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Massey Ad 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.

Click here for a list of our programmes.


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.

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.

You can download the posters here.

Book Council News

  Top New Zealand writers inspire students in Christchurch

  The Fourth Fabulous Poetry Competition 2015

  Decision to place an interim ban on Into the River alarming for Kiwi readers

Are restricted ratings on books in our children’s best interests?


Family First did not apply for an interim ban on Ted Dawe’s Into the River, but its national director, Bob McCoskrie, sees it as an opportunity to review how our censorship laws can be better used to protect our children from inappropriate and offensive material. Stricter censorship, he believes, is in our children’s best interests.

Is he right? Are our children better off being unable to access books that might offend or disturb them?

Talking Books Podcast: Interview with Michael Robotham


Our Chief Executive Catriona Ferguson recently interviewed internationally bestselling crime author Michael Robotham during his tour of New Zealand.

They discussed why he chose to write crime novels (it was accidental!), how he comes up with his stories (they’re always seeded from real events), and why he thinks crime fiction is so phenomenally successful (flawed, but not hopeless, characters combined with a compelling story).

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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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Wellington 6011, New Zealand