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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:


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!


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:


Because Reading Changes Lives advocacy programme with social justice entrepreneur Miranda McKearney.

Books Shape the World poster campaign.


NZBC Website
We received almost 250,000 page visits in 2015. Our website includes:

Booknotes Unbound
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

  HELL gets more Kiwi kids hooked on books

  Toi te Reo: True Stories Told Live

  New Zealand Book Council AGM reminder

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?

Subscribe to our newsletter


Our newsletter features author insights, previews, giveaways, events, our news, and more. Read our latest newsletter here.

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Phone 0064 4 801 5546
Level 4, Stephenson & Turner House, 156 Victoria St, Te Aro,
Wellington 6011, New Zealand