the shell of a nut, is the story of TEARAWAY. And the best part? Almost everything you’ll see in the magazine and on this website is created by The Mavericks — our ‘band’ of the most talented young writers, photographers and illustrators in the country. 

We are super proud to continue bringing you The Voice of New Zealand Youth!


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