Featured Members

Tom Rennie, Bridget Williams Books and PANZ Copyright Portfolio

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Name: Tom Rennie
Role: Publisher
Company: Bridget Williams Books (BWB)

My role on the PANZ council is: I lead the work on the copyright portfolio and, of course, securing a good outcome from the Review of the Copyright Act is PANZ’s top priority. It’s very much a team effort (Sam Elworthy at AUP continues to contribute a huge amount) and we still have a long road ahead.

My first job in publishing was: I was actually an intern at BWB! Bridget provided me with a wonderfully generous introduction to New Zealand publishing (as she has done for many in the industry today), including arranging work experience stints for me with Robbie Burton and Allen & Unwin in Sydney. I’ve been absolutely hooked ever since.

I’m currently reading: I’ve finally got around to reading Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel & Stian Westlake. It’s a dry yet intriguing analysis of how intangible assets – including, of course, intellectual property – have been under-appreciated in how we assess economies around the world. Importantly, this includes the value we place on copyright (and, essentially, ‘knowledge’). I know it’s been an influential book with some New Zealand policymakers, so I’m partly reading it in the hope it will be of use for the Review work…

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: As publisher for the BWB Texts series, seeing lots of young New Zealand non-fiction authors write these little books has definitely been a highlight. I’m now working with a growing number of them on full-format ‘big’ books, which is exciting for the future of our publishing at BWB.

Mel Winder, Hachette NZ and PANZ Council Vice President

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Name: Mel Winder
Role: Managing Director
Company: Hachette NZ 

My role on the PANZ council is: I have responsibility for two portfolios; Book Awards which involves working very closely with the Book Awards Trust to ensure the smooth and successful running of the Ockhams, NZCYA and Poetry Day, and with PANZ working on the Book Design Awards. I also share responsibility with Claire Murdoch (Head of Publishing at Penguin Random House New Zealand) for the Training Portfolio and we are busy identifying the demand and finding the right people to share their knowledge.

My first job in publishing was: Making up reps kits at HarperCollins which involved standing for hours on end in front of pigeon holes filing covers and TI sheets.

I’m currently reading: A Mistake by Carl Shuker, it is living up to all the rave reviews.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Selling millions and millions of copies of Harry Potter in Europe. And many fan girl moments with some amazing authors over the years.

Julia Marshall, PANZ President and Gecko Press

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Name: Julia Marshall
Role: Publisher
Company:  Gecko Press  


My role on the PANZ council is: President of the PANZ Council. Making sure PANZ Council delivers on key areas of advocacy, copyright, training, and working in publishers’ best interests – with all the different areas of publishing that there are.

My first job in publishing was: Editor of Adventure magazine

I’m currently reading: All the shortlisted titles on the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adult shortlist.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Gecko Press turns 15 next year: getting past the teenage years is a highlight.

Inna Carson, HarperCollins Mew Zealand

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Name: Inna Carson
Role: Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Arotahi Agency
Company: HarperCollins 

My first job in publishing was: Does bookselling count? I started my career in the book industry 15 years ago as a bookseller/buyer at Waterstones, UK, but my first job in publishing was Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Pearson Education.

I’m currently reading: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (to be published Feb 2020)

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Meeting my husband.

Ian Meredith, Aries Publishing Ltd

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Name: Ian Meredith
Role: Owner / operator
Company: Aries Publishing Ltd

My first job in publishing was: Regarding publishing in its broadest sense, selling advertising space.

I’m currently reading: I’ve just finished, Great New Zealand Argument, edited by Russell Smith. It’s a been around for a while now, published in 2005, but contains some thought provoking ideas. “Time for a new edition Russell.”

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: First publishing Gail Loane’s book I’ve Got something to Say. Leading Young Writers to Authorship, in 2010, with 3 reprints and selling the worldwide rights to  Routledge – T & J Francis in the UK. Every primary school teacher should have a copy. Plenty of ideas for anyone staring out on a writing career as well.

Charlotte Gibbs, Toitoi Media Ltd

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Charlotte is pictured with Rihanna from Onepoto School who is a published artist.

Name: Charlotte Gibbs
Role: Publisher
Company: Toitoi Media Ltd

My first job in publishing was: Assistant Editor at a magazine publishing company in London. I worked on four titles and loved it!

I’m currently reading: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Publishing the Jillion last year. It is a beautiful hardcover collection of some of the most amazing art and writing from Toitoi Issues 1-12. We wanted to do something super special to celebrate publishing the work of over 1000 young New Zealanders.

Alison Shucksmith, Hachette NZ

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Name: Alison Shucksmith
Role: Product and Publishing Manager
Company: Hachette New Zealand

My first job in publishing was: Here, at Hachette as a Product Manager looking after the Orion list. Loads of years later, I still look after the Orion list, but now I also look after more of the international publishers and also our brilliant local publishing

I’m currently reading: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary a brilliant, feel good novel with characters you wish were your friends for real. I am also reading How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell with my son and pouring over The Princess in Black series by Shannon and Dean Hale in preparation for my four-year-old’s birthday party.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: There have been a few, but at the moment, meeting Justin Cronin. He wrote The Passage trilogy which as a debut was an instant bestseller both NZ and around the world. As a team we spent loads of time sharing our passion about The Passage and when he finally visited New Zealand, I tried hard to contain my inner fan girl (as pictured) and it was great!

Anna Bowbyes, Massey University Press

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Name: Anna Bowbyes
Role: Managing Editor
Company: Massey University Press

My first job in publishing was: A six-month internship at HarperCollins (thanks to PANZ!), which turned into a permanent project editor role.

I’m currently reading: Carl Shuker’s A Mistake. I love it, his writing is exquisite, but the bit with the dog nearly broke me.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: All the wonderful authors who keep me in the job. We are also very proud to have two authors shortlisted for this year’s book awards.

Kitty & Kirsten, Reo Pēpi

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Name: Ko Kitty rāua ko Kirsten māua, Nō Reo Pēpi māua / We are Kitty Brown and Kirsten Parkinson, together we are Reo Pēpi.

Role: Ko te ringa toi a Kirsten-Kirsten is the illustrator. Ko te kaituhi a Kitty-Kitty is the author. Engari! Ko whakawhitiwhiti māua! However we are both multitaskers. We take on all aspects of keeping Reo Pēpi happy!

Company: Reo Pēpi has been publishing pukapuka since 2015. We make beautiful, board books for kiwi whānau. We are read aloud and Te Reo Māori champions.

Our first job in publishing was: Reo Pēpi! Ko timatanga māua! We are fortunate beginners.

We’re currently reading:
Kitty: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy plus Toitoi 14 and The Power of 1 (with Tama), Korero Mai series (with Kuini)
Kirsten: Te Karaka-Ngāi Tahu’s fabulous quarterly publication.

Our biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Kua haere ki Tamaki Makaurau mo IBBY i 2016-We attended the IBBY Childrens Literature Festival in 2016 which was wonderful. Kei te pakihi māua! We are in business! This is a highlight in itself! We love creating pukapuka and sharing them.

Olivia Nikkel, Bridget Williams Books

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Name: Olivia Nikkel
Role: Publishing Assistant
Company: Bridget Williams Books

My first job in publishing was… Thanks to a Creative New Zealand internship at BWB.

I’m currently reading… The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Gerrard. Cherry-Gerrard was assistant zoologist on the ill-fated Terra Nova Antarctic expedition of 1910–13, led by Robert Scott. A compelling memoir – and who could go past that title?

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been... Meeting authors and engaged readers at our public BWB talks series, held across the country. The powerful kōrero with Mahara Okeroa, Rachel Buchanan and Maria Bargh at the National Library for Te Pāhuatanga o Parihaka last year was a highlight for me.