New Zealand Post is to become the naming rights, sponsor of the New Zealand Book Awards from 2010. This follows the decision by Pernod Ricard New Zealand to make the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Award its last year of sponsorship.Announcing the change, Hamish Wright, Chairman of Booksellers New Zealand, the awards administrator, was full of praise for the service to the New Zealand book industry and reading public that had been given by Pernod Ricard New Zealand (formerly Montana Wines), for over a decade.
“Since 1996 excellence in New Zealand writing and publishing has been synonymous with the name Montana. It has been an important feature of the literary scene in this country with much anticipation each year of finalists and winners.
“This year will be no exception, with the finalists for the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards to be announced on 2 June and the winners revealed at a gala function in the Auckland War Memorial Museum on 27 July,” said Mr Wright.
New Zealand Post Group Chief Executive, John Allen, said the company was very pleased to assume naming rights sponsorship of the awards. New Zealand Post are also the current sponsors of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Other sponsors of the awards are Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens NZ.
Mr Allen said literature and literacy have for many years been at the heart of New Zealand Post’s community support programmes, which include the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, Books in Homes, the New Zealand Post Mansfield Prize, the New Zealand Post National Schools Poetry Awards and Literacy Aotearoa.
“New Zealand continues to produce outstanding, internationally acclaimed writers and we were greatly attracted to this rare opportunity to strengthen our commitment to fostering this country’s literary talent. These prestigious awards serve as both an incentive and recognition for New Zealand writers.”
He commended Pernod Ricard for its past support and said New Zealand Post would seek to build on the already unparalleled reputation of the awards.
A review of the structure of the New Zealand Book Awards will be undertaken prior to finalising the arrangements for the New Zealand Post sponsorship for 2010.
Booksellers NZ Chief Executive Lincoln Gould said the review would be conducted in June with views and opinions on a new structure to be drawn from the widest possible group of stakeholders and interested parties. It is planned that the new structure will be placed to allow for entries for the 2010 awards to begin in October.