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 Massey University Press, and 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) 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 on the board of the Michael King Writers Centre, and is currently working to establish the Academy of New Zealand Literature.

Catherine Robertson represents the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) on the Trust, and is Chair of the Wellington branch of NZSA and Vice-President of Romance Writers of NZ. She is a best-selling novelist, who has been published in New Zealand and overseas.

Stella Chrysostomou is the co-owner of independent bookshop, VOLUME in Nelson. She was the Readers and Writers Programme Coordinator for the Nelson Arts Festival in 2016. She is on the board of Booksellers New Zealand, and is their representative on the Trust.

David Bowles is the Strategic Director at Badger Communications, an independent agency specialising in business-to-business communications and sales force activation.

Melanee Winder is the Sales and Marketing 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.

Pene Walsh is the Cultural Activities Operations Manager of the H B Williams Memorial Library, a division of the 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.