A landmark book – New Zealand’s Native Trees by John Dawson and Rob Lucas – has won the country’s supreme publishing accolade, The New Zealand Post Book of the Year.
The book - which took seven years, more than 100,000 four-wheel-drive kilometres and countless hours’ walking in dense forest to complete - was presented with the honour by the Hon. Christopher Finlayson, Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage at a gala dinner ceremony in Auckland tonight.
New Zealand Post Book Awards judges convenor, Chris Bourke said on behalf of the judging panel that New Zealand’s Native Trees is a masterly example of publishing of the kind that is seen only once in a generation.
“From the detailed and authoritative research, accessible and comprehensive writing, detailed yet expansive photography, near flawless editing, design and layout this is a quality book from start to finish. Its impact on the community and on generations to come is self-evident.”
The book contains more than 2,300 photographs, many of which took photographer Rob Lucas several visits to some of the country’s most inaccessible areas to capture. The book also won the Illustrated Non-Fiction Category.
Fiction Category Award
Internationally recognised novelist and creative writing teacher, Paula Morris (Ngati Wai) is this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards Fiction Category winner for her work, Rangatira.
The historical novel which is based on Morris’ tupuna (ancestor), Paratene Te Manu’s 1863 visit to England, was exhaustively researched.
Mr Bourke said the judges were impressed by the refreshing purity of purpose to Morris’ story-telling.
“It never seems jaded or cynical or calculating; instead the struggle to comprehend otherness is rendered perceptively, directly, consistently — and compellingly.”
People's Choice Award
Sue Orr, former speechwriter to Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, took this year’s People’s Choice Award for her short story collection, From Under the Overcoat.
The award is much-coveted by authors as a reflection of their book’s popularity.
New Zealand Post Māori Language Award
Journalist, playwright, author and producer Chris Winitana (Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngai Tuhoe) was presented with the New Zealand Post Māori Language Award for his book, Tōku Reo, Tōku Ohooho : My Language, My Inspiration; a book that explores the struggle to save the Māori language over the last 40 years.
New Zealand Post Book Awards judge and Māori language advisor, Paora Tibble said that as a te reo Māori publication, Tōku Reo, Tōku Ohooho is groundbreaking.
“Chris Winitana mixes traditional language with modern metaphors. He shows te reo Māori as a living language; creating new contexts for words and phrases buried in our not too distant past. His knowledge of te reo is remarkable.
“With this book, Chris Winitana takes us on the adventure of a lifetime. For 40 years, Māori have fought to revitalise their language. This is their story.”
Poetry Category Award
Rhian Gallagher's second collection, Shift, which encompasses a departure from London where she lived for 18 years, and a return to New Zealand, her country of birth, won the Poetry Category Award.
Mr Bourke commented that Rhian Gallagher’s collection was an example of lyrical poetry at its very best.
“The poems offer elegance, mysteriousness, musical harmonies, satisfying quietness and subtle emotions. Sounds and themes stitch the collection with an assured and unifying touch. You fall upon little autobiographical traces in the shadows, traces that are both moving and intense.”
General Non-Fiction Category Award
Historian and novelist, Joan Druett won the General Non-Fiction Category Award for her work, Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator.
“Tupaia’s richly detailed drawings and paintings are a precious legacy and are stunningly reproduced in a book which will intrigue and inspire. Everything about Tupaia reflects Druett’s careful research and passion for her subject.
“This is a wonderful book.”
The full list of 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards winners is as follows: New Zealand Post Book of the Year winner: New Zealand’s Native Trees by John Dawson & Rob Lucas (Craig Potton Publishing)
Fiction Award winner: Rangatira by Paula Morris (Penguin Group, NZ)
Poetry Award winner: Shift by Rhian Gallagher (Auckland University Press)
General Non-fiction Award winner: Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator by Joan Druett (Random House NZ)
Illustrated Non-fiction Award winner: New Zealand’s Native Trees by John Dawson & Rob Lucas (Craig Potton Publishing)
Māori Language Award winner: Tōku Reo, Tōku Ohooho : My Language, My Inspiration by Chris Winitana (Huia Publishers)
People’s Choice Award winner: From Under the Overcoat by Sue Orr (Vintage, Random House NZ)
The New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award winner received $15,000. The Māori Language Award winner and the winners of the four Category Awards each received $10,000 and the People’s Choice Award winner $5,000.
Best First Book Awards
The winners of the 2012 New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Best First Book Awards - announced earlier this year - were also honoured tonight. They are:
NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction: Hamish Clayton for Wulf (Penguin Group, NZ).
NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry: John Adams for his collection Briefcase (Auckland University Press).
NZSA E.H. McCormick Best First Book Award for Non-Fiction: Michael Smythe for New Zealand by Design (Random House, NZ)
Each NZSA Best First Book Awards category winner received $2,500.
About our sponsors
New Zealand Post’s sponsorship of the national book awards reflects their long-standing support for literacy and education. They maintain that focus throughout the year with initiatives such as ReadWriteGrow.co.nz, creative writing contests for school students, and the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards which they have sponsored for the past 16 years. That commitment to promoting literacy, excellence in writing and the joy of reading sees New Zealand Post play a key role in supporting other champions of literature, such as Booksellers NZ, to promote and reward local literary talent.
The 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards are also funded by Creative New Zealand. The awards are managed by the Book Awards Governance Group administered by Booksellers NZ and supported by the New Zealand Society of Authors and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd.
Awards for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are made in six categories: Young Adult Fiction, Junior Fiction, Non-Fiction, Picture Book, Illustration and Te Kura Pounamu.
Five finalists are selected for each category and from these a winner in each category is selected.
Young Adult Fiction and Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction
The awards in these categories are for single works of fiction. Entered in the Junior Fiction category are books considered suitable for primary or intermediate school level. Entries in the Young Adult Fiction category are books considered suitable for secondary school students, generally 13 years and up.
The Esther Glen award for Junior Fiction and the Young Adult Fiction award carry a prize of $7500 each.
Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction
This award is for books which present well-authenticated data, with consideration given to imaginative presentation, interpretation and style. Poetry, folklore and retellings of myths and legends will be included in this category. Text books and resource kits are not eligible. Non-Fiction books with intended audiences ranging from children through to young adults may be entered in this category.
The Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction carries a prize of $7500.
In this category the illustrations, with the text, carry the impact of the story. Illustrations must comprise at least half of the content. Reprinted illustrations compiled from other sources are not eligible. Books entered in the picture book category are generally aimed at pre-school and primary levels.
For the Picture Book award, the author and illustrator receive $3750 each.
Russell Clark Award for Illustration
In this category the illustrations, with the text, carry the impact of the story. Illustrations must comprise at least half of the content. Reprinted illustrations compiled from other sources are not eligible. Books entered in the picture book category are generally aimed at pre-school and primary levels. The Russell Clark Award for Illustration carries a prize of $7,500.
Te Kura Pounamu
The judges will award a special prize to recognise excellence in works written wholly in Te Reo Māori. This award will be judged by Te Ropu Whakahau. Prize money of $7,500 is presented for the Māori Language award.
Best First Book
The judges may award a special prize for the best first book from a previously unpublished author or illustrator. Prize money of $2,000 is awarded for the Best First Book.
IIn 2016, the Children’s Choice Award in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be entirely decided by children.
Children will vote for their favourite New Zealand reads of the year, across four categories: Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Young Adult Fiction and Non-fiction. The first stage sees ‘Judge Schools’ registering groups and classes of students to vote the finalists into place. The second stage will see all students invited to participate in selecting a winner from each category.
There will be no overall winner. Each category-winning book receives $1000.
Margaret Mahy Book of the Year
The Margaret Mahy Book of the Year is awarded to one of the four category winners. This supreme winner is the book which, in the opinion of the judges, achieves outstanding excellence in all general judging criteria.
The winner of the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year receives additional prize money of $7500.
Expressions of interest are invited from members of the public and literary community in being a judge of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. A panel of three judges is appointed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. One judge is selected as the Convenor of the panel.
The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are supported by Creative New Zealand, Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd, Nielsen Book Services, Copyright Licensing Limited, the Fernyhough Education Trust and the Publishers Association of NZ (PANZ). The awards are administrated by the New Zealand Book Council on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. If you are interested in supporting the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, please email the Chair of the Book Awards Trust, email@example.com.
Before 1997, the awards were known as the Aim Children’s Book Awards. In 1997, New Zealand Post assumed the sponsorship and the awards became known as the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and later the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. New Zealand Post was the principal sponsor of the awards until 2014.
In 2015, the awards entered a new era, with the support of Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd. In 2016, the LIANZA Children's Book Awards and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults merged, leading to the addition of the Russell Clark Award for Illustration to the awards, and a change in the judging format for the Te Kura Pounamu Maori Language Award. This award will continue to be judged by Te Ropu Whakahou. These awards now have a major corporate sponsor, in the form of Hell Pizza.
The New Zealand Book Awards celebrate excellence, identifying the very best books for adult readers written by New Zealanders. From 2016, in a partnership between the New Zealand Book Awards Trust and the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival Trust, they will be held annually as part of the Auckland Writers Festival. This enables a valuable synergy between an event that attracted over 60,000 attendances in 2015 and New Zealand writers.
Books are judged in four main categories:
Illustrated Non-fiction, and
Books submitted in the four main categories, written by first‐time authors, are also eligible to win the Best First Book awards for Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction.
Books written entirely in te reo are eligible for the Māori Language award.
Winners of the Acorn Foundation Literary Award, for fiction, win $50,000. Winners of the other three category awards each receive $10,000, the Māori Language award $10,000, and each of the winners of the three Best First Book awards, $2,500.
Four panels of three judges each are selected to judge each category.
The New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham, the Acorn Foundation, Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd. The awards are administered by the Auckland Writers Festival on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. If you are interested in supporting the New Zealand Book Awards, please contact the Awards Administrator on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before 1996, there were two major New Zealand literary prizes, the New Zealand Book Awards (1973‐1995) and the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards (1968‐1993). Montana took over the sponsorship of the Wattie Awards in 1994, and the Awards became the Montana Book Awards (1994‐1995). In 1996, the two Awards merged to form the Montana New Zealand Book Awards (1996‐2009). In 2010, sponsorship of the Awards was assumed by New Zealand Post, who had been supporting the children’s book awards for the previous 14 years. Ockham became the principal sponsor in 2015 and the name of the awards changed to the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
The 2016 awards cover the 19 months of books published between 1 June 2014 and 21 December 2015. From 2016 on, the awards will be held each year in May, as part of the Auckland Writers Festival.
The New Zealand Book Awards Trust
The Trust was established as a charitable trust in 2014 to govern and manage the awards and to ensure their longevity and credibility. Its members are Nicola Legat, Karen Ferns, Paula Morris, Kyle Mewburn (representing the New Zealand Society of Authors), Stella Chrysostomou (representing Booksellers New Zealand), David Bowles and Julia Marshall (representing the Publishers Association of New Zealand).
It is also responsible for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults (held in August each year) and National Poetry Day (held in late August each year). Sponsorship is still being sought for both of these events.
Media Release: The Storylines Children’s Literature Trust promotes quality literature for young readers and supports New Zealand authors, illustrators and publishers through an annual national festival, author events, publications, and awards for lifetime achievement and new literary works.
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