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Ashton 2016



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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

  Reading changes lives – acclaimed reading advocate Miranda McKearney visits New Zealand to tell us why


  Storylines’ National Awards Shortlist Announced

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."

Book of the Month


Nicky Pellegrino's new novel, Under Italian Skies, is infused with warmth. Not just the warmth of those alluring Italian skies, but a warmth of writing... reading this felt like a welcome ticket to Southern Italy. I could smell the coast, hike down to the salty sea and savour the story in my mouth." – Paula Green

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Wellington 6011, New Zealand