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Paula Browning: Arguing for fair payment for use of your publications

By News

Paula Browning_thumbPaula Browning used the presentation of Copyright Grants to authors last week to make a spirited speech for fair payment by universities and others. Here’s what the CEO of Copyright Licensing NZ said on the issues:

 Good evening everyone and a very warm welcome to this years’ Awards evening.

There were 68 applications for the awards this year which is right on the average number of applications that we’ve had every year for the past 10 years. I would like to personally thank our selection panel for the wonderful job they did with this year’s applications. Each applicant receives equal and robust consideration to ensure that the aims of the awards are met by those who are successful. To Paul Diamond, Gillian Candler, Geoff Walker and Rae McGregor – my thanks.

The New Zealand Society of Authors Research Grants had a huge increase in applications this year over the number received in 2012 and we are delighted that the new President of NZSA, Kyle Mewburn, is able to be with us this evening to present these grants.

I’m always very conscious of my choice of words when I’m either speaking to or writing for a literary audience. Without any form of literary pedigree it’s more than a little intimidating to be the focus of attention in a room full of our top writers and publishers. It’s been especially challenging this year to find the words to describe the past 12 months at CLNZ. This time last year we were looking forward to finalising the next term of our licenses with the New Zealand tertiary sector – but this was not to be. We now find ourselves at the Copyright Tribunal arguing for fair payment for the use of your publications in our universities. This is a stand we must take because Copyright – your right to earn a living from your writing – is under attack. Governments throughout the world are being swayed by the well-funded lobbying of the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple into changing copyright law in ways that benefit these corporate giants’ business models. We’ve already seen this happen in Canada and the UK and legislative reviews are underway in the United States and Australia.

We refer to those who refuse to see the value in intellectual property rights as the copy-left. You might think that this type of effective and highly mobilised group are only active overseas – but alas, no. In New Zealand we have our very own copy-left group made up of a dozen or more organisations including some that will be very familiar to you. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Trade Me? How about LIANZA – the library association and Internet New Zealand – the organisation that operates the dot co dot nz domain name? These three are among the membership of a group that has named itself “Fair Deal”. They say they want a fair deal for New Zealand from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, otherwise known as the TPP. On that point copyright owners can agree with them – we also want New Zealand to have effective trade agreements that are fit for type of trade that takes place in the 21st century –trade that includes intellectual property and copyright. We can also agree with Fair Deal that it would be better for all countries involved in these trade agreements if the negotiation process was more transparent. The limited details we do have of the intellectual property chapter of the agreement date from 2 years ago when a copy of the paper was leaked. This type of smoke and mirrors negotiation isn’t good for anyone. However, the approach of the copy-left in wanting to throw the baby out with the bath-water, isn’t going to solve anything either. If we are going to have copyright law in New Zealand that ensures that the creativity we are so well regarded for generates an economic return for both those who create and for our country, then we need INFORMED DEBATE. This is where you come in. I know that, as writers and publishers, you like to sit quietly in a sunny room and tap away on your keyboard to create beautiful books that we all want to own and to read – but in the current political climate I’m afraid that’s not enough. If you want your writing and publishing to continue to be an income generating activity in future then the time to speak up is now.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment recently published a list of 6 business sectors in New Zealand for which it is commissioning reports into their economic value. The first report has been released – it was on ICT or Information and Communications Technology. The other 5 are tourism, petroleum & minerals, construction, high tech manufacturing and something called knowledge-intensive-industries (which is mainly the scientific and technical services sector). No sign of the New Zealand creative sector in that list is there? So if the government doesn’t know what our creative economy is worth, how does it know what it’s potentially trading away in agreements like the TPP?

In the absence of this type of data from the government, the creative industries are busy preparing their own. Film and Television released a report earlier this year that puts its value at close to 3 billion dollars and employment in the industry at over 20,000 people. The New Zealand music industry has a similar report – figures from this are due out soon.

And what does the New Zealand book sector look like? Well hopefully we will have a general idea by the end of this year when the report we have commissioned from PWC is completed. We’ve given the team at PWC a huge challenge however, as the data that’s needed for these economic value reports just isn’t available from the New Zealand book sector. Something else we need to actively work on in the short term.

I’m sure none of us need to be reminded of the dire news that has hit the local publishing sector this year with the withdrawal of multi-national publishers from the New Zealand market and yesterday’s shock announcement of the closure of Learning Media . At an Asia Pacific copyright meeting in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago I joked that soon New Zealand children would be reading about Kangaroos instead of Kiwis. But it’s really not funny. As New Zealanders we’re used to a rich creative culture. We’re used to having access to our own stories in our own books and our own TV programmes; through our own music and our own movies. It’s something we’re inherently proud of as we were able to unequivocally demonstrate at the Frankfurt Book Fair last year.

All of this is at risk if we do not have effective copyright law. Without it, the business model that is the foundation of the creative economy will be worthless.

So what can you do? Do what you do well – write. Whether it’s a blog, twitter, opinion pieces, articles – anything that stimulates informed debate that shows the value of copyright and local publishing to our economy. The time is right to do this now. The government has announced that it has deferred the review of our Copyright Act pending the conclusion of the TPP. This gives us time for a robust discussion. Talk to your friends and family about what copyright means – especially the younger ones. The ones who think it’s OK to post a question on Facebook asking their mates for a copy of their digital movie collection or the ones who share copies of digital textbooks on USB sticks. They want to be able to copy and share, and technology lets them do it easily, but they’re completely removed from the impact that very copying has on our creative economy – they need YOU to tell them!

This year our selection panel commented that the finalists for tonight’s awards are those applications where the passionfor their subject is evident. Well New Zealand needs you to get passionate about copyright and your rights as owners of intellectual property. I know it’s not sexy and it’s not an easy dinner party conversation but it is critical to the future of New Zealand writers and New Zealand writing. If we all sit back and think someone else will fight the fight for us, we risk losing the rights we currently have. Now I’m not generally regarded as a drama queen so when I say to you that getting noisy about copyright is critical – I really mean it!!

Right – I hope I’ve reached all of you in some way on the need to get loud about copyright. Now on to the real reason why we’re all here tonight – to celebrate and invest in New Zealand non fiction.  At last week’s New Zealand Post Book Awards one of our previous winners took out the General Non Fiction category. We were absolutely delighted for both Steve and for the team at Awa Press on their success withCivilisation – Twenty Places on the Edge of the World.  For a girl from Mt Roskill it was a thrill to venture into Place Number 10 in the book and enjoy Steve’s take on how the suburb I grew up in differs now from its earlier times. If there’s anyone in the room who hasn’t lost themselves in Civilisationyet, then it’s time you did!

Book Covers Awarded, Book Design Celebrated

By News

modern best book_croppedIt was a cold and chilly night… but inside the warmth of the Sapphire Room at Ponsonby Central last Thursday night, book designers, book production teams and publishers came together to applaud the PANZ Book Design Awards nominees and winners for 2014.

 Most agreed the stunning shortlist meant all categories would be hard fought, and no one envied the judging task of industry professionals Gideon Keith, Cameron Gibb, Alan Deare and broadcaster Noelle McCarthy. 

The first Award of the night was that for Young Designer of the Year with portfolios from finalists Sam Bunny – “Awonderful range of striking design, enlightening and transcending often challenging categories,” said the judges; Kalee Jackson whose “book designs display restraint and a poetic lightness of touch,” and Jenny Haslimeier “(her) work is bright and playful, showing an obvious delight in her subject matter and her pleasure in working with wonderful content.” Kalee Jackson (right) was the winner, but after viewing all portfolio entries, the audience had no doubt the future of book design is in talented hands.
Also ready for collection were stunning glass paperweight trophies designed and made by Peter Raos for the Best Designed Books in seven categories…
Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book to Arch MacDonnell of Inhouse Design for Modern: New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977 “Bold decision-making makes this book stand out in a crowded genre.”
Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book, to Rowan Sommerset (pictured right with husband Mark) for The Boy and the Cherry Tree, “wonderfully illustrated and a great example of less being so much more.”
Edify Award for Best Educational Book to Sam Bunny for Living by the Moon – Te Maramataka o Te Whanau-a-Apanui “Evocative cover design of this title makes it a strong contender in this category, and the interior of the book lives up to the cover by delivering the bilingual text in a spacious and elegant manner.
Mary Egan Publishing Award for Best Typography to Modern: New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977, designer Arch MacDonnell (pictured below). “Dig below the surface of the perfectly balanced jacket to discover the stunning case design and connecting endpaper.”
PANZ Award for Best Non-Illustrated Book to Book of New Zealand Words, designer Pieta Brenton “The jacket, case cover and endpapers are brilliant, reminding us that language can indeed be colourful.”
1010 Printing Award for Best Cookbook to Alan Deare, Area Design, for Cut, Josh Emett’s latest cookbook. “Cut is distinguished by great photography that lets the food shots be the heroes.”
HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover was also presented to Alan Deare, this time for Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer.
“They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover makes it very hard to walk past this one. A single image of a young Peter McLeavey, set against a black backdrop, with orange type, the cover of this biography manages to be visually arresting and utterly delightful at the same time.”
The best of the best receives the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book sponsored by Nielsen Book Services… no surprises here … it was once againModern: New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977“The only title in the entire competition to set text in a colour. The typefaces are period, but set in a contemporary way that makes them seem new and fresh, just as the design of the book itself causes us to reappraise the modernist houses in a contemporary setting.” 

While two of the judges had entries in the Design Awards, PANZ has a strict conflict of interest policy, and throughout the judging process no judge is permitted to comment on or vote for their own work, an obligation strictly upheld by PANZ and the panel.
PANZ congratulates all the finalists for the exceptional quality and calibre of their design.

For the full list of winners and book images visit the Book Design Awards Website here. 

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.

Day 2: Reinventing Publishing Today: Part Two

By News


Entering Asian Markets

ka meechan 2013“PANZ first attended Taipei International Book Exhibition in 2011, and in 2014 managed the collective New Zealand publisher stand with enhanced NZ publisher representation. In 2015 New Zealand will be the Guest of Honour Country at TIBE,” said Ka Meechan (pictured below), project manager of our GoH programme told a breakfast briefing.

Her outline of the Taiwan market: a book-loving population of 23 million people which supports more than 40,000 new titles every year.
David Glover, co-ordinating the educational component of the GoH TIBE 2015 initiative, has lived and worked in Asia and found Taiwan much easier to enter than other Asian markets. First time exhibitor in 2014, Peter Dowling of Oratia Media, stressed the importance of face-to-face meetings. Two of David Ling’s books were launched during the fair by his Taiwanese publisher, plus he sold rights to five of his children’s titles to mainland Chinese publishers.
“The cornerstone of the GoH initiative is the visiting author programme. Our pavilion at TIBE 2015 will be the stage for our authors to shine,” said Ka, who aims to have a draft programme schedule available in July. “There will not be another opportunity to enter this market with such support,” her briefing concluded.

Split Sessions: Taking your Books to the World / Building and Managing your List

With panels of Kiwi publishers – Belinda Cooke, Peter Dowling, Claire Murdoch and Fergus Barrowman talking about their overseas rights and distribution endeavours in one room and Nicola Legat, Robbie Burton, Rachel Scott and Kevin Chapman discussing list building in the other, these were a truly collegial sessions that reflect our industry.

Building New Audiences – from publisher to reader and back again

brett osmondIn a thought provoking session, Random House Australia’s Brett Osmond discussed the ways publishers and authors can reach their reading audience directly. Brett, Marketing and Publicity Director and Head of Digital for RH in Oz gave a masterclass in the use of on-line technology and shared the lessons learned. “Take risks, but get more sophisticated,” he says.
And so sophisticated has RH’s targeting become that there are seven composite identities for book buyers they’ve created and given names and definition; and any initiative must reach at least two of those segments!
Marketing and publicity should be joined at the hip and bring in the digital market, he advises. For the latter, ‘work on a few platforms and learn’. At the centre must be the company website, designed so it creates value for the audience who access the site.
An area RH is exploring is personalisation, with the first steps taken in developing a ‘crime and thriller’ website to reach one group of readers – and hopefully starting a long-term relationship with that audience.
Long term planning is essential – at least five months out from launch; plus a level of planning allows time to review what works and what does not.
Finally “Engage everyone with the whole business, including authors.”

The Big Idea – What’s Next for Publishing?

Dan Caton: The best ideas come from history – tell good stories, and for non fiction, tell good information
Brett Osmond:  the future is now
Tom Rennie (Bridget Williams Books): use the sheer messiness ahead to demonstrate our value – don’t take the risk of having others tell us
So it seems the panelists’ views into their respective crystal balls diverge!
Dan felt that Paul Cameron’s idea of making reading a more audio experience was great, and he is going to try it out. Educational e-reading devices that indicate where students are competent or have difficulty would also be a bonus in the future.
Brett says the future involves allowing readers to buy into content in whichever way they want to read it. Also ‘open’ organisations and playing with content, perhaps extending it to apps.
For Tom, all prophecy is based on digital, with print publishing in decline. Yet, he points out, ‘the industry is in decline’ air of fatalism is at odds with actual behavior as digital sales plateau and print maintains volume. “We have a vibrant and innovative print industry that will persist. And print and e-book publishing will become increasingly interconnected, not two separate worlds.”

Flipping Your Business: Adapting your business model in changing times

When a top selling title is How to Tell if Your Cat is Planning to Kill You, it is apparent that you are a publisher with attitude and acumen.
kirsty melville 
‘Finding that all important niche’ – one that differentiates your publishing house from the rest – was the focus of Kirsty Melville’s keynote address. The Andrews McMeel publishing story is hugely successful, and has been founded on rules for changing times.
Know your focus: who is the audience for the book, and how are you going to reach them, even before you acquire the MS.
Some of the company’s biggest sellers have come out of left field. Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans a big selling cookbook? You bet, and Kirsty acquired it by striking up a relationship with the authors who had been successful self- publishers.
“Your relationship with your author is the foundation of your business,” Kirsty advised.
Books of comic strip favourites, quirky cookbooks, kids books with attitude, an upcoming title called The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances… a list that does not depend on novels or high end nonfiction? The message to her audience could not be more clear: think outside the box.

Educational Publishers went the extra kilometre at Conference

stewart gill2The conference closed at 12.30pm and delegates departed however there was more to come for educational publishers. The PANZ Education Summit funded by Education New Zealand began straight after and was attended by more than 30 publishers. 

Stewart Gill (right), an Independent Publishing Consultant and former Managing Director of the Academic and K-12 schools division of Macmillan Australia, was the keynote speaker. He drew on deep industry experience and a lot of current data to tackle issues that mattered to the publishers present—the size and composition of the overall markets in Australia and New Zealand, the challenges and opportunities of entering the Australian market and the evolution of digital solutions (including predictions for change over the next 5 years). PANZ members were seen hard at work taking notes!

Clive Jones (pictured below right), General Manager Business Development at Education New Zealand then briefed the delegates on Educational New Zealand’s overall strategy and how ENZ’s support for the growth of educational publishing exports, delivered through PANZ, fit into that wider strategy.
David Glover from Creative Strategies and the Project Manager for education for TIBE Guest of Honour 2015 launched the toolkit for the GoH programme which will ensure that all publishers attending the exhibition are armed with plenty of contacts and key information on the market. By the end of the day, David had a half dozen publishers packing their bags for Taipei and many more keen on the opportunity.
clive jones portrait 
The last session of the day was What Now for Digital Learning? It featured a sterling line up of educators; Stuart McNaughton, Auckland University, Evan Blackman, Microsoft New Zealand and Dan Caton, Wittel Morris Strategic Consulting, and was chaired by Mark Sayes from ESA Publications.
Educational publishing had been integrated into the whole conference but the last afternoon allowed a very sharp focus on the opportunities for the sector—in digital innovation and export in particular.
Tim Lind, Biozone:
For me it was great to meet the other educational publishers and compare notes as to what is working and not working, and what the challenges are. Reassuring to know that there are many shared challenges, and very grateful for the opportunity to raise some industry concerns during our seminar.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the seminar talks and gained valuable networking contacts, and appreciated the opportunity for discussion. I would be very keen to attend next time.

In fact the only downside of Conference was the performance of the coffee machines!

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.

New Zealand publishers build on Frankfurt Book Fair success

By News

Latest Media Release from Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

New Zealand has another strong presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which opened today in Germany, building on the success of its Guest of Honour appearance last year, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson said.

The book fair, the world’s largest media and content fair, had unprecedented success in 2012 with New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme.

This year 20 New Zealand publishers are attending the five-day fair, capitalising on last year’s high profile throughout Germany and Europe. As a result of last year’s fair New Zealand’s book rights sales were ten times greater than normal.

Mr Finlayson said the Fair brought attention to New Zealand’s publishing and educational sectors.

“Being Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair connected the world’s best publishers, as well as gaming and film producers, with our cultural creators,” he said. “The response we’ve had since the fair has been significant and I am pleased our presence continues to be strong in 2013.”

Sam Elworthy, the president of the Publisher’s Association of New Zealand said in the past 12 months the increase in interest in New Zealand literature has smoothed the way for New Zealand publishers to meet new clients and sell more book rights.

“Publishers here saw the opportunity, and put in the ground work; 2012’s book fair was a hugely busy one for New Zealand’s publishers and 2013 is about building on last year’s new relationships and continuing to strengthen our presence in the international market.”

New Zealand’s Guest of Honour pavilion, where books, film and animation from Aotearoa was presented, was acclaimed for its design and architecture. Overall book fair ticket sales increased by 6% last year and the organisers attributed this to the huge public interest in the New Zealand pavilion which received almost 70,000 visitors.

2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition to Feature New Zealand as Theme Country; Novelist Lloyd Jones to Visit Taiwan, Helping Spread the Power of Reading

By News, News Archive

The signing of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) in July 2013 has ushered in a new era of collaboration between New Zealand and Taiwan on trade, customs duty reduction, and TV and film production. Accordingly, the diverse culture of New Zealand will become more familiar to the Taiwanese people via the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), which will feature New Zealand as the theme country, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture (MOC) announced.

The MOC, supervisor of the TIBE, will join hands with the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), Creative New Zealand, and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) in Taipei on this special event, introducing New Zealand’s core value of diversity to a wider audience. This event will highlight the distinct features of Maori culture and oral literature and seek to effect intercultural exchange with Taiwan’s aboriginal community while showcasing New Zealand’s unique attributes

Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai expressed her hope that with the ministry’s “Southern Strategy” Taiwan can broaden its scope, extending its erstwhile focus on Europe and the United States to countries in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia and New Zealand. As a part of ANZTEC, Taiwan and New Zealand have agreed to collaborate on the post-production sector of the film industry. By featuring New Zealand as the theme country of the 2015 TIBE, it is expected that the “Southern Strategy” will kick off to a good start and be implemented across the spheres of film, TV and culture.

Minister Lung said that the endeavour actually began during the 2013 TIBE earlier this year. When the PANZ delegation visited Taiwan at the invitation of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF), Lung told the delegation that both sides would benefit from further collaboration saying “while Taiwan needs a gateway to access the southern hemisphere, Taiwan can serve as New Zealand’s northern gateway to the Chinese market.”

Lung also extended her gratitude to NZCIO director Stephen Payton’s aid in inviting New Zealand’s foremost novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan. Lung has been deeply impressed with Jones’s masterpiece Mister Pip, and she hopes to see the film adaptation in theatres in Taiwan soon. It is projected that, through such cultural exchanges, a growing number of readers will get acquainted with more New Zealand writers.

NZCIO director Stephen Payton said that it was an honour for New Zealand to feature as the theme country at the 2015 TIBE.

The NZCIO is looking forward to collaborating with the TBFF and Ministry of Culture to introduce the beauty of New Zealand’s literature and cultural spirit to Taiwan. Similarly, it also constitutes an opportunity for the New Zealanders to get to know the wonderful island of Taiwan.

As a sign of its appreciation of the TIBE, the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office will invite New Zealand’s most celebrated contemporary novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan, as a feature of the theme country campaign. In his opening address Stephen Payton stated, “In his novel Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones takes us to another island, Bougainville, and asks us to think about how influences from other times and places shape us an individuals and communities. This is writing we can share, that we need to share, including with our friends in Taiwan.”

 Mr Jones has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and having his work selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Two of Jones’s books have been translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan: Mister Pip (2010, China Times Publishing Co.) andHand Me Down World (2012, Stride Publishing). Mister Piphas been selected as recommended reading in various high schools throughout Taiwan, and a film adaptation premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The film version, starring Hugh Laurie, the famed Dr Gregory House in the hit TV series House, as Mr Watts, is expected to be released some time later in Taiwan.

Lloyd Jones received the invitation to Taiwan not more than five days ago. As a writer, Jones has been writing and reading stories all his life. He takes great delight in the process of storytelling, with which the writer takes the readers on a ride through different a time and space. In the present age of information explosion, we have varied media and channels of communication, but the act of reading still largely relies on the accumulation of other people’s writing. Both the writer and the reader have their own free will. Language is not a barrier that keeps out one from the other; we can still share and communicate through stories. Jones stressed the importance of book fairs, not only for the promotion of reading but also for readers and writers alike. A book fair is a place where books get to speak for themselves. True to the original meaning of the word “fair,” it is a playground and a marketplace. It is a place allowing more people to have fun.

At the announcement press conference, Minister Lung, Director Payton, and Mr Jones exchanged books as greeting gifts. Lung presented Payton with the English version of the four-volume Contemporary Taiwanese Literature and Art Series, which covers essays, novels, poems, and paintings. In return, Director Payton presented Minister Lung with New Zealand Journey and Janet Frame, the female New Zealand writer’s autobiography. Mr Jones also gave the minister the original English version of Mister Pip as a gift.

Stephen Payton said that Taiwan has been a close friend of New Zealand in the Asian region; with the recent signing of the ANZTEC, further long-term collaboration can be expected in the future.


Pictured above: Press conference announcing New Zealand as the 2015 TIBE theme country. (From left) NZCIO deputy director Serena Gar Ming Chui, director Stephen Payton, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, New Zealand novelist Lloyd Jones, and TBFF chair Doris Wang.

New Zealand, the Guest of Honour in 2015 TIBE

 Located in the southwest Pacific, New Zealand has been hailed as a “living laboratory of geology” for its rich natural resources and geological wonders. In recent years, The Lord of the Rings franchise has helped promote the country’s magnificent scenery to the whole world. Moreover, New Zealand has proven itself a true “land of milk and honey” with its vintage wines, organic foods, and bountiful produce.

 New Zealand has also been quite active in the realm of culture and creativity. New Zealand featured as the Guest Country of Honour at the prestigious 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, marking the first-ever comprehensive introduction of the country’s literature, profound culture, and social diversity to German-speaking readers as well as the global publishing industry. As witnessed by all, New Zealand has indeed turned the privilege into a resounding success.

 Collaboration between New Zealand and the TIBE has achieved remarkable results since the inception of the relationship in 2011. Illustrator Gavin Bishop, for instance, graced the book fair with his presence in 2011 and published the Chinese version of his bestselling Friends: Snake and Lizard later, which went on to win the 2012 China Times Book Review Award. The 2013 TIBE was honoured with a visit from Kevin Chapman and Anne de Lautour, President and Association Director of the PANZ, as well as Belinda Jones of Creative New Zealand; they all praised the book fair for its vigour and vibrancy. Julia Marshall of Gecko Press has attended the TIBE for years on end, and the publisher has just won the 2013 Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year in Oceania, which goes to show the emerging presence of New Zealand publishers in the global publishing scene. The fervent interaction between New Zealand’s publishing industry and the TIBE has ultimately led to their induction as the theme country in 2015.

 The 2015 TIBE theme country pavilion of New Zealand is expected to showcase a diverse line-up of outstanding publications, covering the subjects of literature, art, history, lifestyle, fashion, design, health, education, children’s books, and illustrations. Also, Creative New Zealand will introduce a “Translation Grant Scheme,” an initiative seeking to promote the translation of New Zealand publications. Any interested publishers can apply for the grant scheme and further participate in the 2015 TIBE activities.

 Lloyd Jones: A Brief Introduction

 Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1955, Lloyd Jones attended Victoria University of Wellington. A resident of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, Jones was a journalist who covered the political turmoil in Papua New Guinea in the 1990s, when the autonomous region of Bougainville sought independence from Papua New Guinea. Coverage of the Bougainville conflict, however, was blocked and censored by the government.

 This experience led to the birth of Mister Pip, recipient of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Overall Best Book and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. Other notable works include Book of Fame (2000; winner of the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards), Biografi: An Albanian Quest (1993; a New York Times Notable Book), Choo Woo (1998),Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance (2002), and Paint Your Wife(2004).

 Mister Pip is the story of an island caught up in the throes of war. The only remaining white man is Mr Watts, who stays behind to educate the local black children. Mr Watts urges his students to read over and over Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, in which the eponymous Mr Pip is the protagonist. On the island stripped of virtually everything, the children seem to take a leave from the drab and dull reality and enter the alternative world of the novel. The magical power of reading depicted in the book serves to illustrate the author’s superb storytelling technique.

 TIBE is looking forward to the honour of the presence of Lloyd Jones in Taiwan, who is expected to participate in a series of activities, granting the readers a precious opportunity of direct interaction with the master novelist. Through a wide range of cultural exhibitions and literary events, the TIBE hopes to introduce the readers to the diverse, vibrant cultural scene of the 2015 theme country, New Zealand.

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