The New Zealand Book Council is our country’s national organisation dedicated to reading and readers.
We are a not for profit organisation dedicated to building a strong reading culture in New Zealand, because reading changes lives. Our vision is a thriving New Zealand that benefits from the social, economic and health outcomes offered by reading for pleasure. We value inclusivity, accessibility, and openness.
We build a strong reading culture within New Zealand every day through the following activities:
ANNUAL SCHOOLS' COMMUNITY PROJECT
2015 was our inaugural annual schools community project, the Ōtāhuhu Writers in Schools Residency Programme.
- Five low decile South Auckland schools
- Five Kiwi writers
- Seven student-published anthologies
- One huge community celebration at the Ōtāhuhu Pātaka Kōrero Ōtāhuhu Library with friends and whanau.
Plans are already underway for our 2016 project!
WRITERS IN SCHOOLS PROGRAMME
In 2015 we connected 200+ NZ writers with 40,000 students at 400 events throughout the country. Read more about the programme here.
True Stories Told Live
Our contemporary twist on the ancient art of storytelling – we had four events in 2015 involving 20 NZ storytellers and 600 happy listeners.
Speed Date an Author
We ran six events throughout the country in 2015 involving 28 NZ writers, 53 schools, and 400 students. Watch here.
Words on Wheels
Our popular touring event. In 2015 we took five fabulous NZ writers through Wanaka and the surrounding area over five days, delivering to more than 1,000 people throughout the region, including students from 12 local schools.
NZBC annual lecture and publication
Last year Witi Ihimaera addressed 300 people at the Dunedin Writers Festival with his lecture Where is New Zealand Literature Heading? We published 750 copies of the lecture for our members, patrons and donors.
Partnership events and campaigns with the literature sector
2015 partnerships included:
- The Great Kiwi Classic with Auckland Writers Festival
- Matariki Mash with Wellington City Libraries
- Good to the power of e with LIANZA, CORE Education, National Library
- Michael Robotham Wellington event with Hachette NZ and Wellington City Libraries
- Murder in the Library events with the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel
- KidsFest with WORD Christchurch
- SchoolFest with the NZ Festival
ADVOCACY PROGRAMMES AND CAMPAIGNS
Because Reading Changes Lives advocacy programme with social justice entrepreneur Miranda McKearney.
Books Shape the World poster campaign.
We received almost 250,000 page visits in 2015. Our website includes:
- NZ Writers Files: the most comprehensive collection of information about New Zealand writers on the web! 700+ files, which are regularly updated.
- The most comprehensive and current info about the NZ book scene: New Zealand awards, residencies, grants, and their past recipients; advice on how to get published; New Zealand writing courses; New Zealand literary festivals; a list of online journals, literary publications and other book links.
- The School Library: 5,500 visits to our children’s books review blog in 2015 – over 100 reviews by our school librarian members.
- Reading group noticeboard: connecting readers with other booklovers in their region. We have several new posts a week!
Our vibrant online publishing hub, which includes feature articles, podcasts, book recommendations, as well as a news blog that is updated daily with NZ literary news, events and opportunities. We received almost 85,000 pages views in 2015.
A thriving social community of 10,000 subscribers:
Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and sign up for our Booknotes fortnightly enewsletter.
Book Council News
The HELL Reading Challenge has incentivised young New Zealanders to read more than 2.5 million books!
This reading revolution has very likely already been sparked in your local community, with HELL intent on firing up young Kiwis’ passion for literature.
Now in its third year, the HELL Reading Challenge has seen 400,000 Pizza Wheels distributed around the country to date.
“The Pizza Wheels provide young bookworms with a personal record of their reading achievement,” explains HELL general manger Ben Cumming. “Each book read equals one stamp on the wheel – and once all seven ‘slices’ have been stamped by a local librarian, kids are rewarded with a free ‘333 kids’ pizza’ by redeeming their completed wheel at their local HELL store.”
The programme is completely free for primary schools and local libraries to enter; 565 institutions across the country are registered so far for this year’s challenge (344 school libraries and 221 public libraries).
“The response continues to be overwhelmingly positive and we are printing a further 50,000 Pizza Wheels this year to meet demand,” says Ben. “We are working hard to support Kiwi youth in our communities through a range of initiatives 4, and this is one that we are particularly proud of.
“Prising kids’ eyeballs away from screens and refocusing them on books is getting more and more difficult – but this initiative really appears to be connecting young minds to the benefits books can bring, both in terms of literacy and creativity.”
The HELL Reading Challenge is administered by the New Zealand Book Council on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. HELL is a major sponsor of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, established to recognise the contribution New Zealand’s children’s authors and illustrators make towards building national identity and cultural heritage.
The HELL Reading Challenge runs until Sunday, 4 December 2016
Responses from schools and libraries so far include:
“The more children we get reading, the better outcomes for our community as a whole!” (Mackenzie Community Library)
“Our kids loved this last year and our teachers are very keen to be involved again.” (Pegasus Bay School, Canterbury)
“The children are enjoying the challenge. Thank you!” (Mokoia School, Taranaki)
What the kids are saying:
India Rose, Year 5: “The HELL Reading Challenge has really helped me because I read more books and I get better at reading.” – Riccarton Primary School, Christchurch
Pene, Year 5: “I tried to read more books and I really liked it. I think reading books makes me smarter.” – St Therese School, Auckland
Eunice, Year 6: “I didn’t like to read much but the Pizza Challenge made me read more books and I found that I loved to read.” – St Therese School, Auckland
Britney, Year 8: “I hated reading but now I’m in love with it!” – Glenfield Intermediate, Auckland
What their parents are saying:
“My children have never been more interested and motivated to read than since they were involved in the HELL challenge.” – (Children at St Therese School, Three Kings, Auckland)
“I think that without a reward, my daughter wouldn’t be willing to read as many books. But with that incentive it gives her enthusiasm to read more.” – (Child in Year 4 at Ranui Primary School, Waitakere, Auckland)
“Alyssa has become a much more confident reader. She is more willing to attempt new words and try new books. She is not discouraged by mistakes or unfamiliar words.” (Child in Year 2 at Chaucer School, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland)
400,000 (Pizza Wheels distributed to date) x 7 (books recorded on each wheel) = 2,800,000 books (that Kiwi kids have been incentivised to read by the HELL Reading Challenge)
2014: 100,000 wheels distributed in launch year.
2015: 150,000 wheels distributed. 319 school libraries and more than 100 public libraries 5 across New Zealand took part.
2016: 150,000 wheels distributed to date – including 50,000 extra wheels printed to meet demand. 344 school libraries and 221 public libraries registered to date.
Spread of registered schools (by decile) in 2016:
Decile rating Percentage:
Celebrate Te Wiki o te reo Māori / Māori Language Week with a special night of nga toi/art, puoro/music and korero/ storytelling at City Gallery Wellington’s July Tuatara Open Late.
The evening will feature one of the Book Council’s True Stories Told Live events with renowned New Zealand artists, writers and speakers!
Thurs 7th July
Entry by koha
City Gallery Wellington
For more information on Toi te Reo, visit the City Gallery Wellington website.
Nga Tangata Korero Te Reo Speakers are:
MC: Adrian Tangaroa Wagner, (Te Ati Awa, Whanganui, Ngāti Apa, Ngāti Hauiti and Te Whānau A Apanui) has been in radio broadcasting, television, film and stage work for the last 21 years.
Ngahiwi Apanui (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Hine, Te Whānau a-Apanui, Ngāti Kahungunu) is the Chief Executive at Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori / the Māori Language Commission. Ngahiwi is a founding member of the first kaupapa Māori band, Aotearoa and has released three solo albums – Te Hono ki te Kāinga, E Tau Nei and Matariki. In 2003, he was awarded a Tui for Best Māori Album and won the inaugural APRA Maioha Award for best Māori composition.
Tina Makereti (Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Ati Awa, Ngati Maniapoto, Pakeha, Moriori) writes novels, essays and short stories. Her short story, Black Milk was written in response to images from Fiona Pardington’s A Beautiful Hesitation exhibition at City Gallery and won the Pacific Regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016. Tina is also a teacher and curator, convening the Māori and Pasifika Creative Writing Workshop at Victoria University.
Larry Parr (Ngati Raukawa, Muaūpoko) was born in the Whanganui town of Raetihi and has a law degree from Auckland University. Larry has an extensive career working in film and television as a producer, writer, director and executive.
Marama Fox (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou) is a New Zealand politician who was elected to the New Zealand parliament at the 2014 general election as a representative of the Māori Party. Following her election to parliament, she was named Māori Party co-leader alongside Te Ururoa Flavell.
Reuben Friend (Ngati Maniapoto, Tainui,) is the Director at Pataka Art Museum in Porirua. With a Masters in Māori visual arts from Massey University, Reuben was curator of Māori and Pacific Art at City Gallery Wellington (2009-13), representing a new generation of Māori artists.
Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Raukawa-ki-Te-Tonga, Kāi Tahu, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Toa, Ngāi Te Rangi) is a Wellington-based writer and poet who has had poems and short stories published in a variety of journals. She recently completed the Victoria University’s Masters of Creative Writing and is currently finishing her first novel.
Te Kahu Rolleston (Ngai te Rangi) is a spoken word poet from Matakana Island and a University of Waikato alumni, graduating with a double degree in Māori and Pacific Development and Maori Media and Communication. Rolleston was the winner of the National Poetry Slam championship in 2014, and was selected for The Banff Centre’s Indigenous Writing Programme, a joint initiative with Creative New Zealand.
Englishman Mark Bradley followed his dream to play rugby in Aotearoa New Zealand and never left. He is currently the Tumuaki at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna in Wellington, the only non-Māori Tumuaki of a Kura Kaupapa Māori in New Zealand.
Just a reminder that the New Zealand Book Council Annual General Meeting will be held at the Book Council’s offices on Wednesday 8th June 2016 at 2.00pm.
We’d love you to join us! If you would like to attend the AGM please RSVP by email to email@example.com or phone us on 04 801 5546 asap.
The Book Council offices are located on Level 4, Stephenson & Turner House, 156 – 158 Victoria St, Te Aro, Wellington.
Our audited accounts and annual report for 2015 will be available to view on our website following the AGM.
We also give notice that we will propose a resolution at the AGM which increases Board membership from a maximum of 12 individuals to a maximum of 15.
why won't you read that book?
"Few of us are prepared to invest time, energy or money in an experience we’re not sure we’ll enjoy. So we default to our biases, to the books we believe are a safe choice: authors we’ve tried before, those recommended by people we trust, those endorsed by awards or hyped to the point where we can’t ignore them."
50 new zealand books every kid should read by age 12
We’ve compiled a (very subjective) list of 50 NZ books we think every kiwi kid should read before they’re 12.
Which ones are your favourites, and what titles would you add to the list?
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