News Archive

Christchurch Publishers still working with handicaps

By April 13, 2011 No Comments

Canterbury University Press is still very much off campus and likely to be for some considerable time. Editor Rachel Scott’s temporary office is a spare bedroom and her dining room… Across town in her own flat is PANZ intern Frith Hughes. The two communicate by Skype. “It is really hard for Frith, but she is very able,” says Rachel. The arrangement is working, but there is a lot of driving back and forth to deliver and drop of material.

Manager Kaye Godfrey is also working from her home, but uses a “hot desk” on campus once a week for information she can’t otherwise access.

The shine is wearing off the initial sense of adventure, because there is no relief in sight. Students will trade tents for lecture halls after Easter, but it appears CUP is neither management nor an essential service, and restoring accommodation for them is not even on the schedule as yet. “It is frustrating not knowing when the situation will end,” comments Rachel.

On a brighter note: “We’ve still got jobs.”

And the books are still getting through. Letters to Grace – Writing Home from colonial New Zealand edited by Jean Garner and Kate Foster will be launched in a church hall in Avonhead on April 28

Jenny Haworth of Wily Publishing has her car back… post quake it sat in the Farmers carpark building in the city for five and a bit weeks before it could be safely accessed, along with hundreds of others in the same carpark.

But her business is currently experiencing cashflow problems. “People are just not paying, and that is for commissioned work we have delivered.” Fortunately more business is coming in and Wily is applying for Creative NZ funding for two projects. The publisher will also apply for additional local funding for two quake-related books.

Jenny has made a conscious effort to contract fellow Christchurch designers and editors for her projects so that there is a web of support for colleagues.

Quentin Wilson is happy; he and Bev Prout have had six moves since their house was declared unsafe after February 22, and they finally have a spacious temporary rented home in an old St Albans villa. Better still, all the lash up arrangements for computers have ended (the last one was a line through a window) and they have an internet connection as of April 11.

Bev is manager of the Christchurch Central Library and was able with other staff to pick up personal possessions recently, but Quentin says it will be a long time before the Library is open – he understands the library building is intact and OK, but neighbouring buildings have to be stabilized or demolished before it can reopen. Quentin’s been working on the design of two books for CUP about which he is highly enthusiastic – June release Ikawai – Freshwater fishes in Maori culture and economyby R. M. McDowall and Sandra Arnold’s Sing No Sad Songs about her daughter’s death from cancer. Quentin thinks the book moving and beautifully written “It’s poetic and lovely but every so often I have to stop and have a bawl.”