Friday, February 23, 2018

Te Papa: Reinventing New Zealand’s national museum 1998–2018

Te Papa: Reinventing New Zealand’s national museum 1998–2018
By Conal McCarthy, published by Te Papa Press, $45.00
As New Zealand’s national museum Te Papa Tongarewa marks its 20th
anniversary, a new book by leading museologist Conal McCarthy examines how
the iconic institution that has benchmarked international best practice has
evolved over the past two decades.

 “I cannot think of another national museum, built in the last forty years, that
has been more globally influential in changing how these institutions represent
the nation and, more generally, the indigenous peoples of the world,” says
Professor Simon Knell of the University of Leicester in the foreword to Te Papa:
Reinventing New Zealand’s national museum 1998–2018. “Indeed, it is hard
to think of another national museum that has so fundamentally rewritten the
ethics of being a museum.”

McCarthy, who worked at Te Papa leading up to and over the time of its
landmark opening (on February 14 1998), presents an honest appraisal of the
museum’s origins, development, innovations, and some of the issues that have
sparked national and local debate.

He looks at how it was that a small country in the South Pacific could create
such a bold statement of the latest museological trends and become a model
for many others around the globe. And how it became the most loved, most
visited, most debated, and therefore most prominent, museum in Australasia.
As an academic who has researched and published widely on the subject of historical and contemporary Māori engagement with museums, McCarthy also analyses one of the most important aspects of Te Papa’s legacy – its approach to biculturalism and its Māori museum practice, both of which have attracted international attention.
“What I have tried to do with this book is provide a record, and show how the exhibitions, programmes and policy grew out of the time and place,” says McCarthy. “Which is what those who work at Te Papa now engaged in the renewal of the permanant exhibitions are doing for their own times. History is made, so it can be unmade and remade.”
Conal McCarthy worked at the National Art Gallery and National Museum from 1988–92, and then again at Te Papa from 1996–2000, in a variety of roles including education, exhibition interpretation and public programmes. Since leaving Te Papa he has become an academic teaching museum studies, and is presently director of the Museum and Heritage Studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington. His research and writing keeps him in close touch with developments at the museum. Conal has published widely on historical and contemporary Māori engagement with museums, including Exhibiting Māori: A history of colonial cultures of display (2007), Museums and Māori: Heritage professionals, indigenous collections, current practice (2011) and Museum practice: The contemporary museum at work (2015) in the series International Handbooks of Museum Studies.

The Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine


The Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine is an international prize for a single unpublished poem in English on a medical theme. The length of the poem should be not more than 50 lines of text. Entrants should be aged 14 - 18 years old on the closing date for entries - 1st March.

The award for the winner is £500 (~ USD 670). 

Entries for the 2018 Hippocrates Young Poet Poetry and Medicine Prize close at 12 midnight ie the end of the day on 1st March 2018 in the relevant international time zone for entrants. 

Since its launch in 20013, the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize for Poetry and Medicine has attracted entries from Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, with winners from the USA, the UK and Hong Kong. 

Shortlisted poets will be informed by email and information about the shortlist and the commended entries posted on the Hippocrates Prize website. The winners in the 2018 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize will be announced at the Hippocrates Awards ceremony on Friday 11th May 2018 at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago.

To find out more about the 2018 prize, or to enter, click here.

Organiser Donald Singer said: “We are delighted to have such international interest in the Hippocrates Young Poets Prize. We are also grateful that the 2018 Hippocrates Awards Ceremony will be hosted by the US Poetry Foundation in Chicago. 

The Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine – winner of the 2011 Times Higher Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Arts – is an interdisciplinary venture that investigates the synergy between medicine, the arts and health.
Notes for editors
For more on the Hippocrates Prize  contact +44 7494 450805  or email

The 2018 Hippocrates Young Poets Prize judge is Alisha Kaplan

"Vonney Ball:Ceramics" - Book Launch & Exhibition

On 8 March 2018, Orexart in Arch Hill, Auckland, will host a book launch and exhibition of ceramics by Vonney Ball. Published by Massey University Press and written by Helen Schamroth, the richly illustrated book, Vonney Ball: Ceramics, traces the creative influences on Ball’s unique forty-year practice, both in the UK and since she settled in New Zealand.

Vonney Ball’s output reflects a sound education in English ceramics design, a singularity of purpose and a drive to keep making work. Twenty years on from her arrival in New Zealand, her work connects cultural experiences from opposite ends of the earth. Vonney Ball: Ceramics surveys her work and examines her influences, from Bloomsbury to Māori art and design.

In conjunction with the book launch, Orexart presents a survey exhibition that captures the essence of Vonney Ball’s practice as a ceramic slip-caster and designer-maker. It will include pieces from her time at Middlesex Polytechnic, London, in the 1980s, where she adapted industrial methods to produce one-off or small batch works, resulting in innovative pieces that may best be described as ‘classically inspired shapes with a contemporary twist’.

Alongside the survey exhibition, Orexart will present for sale a suite of elegant, new hand-painted ceramic works produced in her Birkenhead studio.

Much of the photography in Vonney Ball: Ceramics is by Geoff Ball (no relation), including a rare glimpse into the studio and aspects of the making process.  Archival images complement the narrative, which  includes contributions by London-based international industrial designer Ian Webb and Annie Sherburne, a well-established jeweler and felt maker, who writes about working in the crafts and design under the Thatcher government, and how ‘Thatcherism’ impacted on the sector.

Vonney Ball has recently exhibited works in New Zealand at the Waikato Contemporary Art Awards and also at Portage Ceramic Awards and the Auckland Society of Potters.

Book launch and exhibition opening 6:00pm Thursday 8 March 2018 at Orexart 15 Putiki Street, Arch Hill, Auckland. Exhibition runs until 24 March.

For an introduction and sample pages of the book click here


Contact:          Rex Armstrong +649 378 0588

Vonney Ball +64 21 284 5252


Flash in Aotearoa: NFFD 2018 competition is open

Flash in Aotearoa: NFFD 2018 competition is open!
The 2018 National Flash Fiction Day competition runs through April 30.
Send your best 300-word story * Cash prizes * Three categories
Adult (19+)
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $400
Third Prize: $100
Judges: Tracey Slaughter and  
Sue Wootton
Youth (18 and under)
First Prize: $200
Second Prize: $100
Third Prize: $50
Judges: Tim Jones and         
Patrick Pink
Te reo Māori Prize
Adult: $200
Youth: $100
Judge: Vaughan Rapatahana

Winners will be announced June 22 at the NFFD celebrations, and all winners are invited to attend and share their stories.

NFFD 2018 in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Northland, Wellington

Competition entry details here.

Off the Shelf

February 21, 2018
Kim van Alkemade


Travel Back to Old New York in this Spectacular Novel

Back in grad school, I loved reading Daniel Defoe’s novel MOLL FLANDERS. Moll was a scrappy survivor and an utterly unreliable narrator. Her story was full of fortune and misadventure, and her journey through old England to the shores of colonial America gave me the kind of imaginative experience of an era that only fiction can offer. I thought a lot about MOLL FLANDERS as I dove into Francis Spufford’s GOLDEN HILL.

Janice Marriott wins Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal


Janice Marriott, children’s novelist and screenwriter, audio producer, editor and teacher, has won the 2018 Storylines Margaret Mahy Award for lifetime achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand’s children’s literature.

“Storylines is pleased to honour Janice Mariott’s career and contribution over nearly three decades”, says Storylines Trust chair Dr Libby Limbrick. “The range of her writing, editing and mentoring skills across children’s fiction and non-fiction is truly exceptional. Janice is also widely known in New Zealand schools for choosing and producing in audio book format hundreds of original children’s songs for the acclaimed teacher’s resource Kiwi Kidsongs”.


Twice winner of the New Zealand children’s novel of the year, Janice Marriott began her publishing career in 1989 with Letters to Lesley and Brain Drain, followed by a steady flow of children’s and YA novels, educational texts, short stories, radio plays and documentaries, scripts for the TV series The Wot Wots, also books on gardening for both children and adults. She has held writers residencies at the Auckland and Dunedin Colleges of Education and judged several major books awards.

Over the past fifteen years she has developed a parallel career as a sought-after creative writing tutor and mentor for tertiary institutions, online writing schools and for her own consultancy as editor and manuscript assessor. Janice’s full biography and details of her achievements are available on her website, link:

The Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal is New Zealand's most prestigious honour for children's authors, illustrators and publishers.  Among the 27 recipients since 1991 are Joy Cowley, Lynley Dodd, Jack Lasenby, Maurice Gee, Gavin Bishop, David Hill, Kate De Goldi and in 2017 Des Hunt. 

The award will be presented at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Awards Day in Auckland on Sunday 8 April 2018.  



Mary Egan Publishing - First Newsletter

Kia ora koutou and welcome to this, our very first newsletter.

We are proud of what we do and what we are building here at Mary Egan Publishing, and we think it’s about time we established a regular forum for spreading the word to you: our friends, authors, illustrators, booksellers, colleagues and collaborators.

2018 is going to be another sensational publishing year here at M.E.P. We have some exciting and gorgeous new releases hitting the shelves in the coming months – and we’d like you to be among the first to know the details.

In our newsletters, we will include all the essential info about our up-and-coming titles. We’ll also include author interviews, book launch and literary event details and we’ll update you on any exciting plans we and our talented authors have in motion.

Plus, you’ll find book giveaways and competitions galore!

In addition to subscribing to our newsletter, please feel free to like us on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay fully informed across all mediums.

Best wishes to you for a happy 2018 bursting with quality books!

Mary, Anna and Sophia


Auckland Writers Festival - May 2018


15 - 20 May 2018
Not long to go now......

The first draft of our print programme is now with our designer, and this year we will be printing a record 60,000 copies to be distributed all over New Zealand. These will be landing in letterboxes, libraries, bookshops, galleries and more from mid-March. 

If you would like to receive a copy of the print programme by post, please add your contact details on our sign up page and we will make sure you are added to our annual subscriber list.

Our public launch will be on the evening of Wednesday 14 March so make sure you are following us online or social media to be first in the know. Tickets will be on sale from 9am Friday 16 March (priority booking for Patrons on 13 March and Friends on 15 March). Mark your diaries!     


We are delighted to deliver our tenth annual Schools Programme in May with the generous support of the Freemasons Foundation. Through this programme we hope to inspire young writers and readers and celebrate the love of story.

Our amazing line up includes fiction writer and teacher Leonie Agnew, singer, songwriter Lawrence Arabia, illustrator and author Gavin Bishop, journalist and editor Sasha Borissenko, fiction writer Stacy Gregg, non-fiction writer Joanna Grochowicz, the poetry of writer Rowley Habib presented by Hāpai Productions, Alaskan novelist Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, short story writer and novelist A.S. King , Poet Laureate and teacher Selina Tusitala Marsh, fantasy writer J L Pawley, sports biography writer and teacher David Riley, playwright Victor Rodger, spoken word performer Te Kahu Rolleston, writer, cartoonist and illustrator Chris Riddell, writer and augmented reality app developer James Russell, historian Anne Salmond, fiction writer and former slam poet Alex Wheatle, spoken word performer Rewa Worley.

In 2018 we continue the development of the programme through:
  • Doubled capacity for Year 5-6 students
  • Transport subsidy funds to assist with schools travel costs
  • Three new schools added to the Writing the Future Project, supported by our new sponsor Vector Limited, enabling these schools to attend at no cost. In addition, eight students from each sponsored school will embark on a creative writing mentoring programme.
All programme details are available online, so please share with your schools and teachers, before we sell out!


If you missed Nigella Lawson earlier this month, you really did miss a treat! Over 2,000 fans joined us for a truly memorable evening with this wonderful English food writer and journalist. Nigella started work as a book reviewer and restaurant critic, going on to become the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times before embarking on a career as a freelance journalist. She has now become one of the world’s most loved food writers and broadcasters and is the author of numerous award-winning books including How to EatHow to Be a Domestic GoddessNigella Bites and most recently At My Table. Chaired by Paula Morris. Supported by Penguin Random House. View the video now
We have loaded a selection of videos and podcasts to our Look, Listen & Learn page so you can enjoy the magic at home. Revisit your favourite writer's sessions, or catch up on the events you missed. There's something for everyone! Podcasts are also available on itunes so you can download and listen on the go. 




A strong and daring addition to the incredible body of work from comedy genius and #awf17 guest Armando Iannucci (Veep, The Thick Of It, Alan Partridge) with hilarious performances from an outstanding ensemble cast with classic comedic names. The one-liners fly as fast as political fortunes fall in this uproarious, wickedly irreverent satire. Moscow, 1953: when tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin drops dead, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to be the next Soviet leader. Combining palace intrigue with rapid-fire farce, this audacious comedy is a bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction performed to the hilt by a sparkling ensemble cast.
To go in the draw to win one of five double passes, please 
email by Thursday 1 March.



Mon 5 Mar 5:30-7:30pm
talk with Rhana Devenport
Judy Darragh & Imogen Taylor
She Claims: Art Matters #1

She Claims: Art Matters is a series of events at Auckland Art Gallery that celebrates the ideas, voices and power of creative women. The first guests are visual artists Judy Darragh and Imogen Taylor, who recently launched the platform and publication Femisphere. They'll talk about their background, practice, drive and ideas with Auckland Art Gallery Director, curator and writer Rhana Devenport.

Tickets includes refreshments
AAG Members $25
Non-Members $75, incl a one-year Membership

Book via eventfinda

To go in the draw to win a double pass, please email to enter the draw by Thursday 1 March.


An annual AWF Friend membership is just $100 per person, and includes: an  invitation to our March programme launch, priority booking ahead of public ticket sales, access to a dedicated booking line with no transaction fees, reserved seating at all ticketed events and special offers and discounts all year round. Numbers are strictly limited, so don't miss out, further details available online.


Our volunteers are an essential part of each Festival’s success. While there are no particular skills or work experience required for you to become a volunteer, a love of literature and books is a good start. If you are enthusiastic, generous, reliable, friendly, motivated, tactful and available for 3 or more shifts (of 4-5 hours) from 15-20 May and would like to be considered, please email and register your interest.