I’d have liked to commence the first ‘President’s file’ of 2011 wishing you all a positive start to the year after what had hopefully been for the most of you a pleasant holiday period. However as we all now know, 2011 has delivered the nation a very sad event that has touched us all. I would like to again extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones during the quake. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.
To our members in the Christchurch region we know these are trying times. I’ve been heartened to see the multitude of offers being made by people from the publishing community. Whether it be an offer for some holiday accommodation or something as simple as someone to talk to, I know how keen people are to offer help.
Beyond the very personal tragedy of Christchurch has been the industry concern around the fortunes and future of RedGroup Retail. Having been placed into voluntary administration in February, we are all anxiously awaiting news and information that will inform us of what the future holds for this very important channel partner. I hope you are all keeping informed and following the information provided by the administrators closely. If PANZ is in a position to provide information that is useful to members we will certainly disseminate this accordingly.
New Zealand Book Month has now commenced. I attended a wonderful opening to New Zealand Book Month held at St Mathews in the City. A fine time was had by all and a very entertaining debate was held. It was a welcome reminder of what is so positive about our industry bringing together authors, publishers and sponsors. The ‘Books Change Lives’ national promotion is an outstanding and clear message that reminds all New Zealanders of the tremendously positive impact that books have.
Finally I would like to mention the Frankfurt Country of Honour 2012 initiative. By the time this newsletter is posted many of you may have attended meetings with our guests from Germany and learnt more of this exciting opportunity for New Zealand. Your council is unanimously in favour of New Zealand securing this opportunity. The benefits to the publishing community and the wider creative communities of New Zealand are palpable. I hope to be able to report soon that the green light is given to this proposal. It will be a massive undertaking but the opportunity to highlight New Zealand on the world stage is too great to miss. Fingers crossed everyone!
I wish you all a wonderful New Zealand Book Month.