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Going West 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

  Toi te Reo | Language Through Art at City Gallery Wellington

  New Zealand Book Council connects rural Northland schools with celebrated NZ children’s poet

  New Zealand Book Council sponsors creative workshops for young writers these school holidays

NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2015 Winners


The winners of the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults were announced at a ceremony at Wellington’s Government House on 13 August. The Awards promote excellence and provide recognition for the best written and illustrated books for children and young adults published by NZ authors each year.

Talking Books Podcast: SECOND NOVELS


Is a second novel a troublesome undertaking? Our Chief Executive Catriona Ferguson discusses this question with Courtney Sina Meredith, Robert Glancy, Anna Smaill, and Mark Broach. They also review two 2015 second novels – The Antipodeans by Greg McGee and In the Neighbourhood of Fame by Bridget van der Zijpp.

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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