Wellington Independent wins Publisher of the Year



Last night, booksellers and publishers gathered online in anticipation of the 2021 Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Awards hosted by PANZ Te Rau o Tākupu and Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand.

One of the most coveted awards of the evening is the Nielsen Book Publisher of the Year award. It’s always an exceptional category with high profile submissions and this year was no different.

Last year has been a good time for New Zealand publishing, an amazing feat when looking through a Covid lens.

The judges commented that the winner brought to life an extraordinary work that became a cultural phenomenon and took an unknown Māori author to the stratospheric heights of Once were warriors and Mr. Pipi.

“You now seem to have a mortgage on the MitoQ Best First Book of Fiction Award too! Becky Manawatus AuÄ“ increased this year’s winner exponentially, and the judges felt it was the culmination of the writers’ support, editorial intelligence, cultural sensitivity, deep relationships with booksellers, and indefinable eye for talent that both deserved this award as well as have made it likely inevitable.

“The winner is a publisher that has used its expertise and willingness to take risks to make outstanding contributions to New Zealand literature. The Nielsen book publisher for 2021 is Mākaro Press.

Mary McCallum & Paul Stewart, publishers of Mākaro Press, were delighted with the win. Special thanks Mary thanked the New Zealand booksellers – “one of the great professions”. She said, “I am amazed and moved every day by your commitment to New Zealand books, stories and publishers.”

New Zealand Publishing Association Director Catriona Ferguson said: “Despite the turmoil of the past eighteen months, it is encouraging to see the breadth and depth of publishing in Aotearoa. And it’s especially exciting to see the growth of newer publishers like Mākaro Press, which are bringing fresh and original voices to readers in Aotearoa and the world. Many warm congratulations to Mary and the team for their fantastic achievement, which is noteworthy the work of Mākaro Press published in New Zealand fiction. ”

Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Chief Executive Dan Slevin says, “Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand congratulates all publishers who have signed up. ‘

The Book Trade Industry Awards have honored New Zealand’s best publishers, booksellers and industry representatives for over 20 years. They are an opportunity for the book trade to celebrate the best and brightest, successes and innovations, and to recognize the outstanding work of the New Zealand book trade.

The Book Industry Awards are organized by booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand and PANZ Te Rau o Tākupu (New Zealand’s publishing association) and sponsored by Nielsen Book, provider of data and statistical intelligence for the entire industry.

Other categories on the night that were awarded were:

Aspiring New Zealand Publisher of the Year – Rachel Eadie, Penguin Random House New Zealand

Aspiring New Zealand Bookseller of the Year – Rafael Moreira, from McLeods Booksellers (Rotorua)

Bestseller Award (for top seller purchase volume and value between April 2020 and March 2021)
very good from Chelsea Winter

Marketing and Advertising Strategy of the Year – Harper Collins NZ for Impossible: my story by Stan Walker, Campaign Manager Rebecca Thorne

Aotearoa Booksellers’ Choice Award – Shared between AuÄ“ by Becky Manawatu (edited by Mākaro Press) and Imagine decolonization by Rebecca Kiddle & Bianca Elkington & Moana Jackson & Ocean Mercier & Mike Ross & Jennie Smeaton & Amanda Thomas (edited by BWB)

New Zealand Seller of the Year – Jessica Rice, Penguin Random House New Zealand

New Zealand book industry innovation award – Allen & Unwin

Nielsen Book NZ Bookstore of the Year – Schrödinger’s bookstore (Petone)

Award for his life’s work – Bridget Williams from BWB


Robbie Egan

Robbie Egan is the CEO of the Australian Booksellers’ Association. Egan came to his current position as Group Operations Manager at the independent book chain Readings in Melbourne and has had a long career in the book trade.

Anahera Morehu

Anahera is currently Kaiārahi in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Auckland, Waipapa Taumata Rau (UoA). Before that she was Kaiwhakahaere Toi Aronui me Māori me Moananui-a-Kiwa at Te Tumu Herenga, University of Auckland. She is currently Tumuaki Tuakana (Immediate Past President) of Te Rau Herenga o Aotearoa (LIANZA). She is a member of the LIANZA Professional Registration Board and the Māori Subject Headings Governing Group. She also sits on Ngā Kaiwhakahau, executive for Te Rōpū Whakahau.

She is the Chair of the Wright Foundation Te Kura Ponamu in the Te Reo Māori NZ Book Awards category.

Anahera cannot come to us tonight due to obligations in her scientific work, but sends her best wishes.

Peter vial

Peter is the New Zealand head of CA NZ, the professional association for accountants. He serves on the Board of Directors of Read NZ Te Pou Muramura and is a trustee of the Mātātuhi Foundation, established by the Auckland Writers Festival to support the development of the New Zealand literary landscape. In his spare time he is an avid reader and bookseller.

© Scoop Media



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