Read NZ Te Pou Muramura

(Redirected from New Zealand Book Council)

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura (formerly the New Zealand Book Council) is a not-for-profit organisation that presents a wide range of programmes to promote books and reading in New Zealand. It was established in 1972 and its programmes have included supporting writers' visits to schools and enabling writers to travel to different areas of New Zealand.

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura
Established1972; 51 years ago (1972)
TypeNot-for-profit organisation
Legal statusCharity
PurposePromotion of books and reading in New Zealand
ServicesWriters in Schools programme
Chief executive
Juliet Blyth (2020–)[1]
Board chair
Willow Sainsbury (2021–)[1] Edit this at Wikidata
Formerly called
New Zealand Book Council

History edit

The organisation was established as the New Zealand Book Council in 1972 as a response to UNESCO's International Book Year.[2] Author Fiona Kidman was the founding secretary of the organisation.[3] The original purposes of the organisation included to bring together different parts of the book industry (including writers, booksellers, teachers, publishers and librarians), and to encourage reading in New Zealand.[4][5][6] In December 1972 the organisation advertised for founding members, with a year's membership costing NZ$3.[7]

In the 1980s the organisation spoke out against books being subject to New Zealand's GST (goods and services tax), saying this was in breach of international agreements.[8][9] Roger Douglas, then Minister of Finance, said in response that there were no good grounds for books to be exempted from the tax.[10]

In 2014 and 2015 the organisation ran the "Great Kiwi Classic" event together with the Auckland Writers Festival, asking readers to nominate their favourite New Zealand classic novel. In 2014 the bone people by Keri Hulme was selected,[11] followed in 2015 with Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame.[12]

In 2017, the organisation commissioned a survey into New Zealanders' reading habits, and found that around 400,000 New Zealanders had not read a book in the previous year.[13] The survey was repeated in 2018 and again in 2022; in 2018 it found a slight decline in reading by adults, and that 57% of all readers had read a New Zealand book in the previous year.[14] The 2022 survey found that men's reading continued to fall.[15]

In 2019, the organisation changed its name to Read NZ Te Pou Muramura.[3] The Māori language name Te Pou Muramura is about moving from darkness to light.[3]

Writers in Schools and other programmes edit

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura runs various public event programmes that take New Zealand and international writers to venues around the country.

One programme is Writers in Schools, which takes New Zealand writers and illustrators into schools throughout the country. This programme has run since the organisation was first established in the 1970s, with Noel Hilliard the first writer to tour schools.[4] In 1977, following the success of a pilot, 39 writers were hired to tour schools, including Sam Hunt and Denis Glover.[16] In 2007 the programme was estimated to reach 50,000 New Zealand students each year.[17] The programme is subsidised by Creative New Zealand and charitable donations.[18]

In 1997 the organisation established a yearly writers' exchange programme with Australia, to encourage readership of New Zealand books in Australia.[19] Peter Wells was the first author to take part in the exchange.[20]

The Words on Wheels initiative was an annual initiative beginning in 1998, and enabled writers to travel to a different part of rural New Zealand each year, sometimes in collaboration with local literary festivals.[21][22][17] In 2007 writer David Hill said of the programme: "Every time I do a tour I hear people say how brilliant it is to see and hear writers in the flesh. This is the New Zealand part of the New Zealand Book Council in action."[23]

Other programmes have included Writers Visiting Prisons, Writers In Youth Justice, Meet the Author and Writers to Book Groups.[4][6][24][25]

Writers Files and other publications edit

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura produces the Writers Files, an online database of profiles of New Zealand writers which is regularly updated.[26]

From 1981 to 2013 the organisation published Booknotes, a quarterly publication distributed free to members.[6][27] In 1995 the organisation published Bookenz: A Traveller's Guide to New Zealand Books, described by Iain Sharp as a "handy little leaflet".[28]

Notable people edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Meet the team". Read NZ Te Pou Muramura. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  2. ^ "International Book Year". UNESCO. Archived from the original on 10 July 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "New Zealand Book Council becomes Read NZ Te Pou Muramura". Scoop. 4 September 2019. Archived from the original on 15 April 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Kidman, Fiona (9 November 2022). "Dame Fiona Kidman: The heart of the matter". The Spinoff. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  5. ^ "Book Council defines aims". The Press. 11 December 1972. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Wattie, Nelson (2006). "New Zealand Book Council, The". In Robinson, Roger; Wattie, Nelson (eds.). The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780195583489.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-1917-3519-6. OCLC 865265749. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  7. ^ "N.Z. Book Council Foundation Membership Invited". The Press. 2 December 1972. p. 10. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Tax on books opposed". 26 April 1982. p. 6. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  9. ^ "Committee opposes GST on books". The Press. 10 July 1985. p. 22. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  10. ^ "GST will apply to books—Minister". The Press. 16 August 1985. p. 5. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  11. ^ "Name your Great Kiwi Classic Mansfield to Mahy, Crump to Catton -- all books will be considered". Hawkes Bay Today. 3 February 2015. p. A15. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  12. ^ "'Owls Do Cry' voted Great Kiwi Classic". Books+Publishing. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  13. ^ van Beynen, Jack (29 July 2017). "Survey finds 400,000 New Zealand adults didn't read a book in 2016". Stuff. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  14. ^ "Fewer adults crack a book". Wanganui Chronicle. 31 August 2018. p. A4. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  15. ^ "New Zealand men's reading rates continuing to drop". Radio New Zealand. 6 March 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  16. ^ "Authors hired to talk about their work". The Press. 16 August 1977. p. 22. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  17. ^ a b "Bay book lovers should get ready to be WOWed". Bay of Plenty Times. 15 February 2007. p. A15. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  18. ^ "Writers in Schools – getting young New Zealanders reading again". Radio New Zealand. 25 September 2022. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
  19. ^ "NZ writers to Australia". Dominion. 1 July 2000. p. 27. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  20. ^ "Writers exchange". Dominion. 9 August 1997. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  21. ^ McPhee, Elena (30 June 2016). "Words on Wheels coming to Marlborough Girls' College as part of book festival". Stuff. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  22. ^ "Words on tour". The Southland Times. 24 February 2004. p. 10. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  23. ^ "Kiwi writers all set to WOW us". Bay of Plenty Times. 28 February 2007. p. B22. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  24. ^ "Feted poet to speak at library". The Daily Post. Rotorua. 15 July 2009. p. A4. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  25. ^ "Inspiring words on wheels". Hawkes Bay Today. 29 January 2008. p. H10. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  26. ^ "The Writers Files". Read NZ Te Pou Muramura. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  27. ^ "Booknotes [electronic resource]". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  28. ^ Sharp, Iain (2 May 1999). "Biblio File". The Sunday Star-Times. p. F2. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  29. ^ "New Zealand Book Council Announces New Chief Exec". Scoop. 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 31 May 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Book council post". The Press. 4 May 1978. p. 7. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  31. ^ "Jo Cribb appointed New Zealand Book Council CEO | Booksellers New Zealand". 16 April 2017. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  32. ^ "Lydia Wevers". Read NZ Te Pou Muramura. Retrieved 1 July 2023.
  33. ^ Priestley, Rebecca. "Williams, Robert Martin (Robin)". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 July 2023.

External links edit