Media Releases

New Zealand Book Awards Return with Major Fiction Prize

By Media Releases, News

NZ Book Awards TrustAfter a 12-month hiatus, the country’s premier book awards will return in 2016 with a new structure, a new judging process and a significant, annual fiction prize of $50,000.

The New Zealand Book Awards winners will be announced at an event during the country’s largest literary gathering – the Auckland Writers Festival – in May 2016.

The New Zealand Book Awards Trust chair, Nicola Legat, says she is delighted to announce the changes, and in particular the major fiction award, which is provided by the Acorn Foundation, through the generosity of one of its donors.

“It creates a tremendous and lasting literary legacy. The sum of $50,000 will be awarded to the top fiction work annually, in perpetuity. This will make a difference not only to the receiving writer, but also to the literary fabric of New Zealand. It is a huge gift for us all.”

The Acorn Foundation is a Western Bay of Plenty-based community foundation that encourages people to leave bequests in their wills, or gifts during their lifetimes.

Acorn Foundation’s Operation’s Manager, Margot McCool, says it is humbling to witness such generosity.

“Since 2003 we have been encouraging generosity, so that people who really care about their community can fulfil their wish of enabling organisations and causes they believe in. We are so pleased that this award will make such a difference to New Zealand novelists’ careers,” says Mrs McCool.

In addition to an annual fiction winner, there will be a poetry, a general non-fiction and an illustrated non-fiction winner and, should there be sufficient entries, a Māori language award. The three Best First Book Awards will also continue.

Ms Legat added that including the awards in the Auckland Writers Festival programme ensures they reach more people.

“The New Zealand Book Awards will be the first public event in the festival’s line-up. With the festival growing exponentially year-on-year (55 percent in 2014 and a further 17 percent in 2015), we are taking New Zealand writers to a huge reading audience.”

Auckland Writers Festival director Anne O’Brien says embracing the New Zealand Book Awards was a natural fit.

“The festival is committed to sharing a love of books and reading and to championing and supporting New Zealand writers through exposure to thousands of festival-goers each year.  The New Zealand Book Awards are a celebration of writing excellence and we’re delighted to offer them a home in the festival’s programme,” says Ms O’Brien.

The four main categories will be judged by specialist judges, three per category, plus a Māori language adviser for the Māori language awards.  The judges will select a long list of around eight books in each category. It will be announced in November 2015.

The shortlist of four books in each of the categories will be announced in early March 2016.

“The changes to the judging process are a direct result of the consultation process carried out by the Book Awards Trust in 2014. Having fewer books for each judge to read, and having more specialist depth in each genre, will allow a more detailed examination of the works,” says Ms Legat.

The call for entries in the awards is scheduled for August 1 this year.



For interview opportunities and further information please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR 09 445 7525, 021 721 424,

Margot McCool, Operations Manager Acorn Foundation Tel 07 579 9839, 027 2455 142,


Editor’s Notes:

The New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for works written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards, they have also been called New Zealand Post Book Awards (2010-2014) and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. The awards, now given for Fiction, Illustrated Non-fiction, General Non-fiction and Poetry,  as well as for Best First Book and Māori language, are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity).  Creative New Zealand is a significant annual funder of the awards.

The Acorn Foundation is a Community organisation based in the Western Bay of Plenty, which encourages people to leave a gift in their Will and/or their lifetime, to support their local community forever. Donations are pooled and invested, and the investment income is used to make donations to local charities, in accordance with the donors’ wishes. The capital remains intact.

Since it was established in 2003, Acorn has distributed over $2.4million, and this year expects to distribute a further $500,000. It currently has invested funds of $13million.

Donors may choose which organisations are to benefit each year, or they may decide to leave that to the trustees’ discretion. This will allow for the changing needs of the region in years to come.

Community Foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy worldwide, and there are now 13 community foundations throughout New Zealand.

To find out more go to, or

Book Trade Industry Awards prove a passion for books creates profits

By Media Releases, News

SUNDAY, 21 JUNE 2015

Neilsen Book logoA renowned family of booksellers were honoured with a lifetime achievement award tonight at the annual Book Industry awards in Auckland, while individual publishers and booksellers were recognised as being the best in the New Zealand trade.

This year the lifetime achievement award was presented to the Parsons Family of Auckland and Wellington for the inter-generational contribution the family have made to the industry.

All of the winners of the Book Trade Industry Awards this year have been applauded by the judges for their dedication to quality – whether in publication, selling, or running events – and passion for the trade. There were six awards given, and for the first time this year, applicants were invited to self-nominate. This allowed some smaller bookstores who didn’t frequently see publishing reps to highlight their own efforts to improve sales for their stores. There were a large number of nominees in this category, making the prize even more desirable.

The judges of the awards were Karen Ferns, Jill Rawnsley, Carolyn Morgan, Graham Beattie and Karren Beanland.

The winners of each category are announced below:

2015 Young Book Retailer of the Year:
Jenna Todd, Time Out Books, Mt Eden
‘Jenna manages the shop, which had its best ever sales in 2014, in an exemplary manner. Not only does she run their media & social media effectively, the customer testimonials for her work were outstanding,’ said judge Karen Ferns.

2015 Sales Rep of the Year:
Tammy Ruffell, HarperCollins NZ Lower North Island rep
‘Tammy is tireless in seeking ways to inspire customers, and has shown great leadership and resilience in facing head-on, with those customers, the challenges of the past year (or few),’ said judge Jill Rawnsley.

Marketing Strategy of the Year:
Penguin Random House NZ, for Chelsea Winter’s Everyday Delicious
‘The winning marketing strategy for 2015 saw an impressive result for the publisher and Chelsea Winter, the author, whose input into the campaign is every bit as contributory to the results. It is a competitive area of publishing, but the team at PRH pulled it off beautifully,’ said Rawnsley.

NZ Book Industry Special Award:
Bridget Williams Books
‘Bridget Williams Books wins this for their innovative list, and how effectively they have embraced the new digital age. They have proven their commitment to quality non-fiction publishing, publishing the important Tangata Whenua, while launching their new imprint BWB Texts over 2014,’ said Morgan.

Publisher of the Year:
Potton & Burton, newly renamed from Craig Potton Publishers
‘Potton & Burton show exceptional commitment to quality in its publishing programme, its production values, its relationships with customers and authors alike, and in the delivery of an essential distribution service. As well as this, the company’s dedication to New Zealand stories shines through in their regularly award-winning books,’ said Rawnsley.

Bookseller of the Year:
Unity Books, Wellington
‘Unity Books runs 50 events per year, and their support of NZ publishing accounts for 18% of their sales. Unity has proven over the years a great training place for aspiring booksellers. Overall, they win this award for their general excellence, and the special place they occupy in the community,’ said Morgan.

The Book industry is well-served by the passionate booksellers and publishers that are continuing to inspire in a changing environment. The Book Industry Awards are sponsored by PANZ, Nielsen Book and Booksellers NZ, and were administered via Booksellers NZ, by the Book Trade Liaison Committee.


For media enquiries, interviews, please contact:

Lincoln Gould, CEO, Booksellers NZ
ph: (021) 426 575

For images, please contact:

Sarah Forster, Web Editor, Booksellers NZ
ph: (04) 815 8367,

Background of the New Zealand Book Industry Lifetime Achievement Award
The New Zealand Book Trade Lifetime Achievement award was created by the Book Trade Liaison Committee three years ago as a means of recognising those that have made a long and out-of -the -ordinary contribution to both publishing and bookselling . Previous winners have been individuals, with Graham Beattie winning the inaugural award in 2013, and Michael Moynahan in 2014.

Great Richness and Diversity in This Year’s Finalists in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

By Media Releases, News

NZ Book Awards ChildrensPirates, orcas and penguins leap from the pages of the 22 books picked as finalists in the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

In the 25th year of these venerable awards, New Zealand authors have once again produced beautifully written and illustrated books that are wonderful to hold and read, showing that publishing for New Zealand children is in very good heart.

One hundred and forty-nine books were submitted for the Awards. A panel of three judges (judging convenor and children’s book reviewer and literary consultant Bob Docherty; author and children’s bookshop owner, Annemarie Florian; and teacher-librarian Fiona Mackie), with the assistance of Te Reo Māori language adviser, freelance Māori writer and editor Stephanie Pohe-Tibble, have spent months reading, analysing and enjoying all entries.

The finalists in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are selected across four categories: Picture Book, Non-Fiction, Junior Fiction and Young Adult Fiction, and there is an additional award for books written in Māori, for which there are finalists for the first time.

Judging panel convenor Bob Docherty says the judges were very pleased with the high quality of this year’s writing. “We likened the process to a vintner looking forward to tasting this year’s vintage. Having tasted, we all were delighted with this year’s production of titles – not only in terms of the actual writing, but also the fantastic quality and style of the illustrations and the actual presentation of the books. It’s heartening to see that book production in New Zealand is getting better and better. We’re pleased that publishers continue to put as much emphasis on the look and feel – literally – of a book as well as its content.

“The Picture Book category gave the judges the most difficulty – in the best possible way. With a whopping 75 entries, there was fierce competition to pare these down to five finalists. This indicates that New Zealand is producing its fair share of wonderfully strong visual stories – stories with simple integrity yet with expressive characters, where both author and illustrator work together to capture our interest on every page,” says Bob.

“All books submitted in the Non-Fiction category were particularly impressive – almost in defiance of the trend for some libraries to dispense with their non-fiction collections in favour of online sources. The judging panel believed all the Non-Fiction entries contained material that was far superior to any online source, and all entries deserved to be finalists, says Bob.

There were 35 entries in Junior Fiction category. “All these books were a delight to read. This year’s finalists have combined comic book illustrations with the traditional novel format, and four of the five books have an historical connection. Fantasy and adventure also figure, and there is a strong anti-bullying link within the finalists’ titles in this category.

The judges agreed that all 21 entries in the Young Adult Fiction category were stunning. The high standard of writing reflects the calibre of New Zealand’s world-class writers. The human condition and teenage relationships were intimately discussed, and dialogue was a strong feature of all of these novels.

Two finalists for the Māori language award

Seven books were submitted in the Māori language award, with two selected as finalists. Te Reo Māori language adviser, Stephanie Pohe-Tibble, says that all of this year’s entries had something for every reader – from beginning speakers of Māori to children and whānau involved in kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori. The two finalists both stood out with their innovative approach to translation, wonderful text and illustrations, and creativity of storylines. Stephanie says, “I hope that all parents wishing to enrich their children’s lives with the Māori language will get to spend some special time with their children reading and enjoying these books.”

New Children’s Choice finalists’ list now decided by children

Children’s choices rule in the newly revamped Children’s Choice Awards in 2015. This year, more than 6,500 children and young adults from 106 schools from throughout the country have selected their own finalists from the 149 books submitted for the Awards. In previous years, the Children’s Choice was made from the judges’ finalist list, rather than from the full number of submitted books.

Nicola Legat, chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, says, ”We wanted to hand this section over to the children – for them to decide which books they engaged with and which books they loved, rather than making their choices based on the criteria the judges used to make their decisions. Of the 20 books chosen as Children’s Choice finalists, seven match those on the judges’ list, so we’re very much looking forward to seeing the results of round two of the children’s vote over the next seven weeks.”

Voting for the Children’s Choice opens on Tuesday, 9 June and closes on Friday, 31 July. This year there will be a winner in each category.

Prince George to receive Picture Book finalists

For the second year, the five Picture Book finalists books are about to be sent to Prince George of Cambridge and his newborn sister Princess Charlotte. Each of the five books has a personal message from its author to both children.

“Each year the New Zealand Book Awards Trust is sending Prince George, and now his little sister, specially signed books from the authors of the Picture Book finalists. As they grow older the Cambridge family will receive the Non-Fiction finalists, then the Junior Fiction. When George is 13, we’ll send the autographed Young Adult Fiction books. By the time the Cambridge children have grown up, they’ll have a wonderful collection of New Zealand children’s and young adult literature – all personally inscribed,” says Nicola Legat.

The finalists for the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are:

Picture Books

Construction, Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock, Walker Books Australia

I Am Not a Worm, Scott Tulloch, Scholastic New Zealand

Jim’s Letters, Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper, Penguin Random House

Keys, Sasha Cotter and Joshua Morgan, Huia Publishers

Little Red Riding Hood . . . Not Quite, Yvonne Morrison and Donovan Bixley, Scholastic New Zealand


Ghoulish Get-Ups: How to Create Your Own Freaky Costumes, Fifi Colston, Scholastic New Zealand

Māori Art for Kids, Julie Noanoa and Norm Heke, Craig Potton Publishing

Mōtītī Blue and the Oil Spill, Debbie McCauley and Sarah Elworthy, Mauao Publishing

The Book of Hat, Harriet Rowland, Makaro Press/Submarine

Under the Ocean: explore & discover New Zealand’s sea life, Gillian Chandler and Ned Barraud, Craig Potton Publishing

Junior Fiction

Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand, Leonie Agnew, Penguin Random House/Puffin

Dragon Knight: Fire!, Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley, Scholastic New Zealand

Monkey Boy, Donovan Bixley, Scholastic New Zealand

The Island of Lost Horses, Stacy Gregg, HarperCollins

The Pirates and the Nightmaker, James Norcliffe, Penguin Random House/Longacre Child

Young Adults

I Am Rebecca, Fleur Beale, Penguin Random House

Night Vision, Ella West, Allen & Unwin

Recon Team Angel: Vengeance, Brian Falkner, Walker Books Australia

Singing Home the Whale, Mandy Hager, Penguin Random House

While We Run, Karen Healey, Allen & Unwin

Māori Language Award

Hoiho Paku, Stephanie Thatcher and Ngaere Roberts, Scholastic New Zealand

Nga Ki, Sasha Cotter and Joshua Morgan, Huia Publishers (translation of Keys, a finalist in the Picture Book category)

A Finalist Authors’ Tour will run from 3-7 August nationwide, with authors appearing in bookshops, libraries and schools.

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults is organised by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, and administered by Booksellers NZ. The Awards are sponsored by Creative NZ, Book Tokens Ltd, Copyright Licensing Limited New Zealand and Nielsen Book Services. Publishers have also supported the awards this year.

The winners will be announced on the evening of Thursday, 13 August at Government House in Wellington.


For more information, please contact:

Adrienne Olsen                T    04 496 5513

Adroite Communications, Wellington     M 029 296 3650

Media Advisors, 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults E



Coverage of the December 2014 Press Conference held in Taipei to Announce the 2015 TIBE New Zealand Guest of Honour Author Programme, Branding and Pavilion Design

By Media Releases, TIBE

PANZ_4575 Full_Logos_English_COLPANZ_4575 Full_Logos_Chinese_COLPANZ_4575 Full_Logos_Chinese_COL

4 people press conference taipei dec 2014

(From Left) Doris Wang, Chair of TBFF, Alice Wang, Director of the Department of Humanities and Publications, MOC., Kevin Chapman, Project Director of 2015 TIBE NZ Guest of Honour and Si’alei van Toor, Director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei.


The 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) will feature New Zealand as the Guest of Honour chosen by our sponsor, the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan and organiser, Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF). The New Zealand National Pavilion will incorporate a wealth of Māori elements in its architectural design and will showcase the glorious art and literature of their culture.

Through a series of author meet-ups and performances planned for the event, to be held 11-16 February at the Taipei World Trade Center, New Zealand’s unique culture and history will be introduced to local readers, the organiser said 22 December at a media conference in Taipei City.

“By designating New Zealand the TIBE Guest of Honour, Taiwan has established a bridge to the southern hemisphere,” said Alice WANG, director of the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Humanities and Publications, which oversees the operation of the book fair.

Ties between the two countries have strengthened substantively with the signing of the ANZTEC economic collaboration agreement in 2013, Wang said, adding that the ministry has teamed up with New Zealand to launch a co-authoring project. Both sides have three graphic novelists taking part in the initiative; they will take up residence in each other’s country and display the initial results during the event.

Si’alei van Toor, director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, said that she hopes the book fair next year will strengthen bilateral cultural ties and show the people of Taiwan the rich culture of her home country.

“New Zealand and Taiwan have a lot in common. We’re both island economies with strong links to our indigenous peoples,” she said.

TBFF Chair Doris WANG expressed her gratitude for the presence of Kevin Chapman, director of the New Zealand Guest of Honour project, at the 22 December media event. She said she expects the annual book festival to garner satisfying results by stimulating Taiwan’s international participation, as well as overall cultural, economic, educational and political development.

“Themed ‘Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Books’, the Guest of Honour project underscores the open-minded creativity of New Zealand,” Chapman said, “just like an open book that invites the reader to sample the joy of reading therein.”

World Architecture News Award winner Andrew Patterson, who drew his inspiration from “Tokotoko,” a Māori traditional walking stick, designed the New Zealand theme pavilion.

In Māori tradition, the stick is a symbol of authority and status for the speaker in oral literature. Modelled on three joined Tokotoko sticks, the pavilion represents a space of dialogues on equal footing between the speaker and the reader, between Māori and non-Māori cultures, and between New Zealand and Taiwan.

Moreover, it is a tribute to literature, as the pavilion is constructed mainly out of paper, one of the most essential and important building blocks in literature and publication.

After completion, the pavilion will resemble an archipelago of three 1.8-meter-tall paper islands, surrounding the main exhibition area. The surface of these paper islands will be adorned with laser-cut Māori totems with a modern twist. The enclosed space will house the main Guest of Honour activities, including author meet-ups and Māori dance performances.

A total of 17 New Zealand publishers will participate in the theme pavilion, exhibiting publications on a diverse range of subjects, including architecture, art, culture, fiction, history, science and children’s books. These include several professional educational publishers, who will showcase books dedicated to children’s education, English learning, schooling and upbringing.

In addition, it will feature 22 authors from the country, including 2 illustrators: Gavin Bishop and Sarah Wilkins. Their works will be featured in The New Zealand Children’s Illustration Exhibition at the Children’s Book Pavilion in Hall 3, along with four other NZ illustrators, including Robyn Belton, Donovan Bixley, Andrew Burdan, and Rowan Sommerset.

The 23rd TIBE will present a Kiwi-themed feast, rich not only in literary offerings but also cultural exchange. Members of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, Ngā Kete Tuku Iho, will perform Māori dances twice almost daily during the book fair. For two sessions—one in the morning and one in the afternoon—from 12 Feb to 16 Feb, they will introduce Māori culture through fascinating dance narratives, which incorporate greetings, challenges and battles, as well as the oral storytelling tradition.

Sculpture is an essential part of Māori culture, too. The Guest of Honour pavilion will also feature a master who will carve a wood sculpture on site during the fair.

As Taiwan’s indigenous tribes and Māori share several significant characteristics, the theme pavilion will also join hands with Taiwan’s Council of Indigenous Peoples to shed light on the ocean-spanning, boundary-crossing links.

The New Zealand Guest of Honour Programme is sponsored by Creative New Zealand, Education New Zealand, Publishers Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Copyright Licensing New Zealand, Book Systems International and Te Puni Kōkiri. The programme is with the support of New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office Taipei and has partnership with Council of Indigenous Peoples, Taiwan and New Zealand Book Council.


For more information contact:

Ka Meechan


By Media Releases, News


Open hearts, Open minds, Open books
發現紐西蘭 樂讀新世界
Ngākau aotea, Ngākau māhorahora, Pukapuka wherawhera.

New Zealand is to be the Guest of Honour at the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE 15), and is taking advantage of the opportunity to promote the country in as many ways as possible. The Guest of Honour Programme, managed by the Publishers Association of New Zealand, will have a Visiting Author programme, a Cultural Programme, a substantial publisher presence (both trade and educational publishers selling rights to NZ material) and other yet-to-be announced elements.

The initial selection for the Visiting Author Programme for TIBE 2015 (which is held in February) is highlighted by Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton and Dame Joy Cowley. Joining them are Gavin Bishop, Jenny Bornholdt, Paul Cleave, Joan Druett, Witi Ihimaera, Heather McAllister, Mark Sommerset, Judith White and Sarah Wilkins. Other writers and/or illustrators will be added to the programme. The programme is funded by Creative New Zealand and is in partnership with the Taipei Book Fair Foundation.

The criteria for the initial invitation is that an author must have a book available in the Taiwanese market at the time of TIBE 2015 and a Taiwanese publisher must support the author’s visit with co-operative events. The authors will be involved in a series events at the NZ Pavilion in the fair exhibition hall and in other venues in conjunction with their Taiwanese publishers.

The Cultural Programme is headed by the popular Te Puia kapa haka group from Te Puia in Rotorua. They will perform daily at the TIBE and other venues, while a traditional Māori carver, with help from members of the group, will carve from a large log of Taiwanese wood.

Kevin Chapman, Project Director for NZ Guest of Honour says: “The Visiting Author Programme and the Cultural Programme are the cornerstone of the Guest of Honour project. We are pleased to have such a diverse group of successful and talented authors and performers to showcase New Zealand at TIBE 2015.”

Paoping Huang, Director of TBFF says: “We look forward to welcoming the New Zealand writers, illustrators and performers to TIBE 2015.  The Visiting Author Programme will introduce new writers to Taiwanese readers, and welcome back some old friends.”

TIBE opens on Wednesday 11 February 2015 and closes on Monday 16 February. TIBE 2014 attracted almost half a million visitors and 648 publisher exhibitors from around the world. TBFF will offer free entry for students for the 2015 event.

The Guest of Honour Programme at TIBE 2015 is supported by Creative NZ, Education NZ, The Publishers Association of NZ, NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the NZ Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The Author Programme is overseen by a Reference Group that includes representatives of funding agencies, the NZ Society of Authors, and other specialist advisors.

For more information contact Karen McKenzie, kmacPR,  027 693 9044

New Charitable Trust To Govern New Zealand Book Awards

By Media Releases, News

NZ Book Awards TrustA new charitable trust has been formed to govern the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Major changes to the timing and to refresh the format of the awards are also underway.

Announcing the formation of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, chairperson Nicola Legat said the new legal structure would, amongst other things, allow more flexibility to apply for grants and patronage.  New Zealand Post Group, which sponsored the Book Awards for Children and Young Adults for 18 years and the New Zealand Book Awards for five years, has withdrawn from its high profile sponsorship and the search for new sponsors is well underway. We thank them for their great support over the years.

The New Zealand Book Awards Trust is comprised of members from the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and Booksellers New Zealand (BSNZ).  Each is represented on the board by one member, with scope for the appointment of non-trade board members.

Nicola Legat

Nicola Legat, Chairperson, New Zealand Book Awards Trust

The trustees are Sam Elworthy, President of PANZ, representing PANZ; Kyle Mewburn, President of the NZSA, representing the NZSA; and Stella Chrysostomou, Manager of Page and Blackmore Booksellers, representing BSNZ.

Independent members are Karen Ferns, former joint Managing Director of Random House Australia and New Zealand; businesswoman Sue Wood; and well-known publisher and journalist, Nicola Legat.

The timing of both Awards will change. The 2015 Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be held in August. This will make way for the New Zealand Book Awards to be held in Auckland as part of the Auckland Writers Festival in May 2016.

The trust board sees the partnership with the Auckland Writers Festival as a great opportunity for New Zealand writers – putting them where there is a huge audience of committed readers.

For its part, “The Auckland Writers Festival is thrilled that the Book Awards Trust wishes to bring these prestigious awards into the festival programme,” said the Festival’s director Anne O’Brien. “It is a marquee event in New Zealand’s literary calendar, and partnering with the Trust fits perfectly with our aspiration of supporting and showcasing New Zealand writers and their work. Being able to have the winners as part of the programme over the Festival weekend means that these fine writers are being placed where readers are, and can take advantage of the Festival’s considerable – and growing – audience.”

Submissions for the 2015 Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will open on 3 November for books published between January 2014 and 31 March 2015.

One of the first tasks of the new trust board will be to appoint judges for the 2015 Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Expressions of interest in being on the judging panel can be sent to You will find the digital form to apply on our website,

Due to the timing change for the New Zealand Book Awards to May 2016, the period for submissions for these awards will be extended to include books published from June 2014 and until 31 December 2015.

Chairperson Nicola Legat says, “To try to hold the awards next May, with only six months’ of books that would be eligible, was thought to be unfair to publishers and authors.

“We have made these changes as the result of a period of deep discussion and consultation, and that consultation will continue on for a while yet.

“As well as changing the dates, other adjustments will be made to both sets of awards to make them relevant and fresh while retaining their inherent mana. Those further changes will be announced in the coming weeks.

“It’s an exciting and positive time for these awards and what is absolutely clear is how critically important they are as a way of rewarding excellence in New Zealand writing, and of encouraging New Zealanders to read New Zealand books.”


For further information, please contact:

Nicola Legat, Chairperson, New Zealand Book Awards Trust

Telephone  09 918 5722
Mobile 021 958 887

Kevin Chapman receives New Year Honour

By Media Releases, News Archive

Publishers Association of New Zealand immediate past president, Kevin Chapman, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours announced today. Kevin led the efforts of PANZ and others in the book industry here to secure New Zealand’s Guest of Honour year at world-leading Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012.

“Through his South Island charm and pure force of nature, Kevin Chapman managed to get New Zealand writers on the world stage at Frankfurt 2012. It was an enormous achievement to bring together New Zealand publishers and authors, government agencies and embassies, German publishers and festivals and much more to make a huge event happen,” PANZ president Sam Elworthy said. “We’re a more international industry than ever now and we have Kevin Chapman to thank for that.
“It’s great to see him recognised for those achievements and for his long service to the wider book industry.”

Other Honours for Literature

Carruthers made a Companion

Alastair Carruthers, who has had twelve years of involvement with the Arts Council and recently retired after six years as their Chair, became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours. During his time at the Arts Council, Alastair saw returns from increased public investment in the arts being enjoyed by a greater number of New Zealanders. He was also heavily involved in our GoH year in Frankfurt. 

Writers Awarded

Three writers, Booker prize winner Eleanor Catton, noted poet Jenny Bornholdt and writer and art critic Greg O’Brien are also named in the Honour List as Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

We congratulate you all.

Book Publishing: a creative Kiwi industry with local and export markets

By Media Releases, News

Media Release

10 July, 2014

The Economic contribution of the New Zealand publishing industry study by PwC released today is the first to measure the size and scope of publisher activities.

“As publishers know but statisticians often don’t, book industry revenue flows through many channels—export, libraries, etailers, schools, bookstores here and overseas, rights sales, co-editions and more,” says Sam Elworthy, Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) President.

“To get a solid sense of our industry requires some work and we’re thrilled to have the report. As publishers, it enables us to talk to government as an industry with real heft—employing people and producing GDP.” The survey shows publishing is an industry with total sales of $300 million, directly employing nearly 3,000 people in various roles.

The analysis used 2012 data, but Elworthy notes it covered just the start of the explosion of ebook sales in New Zealand so future growth will be noted in following surveys. “Educational publishing data was also captured more effectively than previous surveys. We expect continued growth there, and in export in particular.”

Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) commissioned the publishing survey alongside surveys of the same data for other creative sector activities including film, television and music.

“The critical objective from CLNZ’s perspective was to get comprehensive data as a starting point to be able to quantify the scale of the book publishing and other sectors,” says CLNZ ceo Paula Browning. “We need to be able to measure growth and to know where the disruption that is impacting the sectors is affecting us – both the good and the bad!”

Browning says the surveys will be repeated in 2015 with the support of CLNZ’s Cultural Fund.

Download the Final Report.

PwC Final Report – Economic Contribution of New Zealand Publishing Industry


Sam Elworthy, President PANZ

P: 64-9-923-2799

M: 64-22-680-7342

Media Announcement Penguin Random House

By Media Releases, News

Margaret Thompson appointed Managing Director of Penguin Random House New Zealand

30 April 2014 Auckland: Penguin Random House today announced a new leadership structure in New Zealand with Margaret Thompson appointed to the newly created position of Managing Director, Penguin Random House New Zealand.

Gabrielle Coyne, Chief Executive Officer Penguin Random House Asia Pacific, said, “I am delighted Margaret has accepted this important new role. Along with her wide ranging experience, Margaret brings a strong mix of publishing acumen, matched with an unwavering sales optimism and flair.”

Margaret Thompson’s career in publishing spans more than 30 years across Australia and New Zealand. She has been Managing Director of Penguin New Zealand since 2005. In 2007 Margaret steered the acquisition of Reed Publishing and in 2009 led Penguin’s acquisition of Mallinson Rendell Publishing; the originating publisher of Lynley Dodd, author of the global bestselling Hairy Maclary books, which have now sold over 9 million copies worldwide.

Margaret Thompson said, “I am delighted to accept this position and look forward to leading the Penguin Random House team to create an exciting new company which will continue to be committed to local publishing, supportive of our authors and booksellers and focused on maintaining a vibrant and creative presence in New Zealand.”

With Margaret’s appointment, Karen Ferns Joint Managing Director of Random House Australia and New Zealand will sadly leave the company on 16 May.

Karen has made an invaluable contribution to Random House growing the sales and company over many years. Highly respected within the publishing industry, Karen has been a passionate advocate for New Zealand and New Zealand publishing. She joined Random House New Zealand as Sales and Marketing Director in 1999 and was appointed Managing Director in 2008. In 2012 she was appointed Joint Managing Director of Random House Australia and New Zealand.


Media Enquiries

Camilla Subeathar

Corporate Communications Manager

Penguin Random House Asia Pacific

Ph + 613 9811 2542,

Notes to Editors

Penguin Random House ( is the world’s first truly global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin, with the parent companies owning 53% and 47%, respectively. Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India, Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and South Africa; DK worldwide; and Random House’s companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

Fergus Barrowman receives MNZM in Queen’s Birthday Honours

By Media Releases, News

Victoria University Press publisher, Fergus Barrowman has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to publishing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced yesterday.

While Fergus’ current high profile is as the publisher of Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, he has had a distinguished career, and has championed many fledgling New Zealand authors who have gone on to receive international recognition.
“For a good many years, Fergus has been one of this country’s great literary explorers—hunting for new voices, new talents, new ideas and taking them to the world,” says Publishers Association of New Zealand president Sam Elworthy. “He and the Victoria University Press team have brought to readers a treasure trove of great New Zealand scholarship and literature. Fergus’s work is an outstanding example of the work that publishers do connecting authors to readers, New Zealanders to the world. The Publishers Association congratulates Fergus on his well-deserved recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.”
Also made a recipient of the MNZM is children’s literature specialist, and author of theLittle Yellow Digger series of children’s picture books, Betty Gilderdale.
Recently retired booksellers Beatrice Parsons and Julian Parsons of iconic Wellington bookstore Parsons Books and Music both received the Queen’s Service Medal for services to business and the arts.