About the New Zealand Post Book Awards

The New Zealand Post Book Awards celebrate excellence, identifying the very best books written by New Zealanders.

Books are judged in four main categories:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Illustrated Non-fiction, and
  • General Non-fiction.

A finalist list of 16 will be comprised of: four finalists for each category. One Book of the Year will be chosen from these 16 finalists.

Books submitted in the four main categories, written by first‐time authors, are also eligible to win the New Zealand Society of Authors Best First Book awards for Poetry, Fiction and Non‐fiction.

Books written entirely in Te Reo, are elibible for the Māori Language award.
The popular People’s Choice award is the public’s opportunity to vote for their favourite book of the year. Eligible books are New Zealand published, New Zealand authored titles published within the date span of 1 June 2013– 31 May 2014. Readers can vote online and in-store.

Booksellers will vote for their favourite book to sell in the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice award. Up to four titles will be selected as finalists and the winning author will receive $2,500.

A significant prize pool will see the overall winner of the New Zealand Post Book of the Year award receiving $15,000. Winners of the four category awards will each receive $10,000, the Māori Language award $10,000, People’s Choice award $5,000, Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice award, $2,500 and each of the winners of the three NZSA Best First Book awards, $2,500.

Expressions of interest are invited from members of the public and literary community to be a judge for the New Zealand Post Book Awards.  A panel of five judges is appointed by the Book Awards Governance Group, comprised of stakeholders. One judge is selected as the Convenor of the panel.

The principal sponsors of the New Zealand Post Book Awards are the New Zealand Post Group and Creative New Zealand. The awards are managed by Booksellers New Zealand and supported by the New Zealand Society of Authors, and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd.

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.

Find out more here.

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