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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 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

  New Research Report into Kiwis’ Reading Attitudes and Behaviours

  Most Impressive Event Programme to Date for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day

  For the first time in 70 years, New Zealand will hold the IBBY Congress

can books change the world?


Celebrate the opening night of WORD Christchurch with a session that embraces the ‘planet and its people’ theme by looking at the impact literature can have on a world in turmoil.

What responsibilities, if any, do writers have to engage with the issues that trouble us? Can fiction and poetry make a difference in people’s lives?

Gotta pun ‘em all: NZ books with Pokémon


New Zealand millennials have gone poké-mad with the release of Pokémon GO. It’s a free smartphone app that uses your GPS to show you the Pokémon that are always around you in the real world.

The clever team at Bookriot poké-punned some classic books, so we’ve added our favourite New Zealand poké-books to the mix.

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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