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Nineteen projects, located at sites from Great Barrier Island in the north to Dunedin in the south, won New Zealand Architecture Awards at a ceremony in Queenstown on Saturday 9 November.

[For images of all award-winning projects, and brief project descriptions and judges’ citations, go to this dropbox.]

Four of the projects, two of them neighbours in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, also received category awards named for distinguished New Zealand architects in the awards programme run by Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA).

Wynyard Central East 2, a sophisticated apartment complex designed by Architectus, received the Sir Ian Athfield Award for Housing. 12 Madden, an office building designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects, received the Sir Miles Warren Award for Commercial Architecture.

Ngā Wai Hono–AUT School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences Building, the latest addition to Auckland University of Technology’s city campus, won the Ted McCoy Award for Education.

Architectus won its second category award – the John Scott Award for Public Architecture – for Tūranga, the new Christchurch central library, which it designed with Danish practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and in close cooperation with Matapopore Charitable Trust and Ngāi Tūāhuriri.

The awards jury, which was led by Auckland architect Malcolm Walker and included architects Jeff Fearon (Auckland), Melanda Slemint (Christchurch) and Penny Fuller (Sydney), toured 44 shortlisted projects over nine days in late August and early September.  

In the public architecture category, in addition to Tūranga, the jury bestowed a New Zealand Architecture Award on Lakeside Soldiers Memorial Hall in Leeston, Canterbury, designed by Architecture Workshop. 

Awards in the Planning and Urban Design category went to Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Place, Auckland, a collaborative civic project involving Stevens Lawson Architects, Isthmus Group and artist John Reynolds, and Kumutoto Pavilion, a shelter and urban landscape intervention on the Wellington waterfront designed by Isthmus Group. 

A second project alongside Wellington harbour, 20 Customhouse Quay, an office tower designed by Studio Pacific Architecture, joined 12 Madden as winner in the Awards’ commercial category.

B:Hive, a “flexible space” office building at Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore designed by Jasmax  (FEATURED IMAGE) and Australian practice BVN received a New Zealand Architecture Award in the Interior Architecture category, and Lindis Lodge, a small luxury lodge in the South Island’s Ahuriri Valley designed by Architecture Workshop, received its award in the Hospitality category.       

Two very different projects won awards in the Heritage category. Rose Historic Chapel is an early twentieth century Christchurch convent chapel that was extensively damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes and has been painstakingly restored by Dave Pearson Architects.

The Nelson House Alteration by Sharon Jansen Architects is a sensitive reworking of an early 1960s house designed by Ernst Plischke, an Austrian émigré who was a key figure in New Zealand post-war modernist architecture.  

Chen-Anselmi Units, two town houses designed by Bull O’Sullivan Architecture in the Christchurch suburb of Sydenham, won an award in the Housing-Multi Unit category, and another Christchurch project, Menzies POP!, located in Sumner and designed by Architects’ Creative, received an award in the Housing–Alterations and Additions category.

Awards in the Housing category went to two homes at either end of the country. Pinwheel House was designed by Architecture+ for a site near a beach on Great Barrier Island, and Arrowtown House is a sculptural composition designed by RTA Studio for artist clients at Arrowtown.

In the Small Project category, Bivvy House, Queenstown, designed by Vaughn McQuarrie, and Kōwhai House, Dunedin, designed by Rafe Maclean Architects, won awards.

The jury made one Enduring Architecture Award, a distinction given to buildings at least 25 years of age that have proved their lasting worth, to the Athfield Home and Office, the extraordinary amalgam of structures on a Khandallah hillside in Wellington designed by the late Sir Ian Athfield over a 40 year period from the mid-1960s.

At the awards event six personal awards were also announced, three Distinguished Fellow Awards and three NZIA President’s Awards.

NZIA Distinguished Fellow awards, of which there are only 10 at any one time, were bestowed on architects Anne Salmond of Wanaka, and Graeme Scott and John Sutherland, both of Auckland.   

Anne Salmond contentAnne Salmond has been a trail blazer for women in architecture for more than 30 years. She has led a successful practice producing high-quality architecture from a base in a small provincial centre, and has championed important concerns such as sustainable design, prefabricated construction and the study of post-occupancy building performance.

Graeme Scott has led large Auckland practice ASC Architects for more than three decades, during which time he has designed many award-winning projects. He has also been a tireless advocate for the protection and improvement of the public realm through his voluntary work on Auckland’s Urban Design Forum, and his contributions to Auckland’s Urban Design Panels and to the preparation of the Auckland Unitary Plan.

John Sutherland was a director of New Zealand’s largest architecture practice – the forerunner of Jasmax – for 25 years and was then founding head of the School of Architecture at Unitec in Auckland. He is renowned for his command of the technical aspects of building design and has significantly advanced the understanding of building performance.

The three NZIA President’s Awards went to Tony Watkins, Peter Fehl and Engineering New Zealand.

Tony Watkins occupies a unique position in New Zealand architecture. He has been an architect, builder, teacher, writer, environmentalist, urbanist, advocate and agitator. Over the course of 50 years, he has demonstrated a tireless commitment to engaging with the public about architecture and reminding the profession of its ethical responsibilities.

Peter Fehl has served as director of Property Services at the University of Auckland for 15 years. In that time, he has made a huge contribution to the development of one of the most significant architectural sites in New Zealand – the central city campus of the University of Auckland. He has shown consistent support for this country’s architects and has expected them to meet his demanding standards.

Engineering New Zealand has collaborated closely with Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects as both organisations have sought to advance professional standards and advocate for the greater good of the wider industry. In particular, the organisations have worked closely together on the development of the Diversity Agenda that aims to increase the rate of female participation in the architecture and engineering professions.

The New Zealand Architecture Awards is a programme of Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects that has been sponsored by Resene since 1990.

The 2019 New Zealand Institute of Architects Awards’ winners are:

Category Project Name Project Address Architectural Practice NAMED AWARD WINNER
Commercial Architecture 20 Customhouse Quay Central Wellington Studio of Pacific Architecture
Commercial Architecture 12 Madden Wynyard Quarter, Auckland Warren and Mahoney Architects SIR MILES WARREN AWARD for Commercial Architecture
 
Education Ngā Wai Hono, AUT School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences (ECMS) Building Central Auckland Jasmax TED MCCOY AWARD for Education
 
Enduring Architecture Athfield Home and Office Khandallah, Wellington Athfield Architects Enduring Architecture Award
 
Heritage Rose Historic Chapel Central Christchurch Dave Pearson Architects
Heritage Nelson House Alteration Nelson Sharon Jansen – Architect  
Hospitality Lindis Lodge Ahuriri Valley, Waitaki Architecture Workshop
Housing Pinwheel House Medlands, Great Barrier Island architecture +
Housing Arrowtown House Arrowtown, Otago RTA Studio
Housing – Alterations and Additions Menzies POP! Sumner, Christchurch Architects’ Creative
Housing – Multi Unit Wynyard Central East 2 Wynyard Quarter, Auckland Architectus SIR IAN ATHFIELD AWARD for Housing
Housing – Multi Unit Chen Anselmi Units Sydenham, Christchurch Bull O’Sullivan Architecture  
Interior Architecture B:Hive Smales Farm, Takapuna, Auckland BVN and Jasmax in association
Planning & Urban Design Kumutoto Pavilion Wellington Isthmus Group  
Planning & Urban Design Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Place Central Auckland Stevens Lawson Architects, Isthmus Group and John Reynolds in association
Public Architecture Lakeside Soldiers Memorial Hall Leeston, Canterbury Architecture Workshop
Public Architecture Tῡranga Christchurch Central Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects JOHN SCOTT AWARD for Public Architecture
 
Small Project Architecture Kōwhai House Dunedin Rafe Maclean Architects
Small Project Architecture Bivvy House Closeburn, Queenstown Vaughn McQuarrie Architects
Peter Fehl Director, Property Services, University of Auckland President’s Award
   
Tony Watkins Auckland architect, builder, teacher, writer, environmentalist, urbanist, advocate and agitator President’s Award
 
  Engineering New Zealand President’s Award
Graeme Scott Auckland ASC Architects Distinguished Fellow
     
John Sutherland Auckland Jasmax Distinguished Fellow
     
Anne Salmond Wanaka Salmond Architecture Distinguished Fellow

For images of all award-winning projects, a list of award-winning projects, and brief project descriptions and judges’ citations, go to the NZIA dropbox.

To arrange an interview with awards jury convenor Malcolm Walker, or for any other information, contact:

Penny Hartill

New Zealand Architecture Awards publicity manager

penny@hartillpr.co.nz

Mobile: +64 21 721 424

 

Dame Fiona Kidman has won this year’s $53,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for her novel, This Mortal Boy, a work described by the judges as ‘moving, memorable, authentic and urgently relevant to our times.’

The book published by Penguin Random House received the honour ahead of a strong line-up of finalists comprising Lloyd Jones (The Cage), Kate Duignan (The New Ships) and Vincent O’Sullivan (All This by Chance) at the Auckland Writers Festival marquee event held in the Aotea Centre this evening.

“In This Mortal Boy, Fiona Kidman has written an intensely human and empathetic story, recreating the events leading to the real life hanging of ’jukebox killer‘ Paddy Black at Mount Eden prison in 1955.

“With seeming effortlessness, she pulls the reader into mid-century New Zealand – the restlessness of a new urban youth culture, the moral panic that led to the Mazengarb report, the damning assumptions of the legal profession and the unchallenged omissions that eased the pathway to a young man’s death,” said this year’s fiction category judges.

New York Times best-selling author and academic Joanne Drayton won the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction for Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love (Otago University Press).

The category judges said Hudson & Halls is not simply the story of celebrity chefs: “It is a generous, multi-layered, and touching account of companionship and enduring love.

“Set against the backdrop of the double act many of us will remember, Hudson & Halls reveals the humour and drama of this couple’s onscreen chemistry, and is a deeply moving and often surprising account of their private life. Set within the context of significant social and political moments over four decades and three countries, Joanne Drayton’s fresh approach to storytelling makes this a must-read.”

Helen Heath won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry for her collection Are Friends Electric? (Victoria University Press).

“By turns thoughtful and moving, Are Friends Electric? asks how the material world might mediate—or replace—human relationships.

“Helen Heath’s collection impressed the judging panel with its broad thematic reach, its willingness to tackle complex issues, and its poetic risk-taking,” said the judges.

Senior curator Sean Mallon and French ethnologist Sébastien Galliot took the Illustrated Non-Fiction category for their work Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing (Te Papa Press).

The book which traces the art form from 3,000 years ago to the present day is described by judges as a visual feast.

“…quality design is met with innovative writing that both records and opens up new territory, creating a book that will expand and enrich the knowledge of readers throughout Aotearoa, the Moana Pacific and beyond. Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing celebrates the tactile pleasure of a book in the hand, and should be acknowledged as a milestone in contemporary publishing.”

Te Mūrau o te Tuhi, a discretionary Māori Language Award, was presented this year for the landmark work He Kupu Tuku Iho: Ko te Reo Māori te Tatau ki te Ao by pioneering language and tikanga academics Sir Tīmoti Kāretu and the late Dr Wharehuia Milroy published by Auckland University Press.

Te Reo Māori judge Dr Ruakere Hond acknowledged the very recent passing of Dr Milroy in announcing the award.

 “He tai mutunga kore te ranga whai reo e āki kau ana ki te aroaro o te tokorua kātuarehe, ngā ruānuku o te reo o nehe, ki nāianei rangi.  He whāiti taua urunga, engari i konei ka wherawhera mai.  He maioha tēnei nā Tīmoti Kāretu rāua ko Te Wharehuia Milroy, kia hou mai te tāura ki waenga pū i ā rāua kōrerorero, he kōrero paki, he hokinga mahara o te ohinga, ā, pakeke noa.  He puanga rautangi ki te hauangi.  Kapohia e te tini.  He tatau e puare ana i tō rāua ao.

“Staunch advocates of our spoken reo have relentlessly sought to sit down with these two most influential exponents of reo Māori, from the past and for today.  Few have had the opportunity; this book now opens that door. Tīmoti Kāretu and the late Wharehuia Milroy invite the reader into their conversations, their yarns and musings from decades of cultural experience.  This book’s value is undeniable.  Its language, accessible.  This is a doorway to their world,” said Dr Hond.

The General Non-Fiction, Poetry, Illustrated Non-Fiction category and Māori Language Award winners each took home a $10,000 prize.

 

Four MitoQ Best First Book Awards were also presented at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

The Hubert Church Prize for a best first book of Fiction went to Kirsten Warner for The Sound of Breaking Glass (Mākaro Press).

The E.H. McCormick Prize for a best first work of General Non-Fiction was presented to Chessie Henry for We Can Make a Life (Victoria University Press).

The Jessie Mackay Prize for a best first book of Poetry was awarded to Tayi Tibble for Poūkahangatus (Victoria University Press).

The Judith Binney Prize for a best first work of Illustrated Non-Fiction went to John Reid for Whatever It Takes: Pacific Films and John O’Shea 1948-2000 (Victoria University Press).

Each MitoQ Best First Book Award winner received $2500.

 

The 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards judges were:

Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize: journalist, reviewer and editor Sally Blundell; author and programme director of WORD Christchurch Rachael King; novelist, short story writer and lecturer James George (Ngāpuhi) and award-winning New York-based novelist Joseph O’Neill  who assisted the three New Zealand judges to select this year’s Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize winner.

Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction: science writer Rebecca Priestley, Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington; award-winning historian and University of Otago academic Angela Wanhalla and curator, educator and writer Karl Chitham (Ngāpuhi), new director of the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt.

Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry: creative writing teacher Airini Beautrais; Massey University Professor Bryan Walpert and Pasifika poet Karlo Mila who runs an indigenous leadership programme.

Illustrated Non-Fiction category: Well-known writer, curator and commentator on all aspects of architecture, design and art Douglas Lloyd Jenkins; curator at Dunedin Public Art Gallery Lucy Hammonds and experienced bookseller Bruce Caddy.

Award-winning writer Paula Morris of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, which governs the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, says in a highly competitive year of groundbreaking, compelling books, it is heartening to welcome two new sponsors.

“Peter and Mary Biggs, long-time arts supporters in New Zealand, are now sponsoring our poetry prize, and the innovators of MitoQ are backing our first book winners. Their commitment speaks to the vitality and mana of our writers, artists and publishers,” says Ms Morris.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, the Acorn Foundation, the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM, MitoQ and the Auckland Writers Festival.

ENDS

For winners’ images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wqznczvyv4077z0/AAAHfEeyCzQ7WuO3dJAkmBRba?dl=0

For winning book covers: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/36wkvug4i87y0l9/AADzWMd7HsvJTC1LRvLCjYRwa?dl=0

 

Winners’ banner images

Print:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r8hz9o6q595b88f/AAARsdZQSCtsPwocfYOY20Hva?dl=0

Web: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ahfbowl2g9hixl2/AAAh-sjx5uQZ3aIhExERpgKZa?dl=0

 

  • Media are welcome to attend The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Ceremony at the Auckland Writers Festival on Tuesday 14 May, 7.00pm – 8.45pm ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre.
  • Winners are available for interview
  • Judges are available for interview
  • Winning books are available for review
  • Author images and book jacket images are available

 

To register your interest in attending the ceremony, please contact: Penny Hartill – director hPR, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

www.nzbookawards.nz         https://www.facebook.com/NewZealandBookAwards/

@theockhams            #theockhams

 

Editor’s Notes:

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for books written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Awards are given for Fiction (the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize), General Non-Fiction (the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction), Illustrated Non-Fiction and Poetry (the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry). There are also four awards for first-time authors (The MitoQ Best First Book Awards) and, at the judges’ discretion, Te Mūrau o te Tuhi a Māori Language Award. The awards are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity). Current members of the Trust are Nicola Legat, Karen Ferns, Paula Morris, Catherine Robertson, Jenna Todd, David Bowles, Pene Walsh and Melanee Winder. The Trust also governs the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

Ockham Residential is Auckland’s most progressive developer. By creating apartments that are well-designed, made with quality materials and are well-loved by the community, Ockham is committed to shaping a built environment that reflects Auckland as a world-class city, the grandeur of its landscapes and the ideas of its people. Founded in 2009 by Aucklanders Mark Todd and Benjamin Preston, Ockham also aims to enhance the community through sponsorship of the arts. The principal sponsor of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, the company announced at the 2018 ceremony that it would continue its support for a further 5 years. Ockham is also a proud supporter of architecture and the visual arts as the lead partner of Objectspace.

The Acorn Foundation is a community foundation based in the Western Bay of Plenty, which encourages people to leave a gift in their wills and/or their lifetimes to support their local community forever. Donations are pooled and invested, and the investment income is used to make donations to local charities, in accordance with the donors’ wishes. The capital remains intact. Since it was established in 2003, Acorn has distributed over $4.6 million. Donors may choose which organisations are to benefit each year, or they may decide to leave it to the trustees’ discretion. Community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy worldwide, and there are now 15 throughout New Zealand, with more in the early stages. The Fiction Prize has been provided through the generosity of one of the Foundation’s donors, and will be awarded to the top fiction work each year, in perpetuity. Its base figure of $50,000 will be adjusted each year, to reflect wage inflation.

Royal Society Te Apārangi is an independent not-for-profit organisation that supports all New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge. Its varied programmes provide funding and learning opportunities for researchers, teachers, school students, together with those who are simply curious about the world. To celebrate the discoveries of New Zealand researchers, the Society awards medals and elects Fellows, who are leaders in their fields. These experts help the Society to provide independent advice to New Zealanders and the government on issues of public concern. The Society has a broad network of members and friends around New Zealand and invites all those who value the work New Zealanders do in exploring, discovering and sharing knowledge to join with them.

Creative New Zealand has been a sustaining partner of New Zealand’s book awards for decades. Creative New Zealand encourages, promotes and supports the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of all New Zealanders through funding, capability building, an international programme, and advocacy. It offers financial support for emerging and established artists, art practitioners, groups and organisations, and provides training and online resources to help artists and practitioners develop professionally, grow audiences and markets, and manage their organisations. It also supports internships and national touring to help develop New Zealand arts. Creative New Zealand provides a wide range of support to New Zealand literature, including funding for writers and publishers, residencies, literary festivals and awards, and supports organisations which work to increase the readership and sales of New Zealand literature at home and internationally.

MitoQ is one of New Zealand’s newest global success stories. Founded on breakthrough cellular research undertaken at Otago University, MitoQ® is the only product to directly target the mitochondria. Over 300 reviews and studies have to date been published around the positive effects of MitoQ® on health. MitoQ’s success has placed the company in the exciting position of being able to put back into its communities through sponsorship, particularly in the arts, which it sees as essential to the wellbeing of society. The company is delighted to support the enrichment of New Zealand literature through the MitoQ Best First Book awards.

Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM are long-time arts advocates and patrons – particularly of literature and theatre. They have funded the Biggs Family Prize in Poetry at Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters since 2006, along with the Alex Scobie Research Prize in Classical Studies, Latin and Greek. They have been consistent supporters of the International Festival of the Arts, the Auckland Writers Festival, Wellington’s Circa Theatre, the New Zealand Arts Foundation, Featherston Booktown, the New Zealand Book Council, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Featherston Sculpture Trust and the Kokomai Arts Festival in the Wairarapa. Peter was Chair of Creative New Zealand from 1999 to 2006. He led the Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce in 2010 and the New Zealand Professional Orchestra Sector Review in 2012. Peter was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for arts governance and philanthropy in 2013.

The Auckland Writers Festival is the largest literary event in New Zealand and the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world. Now in its 19th year, it hosts more than 200 local and international writers for seven days of discussion, conversation, reading, debate, performance, schools, family and free events ranging across fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, theatre, culture, art and more. Festival attendance in 2018 exceeded 74,000.

 

Akld Writers FestivalPeople of all ages flocked to the 2019 Auckland Writers Festival this week, which broke its previous attendance record with more than 83,000 seats filled across seven days of tremendous conversations, inspiring performances and theatres filled with laughter at venues throughout the city’s centre.

The Festival, which has seen year-on-year growth in the last eight years, hosted 230 of New Zealand’s and the world’s best novelists, playwrights, song writers, historians, children’s writers, illustrators, journalists and poets who took to the streets, filled the halls and entertained in the sparkling Festival tent, bringing extraordinary new ideas, and words to the many thousands who came to see them.

Auckland Writers Festival director Anne O’Brien says it is an absolute thrill that the Festival is now considered to be one of the best of its kind in the world.

“There is huge appetite for substantive conversations and a deeper understanding of the world and each other. We are incredibly grateful to all of our guests, many of whom have travelled across the world to share stories and ideas relevant to today’s concerns.

“We farewell these remarkable writers but are left inspired by their stories, and with a deeper understanding of the role we, as individuals, can play in the world.”

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern received a standing ovation in a sold out session full of laughter and substance. Economist Kate Raworth’s passion that a new, sustainable economic model is possible inspired all who came to hear her. David Chariandy, Leonie Hayden, Victor Rodger, Jenny Erpenbeck and Nida Fiazi shared personal experiences of discrimination which sobered the audience in the University of Auckland Festival Forum: Everyday Acts of Racism. Musician and memoirist Jeff Tweedy’s honesty and skilful use of the comedic pause drew rapturous applause. Vincent O’Malley challenged us with an impassioned call for the New Zealand Wars to be taught in schools. We were honoured that kaumatua Sir Tīmoti Kāretu appeared in the Festival’s first-ever session conducted in te reo Māori.  We were treated to Eugenia Cheng’s musical and mathematical brilliance. Ninety performers from Auckland’s National Youth Theatre Company joined Val Emmich in a beautiful session that brought many audience members to tears, as did Anne Michael’s moving session that started Friday’s programme. Military historian Sir Antony Beevor brought the impact of war so vividly to life to a packed theatre. Jill Abramson was open and self-effacing as she provided insight into the media, paywalls and revealed the lead-up to her firing as the executive editor of the New York Times. Markus Zusak’s empathy for his characters and skilful audience engagement was a highlight for many. Rebecca Vaughan’s sold out Orlando season left her audience astonished, confirming her place as one of the world’s great solo literary actresses. Beloved children’s and adult fiction writer Joy Cowley ended the session with a compassionate and heartfelt session that saw her receive a standing ovation.

Hundreds of people converged upon Literally Lorne for an eclectic variety of short, sharp events that were by parts funny, moving and zany. The Auckland Town Hall was given over to the kids at Family Day on Sunday, and they were treated to performances of the wild and wacky variety including an oversized book of Margaret Mahy’s The Lion in the Meadow read by Stacey Morrison in te reo Māori and English.

More than 7,500 students and teachers, from all over the North Island filled the Aotea Centre for inspiring sessions with writers from Britain, US, Australia and New Zealand.

The cream of this country’s writers received honours at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards –a marquee event in the Festival’s public programme – amongst them Dame Fiona Kidman who was presented with the $53,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize.

This year’s Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, judged by American award-winning poet, novelist and essayist Anne Michaels, went to Jessica Le Bas and the inaugural $10,000 Michael Gifkins Prize went to Tom McLean writing as Tom Remiger.

Auckland Writers Festival Board Chair, Pip Muir, says it is a real privilege to be part of an organisation that demonstrates such commitment to the power of words and ideas.

“I sincerely thank the Festival staff for their hard work and tenacity delivering this truly world-class event, and to the sponsors and patrons for their generosity and loyal support.

“This Festival has been an outstanding success. It will be a hard act to follow, setting us a great challenge for the Festival’s 20th event next year.” says Ms Muir.

The Auckland Writers Festival warmly thanks Platinum Partner: Heartland Bank; Gold Partners: The University of Auckland, Freemasons Foundation, Ockham Residential and Creative New Zealand; Silver Partners: ATEED, Barfoot & Thompson, Craigs Investment Partners, Foundation North, Hobson Leavy Executive Search, Newstalk ZB, The New Zealand Herald, The University of Auckland Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences; Bronze Partners: Hachette, HarperCollins, Hawkins & Co, Heart of the City, NZ Community Trust, Penguin Random House, QMS, The Lion Foundation, Victoria University Press and Supporting Partners.

We are also enormously grateful to our Festival patrons for their enthusiasm and generosity.

For Festival images: https://www.dropbox.com/home/2019%20Writer’s%20Festival%20Speaker%20Photos

For further information, interview opportunities, author and book images please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR, 021 721 424, www.hartillpr.co.nz

www.writersfestival.co.nz                  www.facebook.com/akwrfest

@AklWritersFest              #awf19

 

Editor’s Notes

The Auckland Writers Festival is the largest literary event in New Zealand and the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world. Now in its 19th year, it hosts more than 230 local and international writers for a week of discussion, conversation, reading, debate, performance, schools, family and free events ranging across fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, theatre, culture, art and more. Festival attendance in 2018 reached 75,000.

 

Future Islands bannerNew Zealand architecture takes its place on the world stage at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, which launches on 28 May.

Official exhibitions from 62 countries will compete for attention at the six-month event, which attracts a quarter of a million visitors and is regarded as the ‘Olympics of architecture’.

The Commissioner of the New Zealand exhibition, Tony van Raat, director of the Architecture Research Lab at AUT University, says participation in the Biennale is a unique opportunity to profile this country’s architecture.

“If we want to test our architectural thinking, contribute to the international debate about architectural issues, and raise awareness of New Zealand’s design capabilities, the Venice Biennale is the place to do it,” van Raat says.

Future Islands logo

New Zealand’s 2016 Biennale entry, Future Islands, has been produced by a group of architects and exhibition designers led by creative director Charles Walker, Co-Director of the Colab research unit at AUT University, Auckland, and associate creative director Kathy Waghorn, of the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Walker, whose exhibition concept was selected in an open competition contested by 15 teams led by New Zealand architects based here and abroad, says representing this country at the world’s most influential architecture event is an honour and a challenge.

“This is only the second time New Zealand has had a national exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale,” Walker says. “Other countries have been going to the Biennale for decades, but it’s still new for us.”

“We hope Future Islands has a freshness that will stand out in the full-on Biennale environment,” Walker says. “The exhibition expresses the diversity of contemporary New Zealand architecture, and of modern New Zealand society.”

Future Islands - render of exhibition 4

The exhibition consists of 22 island-like forms, some of them several metres in diameter, suspended in two rooms in the exhibition venue, a palazzo near the Arsenale, the historic Venetian boat building complex.

The ‘islands’ – shells of fibreglass, carbon fibre or infused hemp – were made by Core Builders Composites, the Warkworth-based company that builds yachts for Oracle and other America’s Cup syndicates.

Arranged on or around the islands are than 100 models representing 50 New Zealand architectural projects. These projects are the work of a wide range of New Zealand designers – architects from large practices and small firms, graduates and students – and vary in type, scale and purpose.

“Many have been built, some have not yet been built, and others are purely speculative,” Walker says. “The importance to architecture of speculative work is something we want our exhibition to convey.”

“The island metaphor is a means to do this,” Walker says. “Islands have always been seen as sites of possibility. They hold the promise of alternative ways of living, and that prospect is now more attractive, and necessary, than ever.”

Walker says Future Islands’ multiple tellings of New Zealand’s architectural story was also influenced by a book he has long admired, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, a 1970s novel in which fifty-five imagined cities are revealed to be versions of one city – Venice.

“We liked the idea of using the structure and allegorical nature of the book to hint at a connection between two island places, Venice and New Zealand, and we were inspired by the levity of Calvino’s writing,” Walker says.

“We want to make our point, but not belabour it, and have designed Future Islands to be a sensory experience. We hope it will be an attractive exhibition that will intrigue visitors and hold their attention in a Biennale crowded with events.”

Exhibition associate creative director Kathy Waghorn says that while Future Islands is about architecture’s possibilities, it’s also about architects’ responsibilities.

“Architecture is changing and its condition is as unsettled as the world in which it occurs,” Waghorn says. “But architects should be optimistic that they can make a difference. They are well equipped to offer alternative solutions to contemporary economic and environmental challenges.”

Wagner says this concern is compatible with the theme of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. That call to arms theme, chosen by the Biennale’s overall director, Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, is Reporting from the Front.

“Like Aravena, we believe architects, wherever they are practising, have to put themselves forward, if the world is to have a sustainable and equitable future,” Waghorn says.
New Zealand’s participation in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale was instigated and organised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

biennale logo

The Future Islands creative team also includes architects Jessica Barter and Maggie Carroll (Bureaux), Jon Rennie (Athfield Architects) and Rewi Thompson; craftsman builder Stephen Brookbanks; architectural model maker Minka Ip; and video projectionist Bruce Ferguson.
Future Islands is being staged at Palazzo Bollani, Castello, Venice. It will have its official launch during the Biennale Vernissage on 26 and 27 May, and will be open to the public from 28 May to 27 November, 2016, Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm.
The exhibition can be followed at http://venice.nzia.co.nz/

-ENDS-
For further information, or an interview opportunity with Tom Linn, contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

EXCELLENCE DRIVES FIERCE COMPETITION IN OCKHAM NEW ZEALAND BOOK AWARDS’ SHORTLIST

Debut writers and literary luminaries vie for the country’s premier book honours in today’s finalist announcement of 16 compelling works that explore and re-imagine the natural, cultural and creative landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ 2020 finalists were selected by four panels of three specialist judges (for fiction, poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction) and were drawn from 40 longlisted titles that had been narrowed down from more than 170 entries – a 12 percent increase in submissions on the last three years.

The 2020 finalists for the $55,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction are: Auē by Becky Manawatu; Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall; A Mistake by Carl Shuker and Halibut on the Moon by David Vann.

Mark Broatch, spokesperson for the fiction judges, applauds the “cheeringly excellent year for New Zealand fiction,” with novels and short story collections of great range, depth and surprise.

“Forced to winnow a great longlist to four, the judges found that these books stood above the others – for their storytelling brio, their exploration of salient ideas, and their dedication to language as a salve and seasoning for the mind, the marrow, the spirit,” he says.

Award-winning Australian (Wiradjuri) writer Tara June Winch will assist the three New Zealand judges to select this year’s Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction winner.

The finalists in the 2020 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry are: Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy; How to Live by Helen Rickerby; Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint and How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young.

“The four shortlisted poets write in different styles, however all pay superb attention to craft, form and tone, and all have produced books with lasting impact,” says Poetry category convenor Kiri Piahana-Wong.

The 2020 Illustrated Non-Fiction category finalists are: Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner; Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns; We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee; and McCahon Country by Justin Paton.

Odessa Owens, convenor of the Illustrated Non-Fiction judging panel, says the four finalist books are landmark publications that address significant cultural milestones. “These brilliantly crafted publications also demonstrate the growing confidence of writers, designers and publishers to innovate with design and world-class production values,” she says.

The 2020 General Non-Fiction category finalists are:  Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter; Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos; Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green and Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus by Sarah Myles.

General Non-Fiction convenor of judges Sharon Dell says beautiful writing and compelling content have worked together to create four finalist books whose impact will be felt beyond this year. “The deployment of archival resources, solid research and the mining of memory bring insight into the lives of creative people, and an understanding of how individual lives and experiences reflect the identity and character of Aotearoa.”

New Zealand Book Awards Trust spokesperson Paula Morris says that “each year brings surprises, and this highly competitive year is no exception. The quality of books on the shortlists is exceptional. We anticipate that the decisions of the judges in each category will spark passionate debate.”

The winners of the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, including the four MitoQ Best First Book award winners, will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 12 May as a marquee event during the 2020 Auckland Writers Festival.

The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted titles are:

Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction:

Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)

Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall (Vintage, Penguin Random House)

A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press)

Halibut on the Moon by David Vann (Text Publishing)

Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry:

Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press)

How to Live by Helen Rickerby (Auckland University Press)

Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint (Victoria University Press)

How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press)

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award:

Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner (Te Papa Press)

Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns (Te Papa Press)

We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee (Massey University Press)

McCahon Country by Justin Paton (Penguin Random House)

General Non-Fiction Award:

Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter (Victoria University Press)

Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos (Victoria University Press)

Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green (Massey University Press)

Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus by Sarah Myles (Allen & Unwin)

The General Non-Fiction, Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners will each receive a $10,000 prize. The winners of the four MitoQ Best First Book awards will each receive $2,500.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs, MitoQ and the Auckland Writers Festival.

To find out more about the shortlisted titles go to http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/2020-awards/shortlist/

ENDS

To download shortlisted book covers: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2upxks9uyrttn3c/AAABmhb1AY94OZKgm4d_v7oPa?dl=0

To download shortlisted author images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/d4aqj5fuehcvf39/AAAqij3V_IhuJbMD7qhhfqCMa?dl=0

To download collage images of each category: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ynkyycfg69snjv0/AADCrP9EAewq7u_br_lLIlI6a?dl=0

For interview opportunities and further information please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

#theockhams  facebook.com/NewZealandBookAwards     twitter.com/theockhams

Editor’s Notes:

This year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards judges are: author, journalist and reviewer Mark Broatch, short story and non-fiction writer Nic Low (Ngāi Tahu) and Chris Baskett, a passionate reader of local fiction and an independent bookseller (Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction); publisher and acclaimed poet Kiri Piahana-Wong, poet Tim Upperton, whose collection The Night We Ate the Baby was an Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalist in 2016 and Phillippa Duffy, whose two decades in the book industry include publishing, board positions and bookselling (Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry); Hocken Librarian and experienced documentary and cultural heritage collections advisor Sharon Dell, respected bookseller, reviewer and practising artist Stella Chrysostomou and well-known journalist, presenter and voracious reader Guyon Espiner (General Non-Fiction Award); award-winning publisher and Whitireia publishing programme tutor Odessa Owens, Lana Lopesi, an independent critic, editor and author, and Hamish Coney, an award-winning writer, arts advisor and founder and former director of the auction house Art+Object (Illustrated Non-Fiction Award).

This year’s Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction international judge is Tara June Winch, an Australian (Wiradjuri) writer based in France. She was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist after her award-winning debut novel Swallow the Air was published in 2006 and she won a mentorship with Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka. Her latest novel is The Yield.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for books written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Awards are given for Fiction (the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction), Poetry (the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry) Illustrated Non-Fiction and General Non-Fiction. There are also four awards for first-time authors (The MitoQ Best First Book awards) and, at the judges’ discretion, Te Mūrau o te Tuhi, a Māori Language Award. The awards are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity). Current members of the Trust are Nicola Legat, Karen Ferns, Paula Morris, Jenna Todd, Anne Morgan, Melanee Winder and Melinda Szymanik. The Trust also governs the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

Ockham Residential is Auckland’s most thoughtful developer. Through creating elegant and enduring buildings that are well-loved by those who make them home, Ockham hopes to enhance Auckland – and to contribute to its many communities. Founded in 2009 by Mark Todd and Benjamin Preston, Ockham supports a number of organisations in arts, science and education. They fund several scholarships at the University of Auckland, sponsor Ngā Rangatahi Toa, a transformative organisation working with excluded youth, and are the lead partner of the Objectspace gallery in Ponsonby. But their principal sponsorship of the New Zealand Book Awards, a relationship now in its fifth year, is perhaps their most visible contribution. Says Mark Todd: “Our communities would be drab, grey and much poorer places without art, without words, without science – without critical thought. That’s why our partnership with the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards means the world to us.”

The Acorn Foundation is a community foundation based in the Western Bay of Plenty, which encourages people to leave a gift in their wills and/or their lifetimes to support their local community forever. Donations are pooled and invested, and the investment income is used to make donations to local charities, in accordance with the donors’ wishes. The capital remains intact. Since it was established in 2003, Acorn has distributed over $6.8 million. Donors may choose which organisations are to benefit each year, or they may decide to leave it to the trustees’ discretion. Community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy worldwide, and there are now 17 throughout New Zealand, with more in the early stages. The Prize for Fiction has been provided through the generosity of one of the Foundation’s donors Jann Medlicott, and will be awarded to the top fiction work each year, in perpetuity. Its base figure of $50,000 in 2016 is adjusted each year, to reflect wage inflation.

Creative New Zealand has been a sustaining partner of New Zealand’s book awards for decades. Creative New Zealand encourages, promotes and supports the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of all New Zealanders through funding, capability building, an international programme, and advocacy. It offers financial support for emerging and established artists, art practitioners, groups and organisations, and provides training and online resources to help artists and practitioners develop professionally, grow audiences and markets, and manage their organisations. It also supports internships and national touring to help develop New Zealand arts. Creative New Zealand provides a wide range of support to New Zealand literature, including funding for writers and publishers, residencies, literary festivals and awards, and supports organisations which work to increase the readership and sales of New Zealand literature at home and internationally.

MitoQ is one of New Zealand’s newest global success stories. Founded on breakthrough cellular research undertaken at the University of Otago, MitoQ® is the only product to directly target the mitochondria, which are responsible for producing the body’s energy. Over 400 reviews and studies have to date been published on the positive benefits of MitoQ® to health and athletic performance. MitoQ’s success has placed the company in the exciting position of being able to put back into its communities through sponsorship, particularly in the arts, which it sees as essential to the wellbeing of society. The company is delighted to support the enrichment of New Zealand literature through the MitoQ Best First Book awards.

Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM are long-time arts advocates and patrons – particularly of literature and theatre. They have funded the Biggs Family Prize in Poetry at Victoria University of Wellington’s International Institute of Modern Letters since 2006, along with the Alex Scobie Research Prize in Classical Studies, Latin and Greek. They have been consistent supporters of the International Festival of the Arts, the Auckland Writers Festival, Wellington’s Circa Theatre, the New Zealand Arts Foundation, Featherston Booktown, the New Zealand Book Council, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Featherston Sculpture Trust and the Kokomai Arts Festival in the Wairarapa. Peter was Chair of Creative New Zealand from 1999 to 2006. He led the Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce in 2010 and the New Zealand Professional Orchestra Sector Review in 2012. Peter was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for arts governance and philanthropy in 2013.

The Auckland Writers Festival is the largest literary event in New Zealand and the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world. Now in its 20th year, it hosts more than 200 local and international writers for seven days of discussion, conversation, reading, debate, performance, schools, family and free events ranging across fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, theatre, culture, art and more. Festival attendance in 2019 exceeded 83,000.

NEiTA logo

Inspirational Teachers Receive National Excellence in Education Awards

Six of New Zealand’s top teachers spanning early childhood, primary and secondary education received ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) from the Minister of Education, Hon. Chris Hipkins today.

The ASG NEiTA Awards which this year celebrate 25 years at a ceremony in the Great Hall, Parliament Buildings, honour the recipients for their inspiring and innovative contributions to teaching.

NEiTA winners 2020
NEiTA winners 2020 top row Aimee Macaskill, Carl MacIntyre, Catherine Broman, second row Christopher Waugh, Lee Tibble, Renu Sikka

Christopher Waugh, a secondary school teacher from Wanaka, won this year’s ASG NEiTA Innovation Award by turning the power structure in secondary school on its head. His three innovations in education hand over the controls of learning to students, so they experience a sense of control over their destiny. Teachers and the school management happily play supporting roles.

Christopher, who teaches English at Mount Aspiring College in Wanaka in addition to coaching the school’s triathlon team and hosting his own podcast called ‘See Me After Class’, has a host of education innovations to his credit.

He introduced the ‘You Choose’ student course selection scheme, which requires teachers to develop learning programs and present a ‘pitch’ to students. The students then get to pick the course of their choice, sometimes based on who will be teaching the course. This aids the development of strong student-teacher relationships and also lets the teacher know they are doing a great job if they find that their course is popular.

His second classroom innovation is to enable students to present their work on blogs, ushering a transparent means of publishing and sharing classwork. Christopher is currently working on the ‘Unlock Achievement’ project that will replace traditional testing in the school with access to digital credentials that students can unlock at any time on their educational journey. This will allow students to curate their learning, improving student agency, and supporting resilience as it allows them to ‘try again’.

“My students are the centre of everything I do. I believe passionately that giving them power to direct their lives, with the appropriate level of support and guidance, is crucial to their healthy development,” says Christopher.

The other recipients are: Carl McIntyre, Cornerstone Christian School in Palmerston North’s learning support teacher who won the ASG NEiTA Founders’ Award for Leadership; Aimee MacAskill the University of Auckland’s Early Childhood Centres’ general manager; Lee Tibble, a teacher at Auckland’s Royal Oak Intermediate, Renu Sikka, a teacher at Auckland’s Henderson Primary School; and Catherine Broman, acting deputy principal and literacy specialist at David Henry School in Tokoroa.

Carl McIntyre is passionate about supporting students who struggle to succeed in a normal classroom environment. He stands out as a leader on a range of important issues such as learning support and developing tailored support programs for students with learning disabilities and helping them create successful and relevant career pathways. “Carl has changed many lives, he cares about all his students, but what’s best about Carl is that he’s not afraid to be a life changer,” says the parent who nominated him.

He has designed a dyslexic/Irlen screening system for every student who enters Cornerstone, so he can offer those students customised support from the start. “The value of meeting with parents, organising an Irlen screen, encouraging parents to invest into it and then having a student say upon wearing the glasses: ‘This is the first time the words have stood still for me!’ is priceless,” says Carl. He has managed learning support on his own resources for the last five years, fuelled only by the satisfaction of making a difference to students in need of it. Carl has also helped to create the school’s pastoral care model—Life Lab— through which student groups have a teacher (coach) who is responsible for their emotional, spiritual, social, physical and learning needs, ensuring that no student is isolated, instead they are well supported.

“A good or great teacher is someone that is truly dedicated to the growth and development of children in all areas. Not just the daily care routines, but someone that actually takes the time to get to know the children,” says Aimee MacAskill. Her nominee says of Aimee: “She makes you want to do better, and to be more, just because you know that you are worth it.”

“The availability of free information has completely changed the landscape of what a teacher should look like. Too many of us continue to expect our learners to endure our ramblings, rather than ask the most important question that we could possibly ask: what would you like to learn about? This question is incredibly powerful. It completely changes the basis of what education should look like,” says Lee Tibble, who would rather have students being engaged in class rather than complete menial tasks to complete work expected of them. “Lee Tibble exemplifies what every parent and student would hope for in a teacher,” says his nominator.

“Schools that are successful in engaging parents in learning are consistent in their practice and build strong relationships based on mutual trust, respect and a commitment to improving student learning outcomes. It is a two-way street!” says Renu Sikka. “She is an amazing teacher and deserves to be recognised by the community and this prestigious award for her enthusiasm and devotion to the field of education in Aotearoa,” says Renu’s parent nominator.

“Teachers cannot expect children to learn at the same rate, at the same time and with the same methods. Armed with the knowledge of your pupils, work on getting everyone learning at a rate that suits them and working on what you know about them,” says Catherine Broman, who has completed 40 years in the profession. “Catherine is an amazing, dedicated, hardworking teacher who has high expectations in learning and behaviour for all students who enter into her classroom,” says her nominator.

ASG NEiTA Chairman Allen Blewitt says the recipients are outstanding educational role models. “I am honoured to have had the opportunity to meet six inspirational teachers and educators every year through the NEiTA process. These teachers are leaders among their colleagues in an education setting, innovators among the teaching profession, and people engaging with others within the community. Congratulations to this year’s winners. I look forward to seeing how they continue to change lives through their work.”

ASG CEO Ross Higgins says a NEiTA nomination is proof that the members of the school community acknowledge the contribution of the teacher and value it. “I congratulate all the NEiTA recipients. They represent dedicated teachers across New Zealand who genuinely care about the educational success and wellbeing of their students. They are education heroes in their own right.”

Since their inception in 1994, the NEiTA Foundation has contributed more than $1 million in professional development grants to more than 1,050 outstanding teachers in Australia and New Zealand.

The national recipients are selected by a panel of four judges comprising President NZ Schools Trustees Association, Lorraine Kerr (MNZM); Principal of John Paul College and Chair of SIEBA Patrick Walsh; NEiTA Foundation Chairman Allen Blewitt and Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations at ASG David Michell.

The selection process is rigorous, including a comprehensive nomination outline, a written paper and video presentation by the nominated teacher. Parents, grandparents, secondary student councils, school boards, councils, parent associations, committees of management and community organisations throughout New Zealand nominated the six recipients. The recipients each receive a $5000 professional development grant.

For more information and to view their ASG NEiTA profiles go to: www.asg.co.nz/neita

For more information, images or to arrange interviews please contact:

Penny Hartill – director hPR: 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

Editor’s notes:

The Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) is a member-owned organisation, helping to create educational opportunities for children. ASG has been helping families and their children for 45 years. During this time, more than 557,000 children have been enrolled with ASG and more than $3.35 billion in education benefits and scholarship payments returned to members.

ASG offers a range of education savings and investment products, which are designed to provide families with a tax-effective means of meeting future education costs.

The ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA) started in 1994 in Australia and 1996 in New Zealand. Since inception, more than 40,000 teachers have been nominated by the community in the two countries. 

For more information visit: www.asg.co.nz

Alan Duff, Elizabeth Knox and Don McGlashan Headline 24th Going West Writers Festival

New Zealand’s leading authors, poets, playwrights and musicians take to West Auckland’s theatres, halls and beaches at the 24th Going West Writers Festival 6-15 September, offering audiences ten days of inspiring words and ideas that cut through the clutter.

The Festival’s Artistic Director Mark Easterbrook says he’s thrilled to welcome writers from all over Aotearoa, handpicked for their reputations as wordsmiths that can encourage us to imagine new possibilities.

“This year’s writers will take us to new places, make us laugh and help us make sense of the issues we’re grappling with.  I invite you all to enjoy the legendary warmth of Going West, rub shoulders with other word-lovers and immerse yourself in a world of stories and ideas.”

Bellbirds
The Bellbirds

Always a sell-out, this year’s Festival Opening Night, features live music from The Bellbirds: Don McGlashan, Sean James Donnelly (SJD), Victoria Kelly and Sandy Mill, powerful poetry from Apirana Taylor (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Ruanui,Ngāti Pākehā) and a key note address from internationally acclaimed, best-selling novelist Elizabeth Knox.

The Festival features renowned author Witi Ihimaera talking about his second memoir Native Son; Alan Duff discusses his views on ‘where to from here’ for Māori; internationally acclaimed writer Elspeth Sandys reveals new information about her famous cousin Rewi Alley; Sir Bob Harvey talks about his relationship with the sea; hear  powerful stories from Janet McAllister, Tulia Thompson, Craig Cliff and Rosetta Allan; two of our best emerging writers Kirsten Warner and Carl Shuker talk about their award-winning work; there’s poetry from Paula Green and Sue Wootton; proudly Auckland-centric  writing from Owen Gill, Malcolm Paterson and Patrick Reynolds; the environment takes centre-stage in conversations including Robert Vennell, Neville Peat and Jeff Murray; curator of public programmes at Auckland Museum Dina Jezdic asks whose memories, identities and experiences are reflected in the collections of colonial museums;  death and dying are discussed with David Slack and friends; Elizabeth Knox talks about her just-published novel The Absolute Book with Dylan Horrocks; Mark Easterbrook talks beer with head brewer at Garage Project and author of the new Art of Beer Peter Gillespie; and Michele A’Court brings the house down in the story of New Zealand comedy with Philip Matthews and Paul Horan.

The Festival has a Hub! Writers, readers and language lovers can head to the Titirangi Theatre and Lounge in the Lopdell Precinct for waiata, poetry, creative writing workshops, speed scrabble and more throughout the Festival period.

Going West wouldn’t be going anywhere without the legendary Going West Poetry Slam. It’s where the best stand-up poets lay it on the line. Come and see who has got the chops to rise to the top on Friday 13 September, live at The Hollywood Theatre! Entrants will be coached by none other than internationally renowned slammer and teacher Carrie Rudzinski. The final will be MC’d by Ken Arkind and there’s a high-octane judging panel comprising Ria Masae (last year’s winner), novelist and uber slammer Dominic ‘Tourettes’ Hoey and founding Voices on RNZ producer Lynda Chanwai-Earle.

The Festival is proud to present the premier season of Gary Stalker’s solo theatre work Ghost Trees 9-14 September at the Arataki Visitors’ Centre. Directed by Paul Gittins, Ghost Trees draws on science, imagination and the indefatigable love for things lost. An immersive experience that combines magical storytelling with a creative soundscape, Stalker reflects his struggle to cope with the loss of his partner to cancer and a search for answers. He finds the devastating effects of kauri dieback on the trees surrounding his house symptomatic of a deeper malaise – climate change, species extinction, increasing isolation, and loss of identity. Stalker takes you on his journey from the darkness of despair back into the light.

 In association with Te Pou Theatre, award-winning playwright Renee Liang invites you to enjoy some magic in Sofija’s Garden 7,8 and 14 September at Shed 2, Corban Estate Arts’ Centre. Baba Sofija is waiting to tell her grandchildren a story – with their help, of course! Fiesty Kosjenka yearns to travel far away from her home, so she rides on the back of the wind and befriends the shy giant Reygoch. Inspired by the oral histories of Dalmatian settlers, this story-within-a-story pays tribute to the pioneering spirit and tenaciousness of these early families. Director Tainui Tukiwaho (Cradle Song, Astroman) makes magic with masks, music and puppetry, and invites the audience to participate.

Two plays in development feature in this year’s Festival – both are held in the Titirangi Theatre. Duel and Duality (12 September), a black comedy by Tracey Sharp: Robert has been charged with the brotherly protection of young Imogen, but Imogen is after his heart – and her mother, his wallet. Clean Me (13 September) by Ken Burns: Lillian takes a job cleaning Michael’s house. At first she finds him attractive, then she finds something deeply disturbing in his bedroom. He’s not who she thought he was. Neither is she…

Head out to Piha on Sunday 15 September for Waituhituhi – Lines in the Sand. Join artist Tracey Tawhiao, poet Karlo Mila, kaumatua Pita Turei and beach tagger David Walter Hilliam for an afternoon of creativity.

Rising stars of the spoken word take to the stage on Friday 6 September at the Corban Estate Arts’ Centre with the Word Up! Grand Finale. This spoken and lyrical word competition for 13-21 year olds offers audiences a unique opportunity to hear talented young people presenting their powerful, original work in rap, poetry, song or comedy form.

The Festival’s home-grown film season is back with Daffodils, a musical romance written by Rochelle Bright on Sunday 8 September; Gattaca a sci-fi classic by Andrew Niccol on Friday 13 September and Erewhon, Gavin Hipkins’ first feature-length film – an experimental adaptation of Samuel Butler’s eponymously named 1872 novel, described as a utopian satire on Sunday 8 September. Catch them at the Titirangi Theatre.

Kids can get in on the action, too with Whanau Day in association with Te Pou at the Corban Estate Arts’ Centre on Saturday 7 September.

The full Going West Writers Festival programme will be online at www.goingwestfest.co.nz from August 8. For tickets go to: www.iticket.co.nz or  phone 09 361 1000.

The Festival is grateful for support from the Waitākere Ranges Local Board, Creative New Zealand, Metro, AUT, Avanda Group, Babich Wines, The Trusts Community Foundation, Foundation North and the Douglas Family Trust.

ENDS

Key dates:

7 August
Going West Books and Writers Festival programme LAUNCH TICKETS ON SALE

26 August
HEAT 1: Poetry Slam . Brown St Studio Bar, Avondale

3 September
HEAT 2: Poetry Slam. Poetry Live Thirsty Dog, K’ Rd

6-8 September
Going West Writers Festival weekend. Titirangi War Memorial Hall.

6-14 September
Festival Hub. Titirangi Theatre and Lounge. Lopdell Precinct Titirangi.

6 September
Word Up! finale. Corban Estate Arts’ Centre.

7 September
Tamariki Play Day. Corban Estate Arts’ Centre.

7,8,14 September
Sofija’s Garden. Corban Estate Arts’ Centre.

8 September
Daffodils. Erewhon. Titirangi Theatre.

9-14 September
Ghost Trees. Arataki  Visitors’ Centre.

12 September
Duel and Duality. Titirangi Theatre.

13 September
Going West Poetry Slam finale. Hollywood Theatre.

13 September
Clean Me. Titirangi Theatre.

13 September
Gattica. Titirangi Theatre

15 September
Waituhituhi – Lines in the Sand. Piha Beach – north end.

For further information and interview enquiries please contact: Penny Hartill hPR, 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

www.goingwestfest.co.nz                      www.facebook.com/goingwestfest

Akld Writers Festival

Women and men of all ages and children young and old flocked to the Auckland Writers Festival this week, which broke its own record with more than 74,000 seats filled across six days of tremendous conversations, performances, speeches and stand-up and long signing queues stretched across the foyers in the Aotea Centre.

The programme, the Festival’s most ambitious yet, hosted 230 of New Zealand and the world’s best novelists, playwrights, song writers, scientists, historians, children’s writers, illustrators, journalists and poets who took to the streets, filled the halls and entertained in the sparkling Festival tent, bringing extraordinary new ideas, and words to the thousands who came to see them.

Auckland Writers Festival director Anne O’Brien says the result is testament to people’s hunger for more substantive conversations and a deeper understanding of the world and each other.

“This has been an exhilarating six days with remarkable people and conversations on stage and in the foyers.

“We are living in charged times; rising inequality, #metoo, AI with its ethical quandaries and rapidly changing patterns of human behaviour to name a few. We heard these issues reflected across genres, in impassioned speeches and in sublime readings.

“We farewell these remarkable writers but are left inspired by their stories, and with a deeper understanding of the role we, as individuals, can play in the world.”

Witi Ihimaera received a sustained standing ovation as this year’s Honoured New Zealand Writer as did Fiona Farrell who delivered a thought-provoking lecture on the truth in fiction.

Robert Webb

Comedian and memoirist Robert Webb reduced us to tears of laughter and brought heart-warming insight into what it meant to be a man in the 21st Century. High-profile public intellectual A.C. Grayling expertly opened our eyes to the precariousness of democracy and Indian politician and writer Shashi Tharoor delivered an impassioned speech on the wreckage that colonialism brought to his country. The Black Friars gave a spontaneous gift-in-song to Damon Salesa at the end of his Michael King Memorial Lecture. Scottish historian, Rosemary Goring entered and exited the stage to bagpipes. Popular US neuroscientist David Eagleman provided an extraordinary insight into brain plasticity and its potential for our justice system. The future of humans in our socially wired world was compellingly reflected in Emma Mary Hall’s We May Have to Choose solo performance, with many parallels seen in ‘Big History’ expert David Christian’s talk about our transition from living in a biosphere to a knowledgesphere.  Karl Ove Knausgaard confirmed his position as a writer rock star, with audience members proclaiming their love for him in question time!

Hundreds of people converged upon Call On O’Connell for an eclectic variety of short but sharp events that were by parts funny, moving and zany. The Auckland Town Hall was given over to the kids at Family Day on Sunday, and they were treated to performances of the wild and wacky variety. Audiences packed the Heartland Festival room to hear revealing conversations and powerful performances from songwriters Nadia Reid, Lawrence Arabia and Moana Maniapoto.

More than 6,500 students, from as far afield as Christchurch, filled the Aotea Centre for inspiring sessions with writers from Britain, US, Australia and New Zealand.

The cream of this country’s writers received honours at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards –the opening event in the Festival’s public programme which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. Pip Adam was presented with the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize – inflation adjusted to $52,000.

This year’s Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, judged by New York cultural icon, Eileen Myles, went to Wellington’s Jane Arthur and the inaugural $10,000 Michael Gifkins Prize went to Ruby Porter.

Auckland Writers Festival Board Chair, Pip Muir, says it is a real privilege to be part of an organisation that demonstrates such commitment to the power of words and the discourse of ideas.

“I sincerely thank the Festival staff for their hard work and tenacity delivering this truly world-class event and to the sponsors and patrons for their generosity and loyal support.

“This Festival has been an outstanding success. It will be a hard one to beat!” says Ms Muir.

The Auckland Writers Festival warmly thanks Platinum Partner Heartland Bank; Gold Partners: The University of Auckland, Freemasons Foundation, Ockham and Creative New Zealand; and all our Silver, Bronze and Supporting Partners and Patrons.

ENDS

For further information, interview opportunities, author and book images please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR, 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, http://www.hartillpr.co.nz

For Festival images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kye2n8r3wuit38t/AAC-WziHGGIhIys1Ul27nu9za?dl=0

www.writersfestival.co.nz                  www.facebook.com/akwrfest

Editor’s Notes

The Auckland Writers Festival is the largest literary event in New Zealand and the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world. Now in its 18th year, it hosts more than 200 local and international writers for six days of discussion, conversation, reading, debate, performance, schools, family and free events ranging across fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, theatre, culture, art and more. Festival attendance in 2017 exceeded 73,000.

A novel which judges say ‘will bring readers back from the dead’ has won the 2018 $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the country’s premier book awards.

Wellington writer Pip Adam received the honour for her novel The New Animals (Victoria University Press) at the glittering Ockham New Zealand Book Awards ceremony which also celebrated the Awards’ 50th anniversary, held in Auckland’s Aotea Centre tonight.

The New Animals, which parodies the Auckland fashion scene, was praised by the category judges as a confrontational, revelatory novel that holds a mirror up to contemporary New Zealand culture. They said: “The New Animals handles a large ensemble of unrooted characters with skill. It’s stylistically raw and reveals a good deal in a modest way. The New Animals is so vivid in imagery and imagination that the judges haven’t stopped thinking about it since. In this category in 2018 it’s the book with the most blood on the page. It will give you an electric shock.”

Listener journalist Diana Wichtel won the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction for her memoir Driving to Treblinka: A long search for a lost father (Awa Press).

“The toughest task of any book, whatever the form, is to make a sentence so good that you just have to read the next one, and the next one, and then wish it could just about go on forever. So it is with Driving to Treblinka,” said the judges. “Wichtel’s curiosity, alternately upsetting and uplifting, turns invisibly into a kind of mission. At its heart this is a family story, but one which cannot but shine a light on the vestiges of anti-Semitism that linger in Europe today.  It is not just a beautifully written book, but an important book, too.”

Elizabeth Smither OBE won the Poetry category – an honour bestowed on her twice before – with her collection Night Horse (Auckland University Press).

“The 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Poetry Award is for a book by an esteemed and celebrated poet who contributes greatly to the New Zealand writing community. The poems in Night Horse are gentle, uplifting, tender, humorous, well-crafted and luminous,” said the Poetry category judges.

Esteemed academics Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins won the Illustrated Non-Fiction category for their work Tuai: A traveller in two worlds (Bridget Williams Books).

“Tuai is empathetically written, providing the reader a window into a contested time of meeting, conversion and enterprise. The text and illustrations work in concert, presenting a rounded and rich experience for the reader, enhancing the breadth and depth of the research explored within. Key moments are presented so richly that they envelop and captivate the imagination. The care the authors have given these histories, acknowledging the autonomy that mātauranga Māori has in wider Aotearoa historical narratives, is striking, and we need more of it,” the judges said.

The General Non-Fiction, Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners each took home a $10,000 prize.

To add a further celebratory note, Ockham Residential confirmed its sponsorship commitment to the awards for a further five years.

“This year the New Zealand Book Awards have reached the golden age of fifty. However they have only been the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for the last three years, which isn’t long enough in our book!, ” says Mark Todd, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Ockham Residential. “We are delighted to announce a new five-year sponsorship deal with the awards. With public discourse in disarray we need our writers more than ever.”

New Zealand Book Awards Trust chair, Nicola Legat, says Ockham’s commitment is a terrific boon for the Awards. “We are enormously grateful to Ockham for their generous ongoing commitment. What a terrific way to celebrate the Awards’ 50th anniversary; the country’s premier literary honours are in such good heart.”

Four Best First Book Awards were also presented at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

The Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction: Baby by Annaleese Jochems (Victoria University Press).

The E.H. McCormick Best First Book Award for General Non-Fiction: Driving to Treblinka: A long search for a lost father by Diana Wichtel (Awa Press).

The Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry: Fully Clothed and So Forgetful by Hannah Mettner (Victoria University Press).

The Judith Binney Best First Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction: Caves: Exploring New Zealand’s Subterranean Wilderness by Marcus Thomas and Neil Silverwood (Whio Publishing).

Each Best First Book Award winner received $2500.

The Awards ceremony was the first public event in the Auckland Writers Festival, which sees more than 200 of New Zealand’s and the world’s best writers and thinkers offering entertainment and ideas in words, song, theatre and more from 15-20 May.

Category winners appear in sessions at the Auckland Writers Festival: https://bit.ly/2IBUimg

 

The 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards judges were:

Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize: Poet and academic Anna Smaill; journalist and reviewer Philip Matthews; and bookseller and reviewer Jenna Todd of the Auckland bookshop Time Out. Glasgow-based writer, journalist and founding editor of the Scottish Review of Books Alan Taylor joined the New Zealand judging team in selecting the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize winner.

Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction: Ella Henry, lecturer in AUT’s Māori Faculty; editor and award-winning journalist Toby Manhire; and former bookseller and publisher, Philip King.

Illustrated Non-Fiction: Barbara Brookes, whose A History of New Zealand Women won this category of the awards in 2017; Matariki Williams, (Tūhoe, Taranaki, Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Whakaue), Curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa; and Kim Paton, Director of the public gallery Objectspace.

Poetry: Poet and novelist Alison Wong; poet Robert Sullivan, deputy chief executive, Māori, Manukau Institute of Technology; and poet, publisher and librettist Michael Harlow.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, The Acorn Foundation, Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

 

Editor’s Notes:

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for books written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Awards are given for Fiction (the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize), General Non-Fiction (the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction), Illustrated Non-Fiction and Poetry. There are also four Best First Book Awards and, at the judges’ discretion, a Māori Language Award. The awards are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity). Members of the Trust are Nicola Legat, Karen Ferns, Paula Morris, Catherine Robertson, Rachel Eadie, David Bowles, Pene Walsh and Melanee Winder. Creative New Zealand is a significant annual funder of the awards. The Trust also governs the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

Ockham Residential Group is Auckland’s most progressive developer. Founded in 2009 by Mark Todd and Ben Preston, Ockham describes itself as an urban regenerator, a company that loves Auckland.  Ockham wants to see Auckland’s built environment become as beautiful and as world-class as its natural landscape. The business has ambitions wider than profitability, and has also established the Ockham Foundation. The Ockham Foundation aims to promote original thinking and critical thought — two key elements of widening the public discourse — via educational initiatives. It works with the University of Auckland to fund First Foundation Scholars studying science, and is a major sponsor to Ngā Rangatahi Toa, a charity transforming the lives of Rangatahi excluded from education.

The Acorn Foundation is a community foundation based in the Western Bay of Plenty, which encourages people to leave a gift in their wills and/or their lifetimes to support their local community forever. Donations are pooled and invested, and the investment income is used to make donations to local charities, in accordance with the donors’ wishes. The capital remains intact. Since it was established in 2003, Acorn has distributed over $4.6 million. Donors may choose which organisations are to benefit each year, or they may decide to leave it to the trustees’ discretion. Community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy worldwide, and there are now 15 throughout New Zealand, with more in the early stages. The Book Awards’ $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize has been provided through the generosity of one of the Foundation’s donors, and will be awarded to the top fiction work each year, in perpetuity.

Royal Society Te Apārangi is an independent not-for-profit organisation that supports all New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge. Its varied programmes provide funding and learning opportunities for researchers, teachers, school students, together with those who are simply curious about the world. To celebrate the discoveries of New Zealand researchers, the Society awards medals and elects Fellows, who are leaders in their fields. These experts help the Society to provide independent advice to New Zealanders and the government on issues of public concern. The Society has a broad network of members and friends around New Zealand and invites all those who value the work New Zealanders do in exploring, discovering and sharing knowledge to join with them.

New Zealand’s leading authors, poets, playwrights and musicians offer audiences a fortnight of fresh ideas, future-thinking, language and laughter at the 23rd Going West Writers Festival 1-16 September.

The Festival Weekend’s Opening Night, voted By Metro as Best in Auckland last year, features the first New Zealand performance by Tu, the multimedia collaboration of musician Moana Maniapoto and electronic music producer Paddy Free, award-winning novelist Paula  Morris and acclaimed West Auckland poet Serie Barford.

Festival Programme Director Nicola Strawbridge says this year’s opening night line-up will be every bit as wonderful as last year’s acclaimed, sell out, event.

“Moana Maniapoto is one of this country’s music legends and Paddy Free is in demand by music festivals world-wide. We are thrilled to host Tu, who have performed with great success in Finland and Taiwan. Paula Morris and Serie Barford will bring their unique, powerful voices to the evening.”

Audiences will be treated through the weekend to national treasure Fiona Kidman talking about her latest novel, This Mortal Boy; musician, writer and activist Lizzie Marvelly talks about her new feminist book The F Word;. Steve Braunias interviews father and daughter powerhouses C.K. Stead and Charlotte Grimshaw; popular journalists Russell Brown and Toby Manhire hold a provocative discussion on where the digital word is taking us; Wellington poets Chris Tse, Anna Jackson and Helen Heath join us; psychology professor and activist Niki Harré invites us to imagine our world anew; Scotty and Stacey Morrison korero about learning te reo with Guyon Espiner; Dr Jo Cribb and Vincent Heeringa wrestle robots, discussing what we should celebrate and what we should be concerned about in our ever-changing technological future; novelist and memoirist Peter Wells talks to award-winning writer Stephanie Johnson  about his work, Dear Oliver and the view it gives of the history of Pākehā New Zealanders; journalist and researcher Brad Haami explores the impact of the second major Māori migration, some 800 years after the original waka made landfall in Aotearoa and much more!

“This year is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of stories and ideas with fellow lovers of literature, learning and language,” says Festival director Nicola Strawbridge.

“Come and celebrate the power of words with us! They carry our history, and spread ideas about how tomorrow might look. We are thrilled to present you with many of Aotearoa New Zealand’s finest writers, discussing the things that matter, the issues we’re grappling with and the stories of who we’ve been and who we might be.”

The Festival is proud to announce year one of a partnership with AUT’s Centre for Creative Writing.

Going West Festival Trust Chair, Naomi McCleary, says this initiative will create opportunities and connections for new writers.

“AUT’s support is an exciting development; entirely in tune with what Going West has always been about; the celebration of the writers of Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Going West wouldn’t be going anywhere without the legendary Going West Poetry Slam. It’s where the best stand-up poets lay it on the line. Come and see who has got the chops to rise to the top on Saturday 8 September! MC’d by Ken Arkind and Carrie Rudzinski, there are handsome cash prizes to be won.

In partnership with Te Pou, award-winning playwright, Albert Belz’s theatre work, Cradle Song premiers at the Festival on 5 September.

Set in the South West of Ireland in 1999, at a nunnery near the fictitious village of Sibeal (County Kerry), two young women are on their big OE when they come face-to-face with the super-natural force of Briar Faith. Briar Faith is Belz’s reaction to the tragic discovery of a mass children’s grave, which was part of a home for unmarried mothers in the township of Tuam (County Galway).

“I was angered by such a total disregard of human life by the government and church of the time. A tragic tale began to take the form of an avenging wraith,” says Belz.

Anyone who has a sister, mother, grandmother or daughter will want to see Sightings, A Massive Company production directed by Kura Forrester and Sam Scott on Friday 7 September.  This contemporary and gutsy piece of youth theatre will take you on a strangely familiar journey. How do you measure a life? The characters in this play are figuring out how to carve out their own existence, whilst unwittingly offering clues for others as they travel their path.

Rising stars of the spoken word take to the stage on Friday 7 September with the Word Up! Grand Finale. This spoken and lyrical word competition for 13-21 year olds offers audiences a unique opportunity to hear talented young people presenting their powerful, original work in rap, poetry, song or comedy form.

In association with Flicks Titirangi, Going West presents a selection of NZ Shorts handpicked from the International Film Festival and DocNZ, on Thursday 13 September. Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery’s Learning Centre will hold an Indie Book Fair: a thriving showcase of zines, handmade books and limited-edition publications on Sunday 16 September.

The full Going West Books and Writers Festival programme will be online at www.goingwestfest.co.nz from July 20. For tickets go to: www.iticket.co.nz or  phone 09 361 1000.

The Festival is grateful for support from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Creative New Zealand, Metro, AUT, Avanda Group, The Trusts Community Foundation, Foundation North and the Douglas Family Trust.

ENDS

Key dates:

20 July                         Going West Books and Writers Festival LAUNCH

TICKETS ON SALE – EARLY BIRD PRICES

3 August                       END OF EARLY BIRD PRICING. Regular ticket pricing begins.

7 September                Sightings.  Massive Company. Glen Eden Playhouse

7 September                Word Up! Grand Finale. Corban Estate Arts Centre

5-8 September             Cradle Song. Te Pou. Corban Estate Arts Centre

8 September                Going West Poetry Slam. Glen Eden Playhouse

13 September              NZ Short Films. Titirangi Theatre

14-16 September         Going West Writers Festival weekend. Titirangi War Memorial Hall

16 September              Indie Book Fair. Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery

For further information and interview enquiries please contact: Penny Hartill hPR, 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

www.goingwestfest.co.nz                     www.facebook.com/goingwestfest

Internationally renowned Ngāruawāhia resident Catherine Chidgey has won New Zealand’s richest writing award, the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, for her novel The Wish Child. The award was announced this evening at the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

The panel of judges — Bronwyn Wylie Gibb, Peter Wells, Jill Rawnsley and inaugural international judge the Canadian writer Madeleine Thien — said  “The Wish Child exposes and celebrates the power of words – so dangerous they must be cut out or shredded, so magical they can be wondered at and conjured with – Chidgey also exposes the fragility and strength of humanity … Compelling and memorable, you’ll be caught by surprise by its plumbing of depths and sudden moments of grace, beauty and light.”

The Wish Child, Chidgey’s fourth novel, comes 13 years after her last work, The Transformation, was published to critical acclaim. Chidgey’s previous novel Golden Deeds was chosen as a Book of the Year by Time Out (London), a Best Book by the LA Times Book Review and a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. Her debut novel, In a Fishbone Church, won a Commonwealth Writers Prize (South East Asia and South Pacific).

Her latest novel, published by Victoria University Press, is one of four Ockham New Zealand Book Awards category winners, selected by four panels of specialist judges out of a shortlist of 16, which were in turn drawn from 40 longlisted titles from 150 entries.

Four Best First Book Awards were also presented.

Paris-based Andrew Johnston won the Poetry category for his collection Fits & Starts (Victoria University Press), a book described by the category’s judges’ convenor, Harry Ricketts, as a slow-burning tour de force.

“The judges’ admiration for Andrew Johnston’s remarkable collection grew with each rereading, as its rich intellectual and emotional layers continued to reveal themselves … Using a minimalist couplet-form, the collection is at once philosophical and political, witty and moving, risky and grounded, while maintaining a marvellously varied singing line.

“To reward Fits & Starts with the overall poetry prize is to reward New Zealand poetry at its most impressive and its most promising.”

Ashleigh Young (Wellington) took the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction for her collection of personal essays Can You Tolerate This? (Victoria University Press).

The category’s judges’ convenor, Susanna Andrew, says Young’s work sets a high bar for style and originality in a form that has very little precedent in this country. “Always an acute observer, it is in Young’s commitment to writing as an art that the true miracle occurs; she tells us her story and somehow we get our own.”

Young catapulted to international recognition earlier this year when she won the Yale University US$165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize for the collection.

Dunedin writer and historian Barbara Brookes won the Illustrated Non-Fiction category for her meticulously documented work A History of New Zealand Women (Bridget Williams Books).

The category’s judges’ convenor, Linda Tyler, says Brookes’ work combines deep research, an immensely readable narrative, superbly well-integrated images and is distinguished by close attention to both Māori and Pakehā women.

“Putting women at the centre of our history, this sweeping survey shows exactly when, how and why gender mattered. General changes in each period are combined effortlessly with the particular, local stories of individual women, many not well-known. A wider sense of women’s experiences is beautifully conveyed by the many well-captioned artworks, photographs, texts and objects.”

For the second year, the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards take pride of place as the first public event of the Auckland Writers Festival.

Auckland Writers Festival director, Anne O’Brien, says she is delighted to launch the six-day Festival with the country’s premier book awards.

“Hosting the awards is a demonstration of our commitment to local writers, and as the largest showcase of New Zealand literature in the world, we are thrilled with the opportunity to do so. More than 100 of the nation’s best writers take part in the Festival’s more than 170 events, including tonight’s winners. I encourage everyone to come along, have some fun and be inspired by the wealth of this country’s writing talent,” says Ms O’Brien.

The Poetry, Illustrated Non-Fiction and General Non-Fiction category winners each took home a $10,000 prize.

This year’s four category award winners will appear at a free event at the Auckland Writers Festival: The State We’re In on Friday 19 May at 5.30pm in the Heartland Festival Room, Aotea Square.

Four authors won four Best First Book Awards at the event:

The Judith Binney Best First Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction: Ngarino Ellis for A Whakapapa of Tradition: 100 Years of Ngāti Porou Carving, 1830-1930, with new photography by Natalie Robertson (Auckland University Press).

The Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry: Hera Lindsay Bird for Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press).

The E.H. McCormick Best First Book Award for General Non-Fiction: Adam Dudding for My Father’s Island: A Memoir (Victoria University Press).

The Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction: Gina Cole for Black Ice Matter (Huia Publishers).

Each Best First Book Award winner received $2,500.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, The Acorn Foundation, Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

ENDS

  • Media are welcome to attend The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Ceremony. Tuesday 16 May, 7.00 – 8.30pm ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
  • Winners are available for interview
  • Judges are available for interview
  • Winning books are available for review
  • Author images and book jacket images are available

To register your interest in attending the ceremony, please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

www.nzbookawards.nz         https://www.facebook.com/NewZealandBookAwards/

@theockhams                        #theockhams

 

Editor’s Notes:

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for works written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Awards are given for Fiction (the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize), Illustrated Non-Fiction, General Non-Fiction (the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction) and Poetry. There are also four Best First Book Awards and, at the judges’ discretion, a Māori language award. The awards are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity). Members of the Trust are Nicola Legat, Karen Ferns, Paula Morris, Catherine Robertson, Stella Chrysostomou, David Bowles, Pene Walsh and Melanee Winder. Creative New Zealand is a significant annual funder of the awards. The Trust also governs the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.

Ockham Residential Limited is Auckland’s most progressive developer. Founded in 2009 by Mark Todd and Ben Preston, Ockham describes itself as an urban regenerator, a company that loves Auckland, and that wants to see its built environment become as beautiful and as world-class as its natural landscape. The business has ambitions wider than profitability: the company has also established the Ockham Foundation, an education-focused charity, to promote original thinking and critical thought — two key elements of public discourse — via education. It works with the University of Auckland to fund First Foundation Scholars studying science, and it also sponsors Ngā Rangatahi Toa’s work with at risk youth.

The Acorn Foundation is a community foundation based in the Western Bay of Plenty, which encourages people to leave a gift in their wills and/or their lifetimes to support their local community forever. Donations are pooled and invested, and the investment income is used to make donations to local charities, in accordance with the donors’ wishes. The capital remains intact. Since it was established in 2003, Acorn has distributed over $3.6 million, and it currently has invested funds of $16.7 million. Community foundations are the fastest growing form of philanthropy worldwide, and there are now 13 throughout New Zealand. The Book Awards’ $50,000 fiction award, known as the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, has been provided through the generosity of one of the Foundation’s donors, and will be awarded to the top fiction work each year, in perpetuity.

Royal Society Te Apārangi offers expert advice to government and the public, recognises excellence in research and scholarship in science, technology and humanities, promotes science and technology education, publishes peer-reviewed journals, administers funds for research and fosters international scientific contact and co-operation.

 Creative New Zealand has been a sustaining partner of New Zealand’s book awards for decades. Creative New Zealand encourages, promotes and supports the arts in New Zealand for the benefit of all New Zealanders through funding, capability building, an international programme, and advocacy. It offers financial support for emerging and established artists, art practitioners, groups and organisations, and provides training and online resources to help artists and practitioners develop professionally, grow audiences and markets, and manage their organisations. It also supports internships and national touring to help develop New Zealand arts. Creative New Zealand provides a wide range of support to New Zealand literature, including funding for writers and publishers, residencies, literary festivals and awards, and supports organisations which work to increase the readership and sales of New Zealand literature at home and internationally.

Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd underwrites the sale of book tokens within New Zealand. It is administered by Booksellers New Zealand.

This year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards judges, in alphabetical order, are: Susanna Andrew, Tom Brooking, Paul Diamond, Morgan Godfery, Bronwyn Labrum, Vivienne Plumb, Jill Rawnsley, Harry Ricketts, Steven Toussaint, Linda Tyler, Peter Wells and Bronwyn Wylie-Gibb. For more about the judges, go to: http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/2017-awards/judges/.

MEDIA RELEASE – STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 8.45PM, TUESDAY 16 MAY 2017

New Zealand’s largest literary Festival broke its own record this week, with more than 70,000 seats filled across six days of story and ideas delivered by inspirational local and international writers.

The programme, the Festival’s most ambitious yet, hosted over 200 novelists, playwrights, song writers, scientists, historians, children’s writers, illustrators, journalists and poets, including 40 internationals, introduced a new venue, took to the streets, and hosted a glittering spoken word showcase.

Auckland Writers Festival director Anne O’Brien says the result is testament to people’s hunger for more substantive conversations and deeper engagement with the world and each other.

“This has been an exhilarating six days with remarkable people and conversations on stage and in the foyers.

“This Festival was the most diverse yet, spanning continents and cultures and reflecting the interests of people across all age groups. Audiences came from all over New Zealand and across the world, and left inspired by stories of change and hope, and a deeper understanding of the role they, as individuals, can play in the world.”

New Zealand’s much loved public intellectual, Lloyd Geering, received a sustained standing ovation as did two inaugural Festival events Best of the Best: Spoken Word Showcase and The Song of the Book. Ian Rankin brought his Inspector Rebus books to life and revealed his love of The Mutton Birds. Gifted raconteur, Roxane Gay’s straight talking broke new ground. Food critic Jay ‘Acid’ Rayner delivered a witty show and a big thumbs down to our pineapple lumps.  Rupi Kaur, Caroline Brothers and Steve Sem-Sandberg moved audience members to tears. Thomas Friedman, one of the world’s foremost authorities on politics and foreign affairs, presented a powerful vision of the future, as did New Zealand rising star Max Harris in the 2017 Michael King Memorial Lecture.. George Saunders’ warmth, humour and outstanding writing won him thousands of new readers here in New Zealand. Susan Faludi shared the story of her late father’s gender reassignment at age 76; a story as ground breaking as her Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Backlash. Mpho Tutu Van Furth’s grace and wisdom, demonstrated on a personal and societal level, left us with much food for thought. We learnt a whole lot more about why Trump won the US elections from such deep thinkers as John Lanchester and Stan Grant. Chris Parker and Tom Sainsbury brought the house down in their late night salon style soirees as did Professor Frankie who had Harry Potter fans – adult and children alike – in stitches, celebrating the magician’s 20th anniversary.

More than 5,700 students, from as far afield as Christchurch, filled the Aotea Centre for inspiring sessions with writers from Britain, US, Australia and New Zealand.

The cream of this country’s writers received honours at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards – New Zealand’s premiere literary awards and the opening event in the Festival’s public programme. Catherine Chidgey was presented with the inaugural $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize.

Dame Fiona Kidman was honoured for her life’s work in writing with a pounamu paper knife created by Coromandel artist Chris Charteris as the Festival’s 2017 Honoured New Zealand Writer and this year’s Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, judged by UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy went to Hera Lindsay Bird.

Auckland Writers Festival Board Chairwoman, Pip Muir, says it only remains for her to sincerely thank the many people who made this year’s extraordinary outcome possible.

“I am enormously grateful to the authors for their wisdom and discourse, to the audience for their warmth and engagement and to the sponsors and patrons for their generosity and loyal support.

“We took some risks this year, investing in a new venue – the Heartland Festival Room – and introducing a number of new events. These initiatives have been enthusiastically received and it is thanks to the tireless work of the Festival staff and volunteers, that the Festival has been such a success,” says Ms Muir.

The Auckland Writers Festival warmly thanks new Platinum Partner Heartland Bank; Gold Partners The University of Auckland, Freemasons Foundation, Ockham, SPARK, Creative New Zealand and ATEED; and all our Silver, Bronze and Supporting Partners and Patrons.

ENDS

For further information, interview opportunities, author and book images please contact: Penny Hartill, director, hPR, 09 445 7525, 021 721 424, www.hartillpr.co.nz

www.writersfestival.co.nz                  www.facebook.com/akwrfest

@AklWritersFest              #awf17

 

Editor’s Notes

The Auckland Writers Festival is the largest literary event in New Zealand and the largest presenter of New Zealand literature in the world. Now in its 17th year, it hosts more than 200 participants from New Zealand and abroad over six days. Between 2012 and 2016, Festival attendance rose from 24,000 to 65,000.

NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE