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Ashton Wylie

Whitireia 2015

Books and reading change lives. Writers shape our culture. We spread the word.

Our mission is to champion the lifelong engagement of New Zealanders in reading, and to lead the promotion and nurturing of NZ writers, writing and books.

We are dedicated to inspiring a love of reading because we know the difference this makes to young lives. OECD research shows reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success.

Our Writers in Schools programme takes Kiwi writers to 400 schools in New Zealand, and touches the lives of over 40,000 school kids. We reach out to children in rural and low-decile areas, creating unique opportunities for them to meet Kiwi authors and illustrators, often for the first time.

Throughout the school year we also tour a variety of writers and illustrators away from their home region, so that schools can benefit from hosting someone they couldn’t otherwise afford.

Our Speed Date an Author events create the opportunity for aspiring young writers to receive tuition from some of New Zealand’s best poets, journalists, novelists, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators.

In the clip below, our Chair Peter Biggs explains why the work we do is so important, and shares some moments from one of our Speed Date an Author events in Dunedin, UNESCO City of Literature.

Want to help us change kids’ lives? Join us and support the work we do here.


Books have always shaped the people who shape our world.

Armed with this insight,
Colenso BBDO and the New Zealand Book Council joined forces to create a print and poster campaign that reminds people of the power of the written word with the goal of changing how digital natives view great pieces of literature in an online world.

Each of the three executions features the familiar library card and bares the signature of important and culturally significant individuals who’ve been influenced by that particular book. 

“Our mission is to champion readers, writers, and books in New Zealand – and this campaign is going to help. We’re incredibly excited about this idea and as this is only the beginning of what we see its full potential to be,” said Catriona Ferguson, CEO of the New Zealand Book Council.

“Everyone that worked on this campaign is passionate about reading, and are thrilled to think some of that might rub off on people who aren’t” said Nick Worthington, Creative Chairman of Colenso BBDO.

In June 2015, Cannes Lions, the world’s biggest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry, recognised and awarded this year’s most exciting creative ideas across 16 categories, covering everything from traditional print and film communications to technology and product design.

Advertising agency Colenso BBDO in partnership with The New Zealand Book Council scooped three silver lions in the Outdoor category for their Book Shape the World campaign.

Want to help spread the word? You can download the posters here.

Book Council News

  New Zealand Book Council/Creative New Zealand International Travel Fund grants open

  #MatarikiMash – wordplay on twitter for Matariki!

  New Zealand Book Council AGM 2015 – Invitation Reminder

Editing The Urewera Notebook


Anna Plumridge has edited a newly transcribed edition of The Urewera Notebook by Katherine Mansfield. This publication is the first scholarly edition, and provides an original transcription, a collation of the alternative readings and textual criticism of prior editors, plus new information about the politics, people and places Mansfield encountered on her journey.

5 quick questions with Jeff Evans


Heke-nuku-mai-nga-iwi Busby: Not Here by Chance by Jeff Evans (Huia Publishers) tells the life story of Hec Busby. Busby is a master waka builder, waka expert, celestial navigator, and highly regarded Te Rarawa Elder. We asked Jeff a few quick questions about his new book on Busby.


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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