About The New Zealand Book Awards Trust

The New Zealand Book Awards Trust was established as a charitable trust in 2014 to govern and manage the country’s two major literary awards and National Poetry Day, and to ensure their longevity and credibility.

Nicola Legat (chair) is the Publisher of both Massey University Press and Te Papa Press, and a former Publishing Director of Random House New Zealand and editor of Metro magazine. She is Deputy Chair of the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival Trust.

Karen Ferns is the former Managing Director of Random House New Zealand, and is now New Zealand sales agent for Simon & Schuster and an independent consultant and board director. She is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Dr Paula Morris (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Whatua) is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and essayist. She has taught creative writing in universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, and now convenes the Master in Creative Writing Programme at the University of Auckland. Paula is a trustee of the Mātātuhi Foundation and the Māori Literature Trust, and is the founder of the Academy of New Zealand Literature. In 2018 she was awarded the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship.

David Bowles is a marketing communications specialist who has held senior positions in advertising agencies in New Zealand and the UK; and has run his own strategic consultancy.

Catherine Robertson represents the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) on the Trust, and is on the Board of LitCrawl and a member of Romance Writers of NZ. She is a bestselling novelist, who also reviews for the Listener and appears regularly on RNZ.

Melanee Winder is Managing Director of Hachette New Zealand and sits on the board of Hachette Australia. Melanee is on the council of the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), and represents PANZ on the Trust. She is also a member of the Whitireia Publishing Course Advisory Committee.

Jenna Todd is the manager of Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden, which won New Zealand’s best bookshop for 2016 and 2017 and was named in the top three bookstores in the world in 2017. She is on the board of Booksellers NZ and is their representative on the Trust. Jenna was the first recipient of the Kobo Booksellers NZ Scholarship in 2014 and was named Young Bookseller of the Year in 2015. She was a fiction judge for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and reviews books monthly on RNZ’s Nine to Noon and fortnightly on 95bFM’s breakfast show.

Pene Walsh is the Cultural Activities Manager at Gisborne District Council. Pene represents the Libraries and Information Association of New Zealand (LIANZA) on the Trust. She is a past convenor of LIANZA Children’s Book Awards and judge of the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards.

Belinda Cooke is manager of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. Former managing director of New Holland Publishers in New Zealand, she now runs her own marketing and communications consultancy alongside the part-time role. She can be reached regarding Trust matters on manager@nzbookawards.org.nz.