Convenor of judges Crissi Blair has been writing about children’s books and their makers for nearly 20 years, including seven years for the Book Council’s e-news The School Library, reviews and articles for Magpies magazine, where she is now New Zealand Coordinator, and her own publication New Zealand Children’s Books in Print 2005-2013. She was a member of the 2018 judging panel for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and has a long involvement with Storylines, including three years as festival manager. Crissi has a Bachelor in Design and Visual Arts, with a specialist interest in picture book illustration, and has recently finished studying for library qualifications while working as a librarian at Rangeview Intermediate School in Auckland.
Jane Arthur is an editor and poet who has worked in the book industry for over 15 years, in both bookselling and publishing. She is co-founding editor of The Sapling (www.thesapling.co.nz), a website about children's books, which launched in March 2017 and won the 2018 New Zealand Book Industry Special Award. She has a Masters in English Literature, a Masters in Creative Writing and a Diploma in Publishing. Jane won the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize, and her first poetry collection will be published in 2020. She lives in Wellington with her family.
Raymond Huber is a Dunedin-based children's author and editor who has written junior novels, picture books, YA non-fiction, school readers and textbooks, many published internationally. He is the University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence for 2018. Children’s books have been a vital part of Raymond’s life: reading with his children and grandchildren; in his years teaching at primary schools; reviewing books for newspapers and magazines; studying a Diploma of Children’s Literature; assessing and editing manuscripts.
Nō Ōtautahi ahau, engari, i tipu ake au i wīwā, i wāwā. Ko Māori me Airihi me Kōtarina ngā iwi o ōku tīpuna. Tania Roxborogh (Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri) is a veteran educator and an award-winning writer of over thirty published works. She has been a head of two English departments, drama teacher, actor, director, musician, English curriculum developer, short story judge, and writing mentor. Her most recent publications are Bastion Point: 507 Days on Takaparawha, which won the Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction, and two secondary English text books. Her happy places are her classroom, Lincoln High School, and wherever she can snatch time to read – most often books recommended by her students.
Simie Simpson (Te Ati Awa) is a librarian in the Kaipara District north of Auckland. Prior to this she worked for a number of years for Walker Books New Zealand as a sales manager, and as a bookseller before that. Reviewing children's books and working in a library has allowed her to connect the wider community with the books she is passionate about. She believes in the transformative power of books, and the importance of seeing yourself reflected in the books you read. Simie particularly loves events where people get to meet the ‘rock stars’ some people call writers and illustrators.
Ko Tākitimu, Ko Kurahaupō ōku waka. Ko Rongomaiwahine, Ko Ngāti Kahungunu ōku iwi.
Te Kura Pounamu Award convenor for the second year, Moana Munro is kaitiakipukapuka Māori for Hastings District Libraries, delivering services and resources to a growing Māori and Polynesian population in Hawke’s Bay. She’s one of the ngā kaiwhakahau o Te Rōpū Whakahau representing Te Mātau o te Ika rohe (East Coast, Hawke’s Bay to Wairarapa regions). “Being an information provider is extremely rewarding; being entrusted with taonga and participating in tangata experiences, that’s special, that’s incredibly humbling,” she says. “Reading to my mokopuna: priceless.”
He uri ahau o te Whare tapu o Ngāpuhi, arā, ngā iwi e rima. Ko Te Rarawa, ko Te Aupōuri, ko Ngāti Kahu, ko Ngāti Whātua, ko Ngāpuhi.
A LIANZA Hikuwai regional councillor and kaiāwhina of Te Rōpū Whakahau, Anahera Morehu was a judge for Te Kura Pounamu award in 2017 and 2018. She is part of the team which supports the Mātauranga Māori and Tukua workshops for those working in the information industry.
Jacqueline Joyce Snee (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) is the poukōkiri rangahau Māori, senior librarian Māori Research at Auckland Central Library. She was a judge for Te Kura Pounamu award in 2018 and in 2017 she was the recipient of the Robyn Hakopa Te Reo Māori award for promoting te reo and tikanga within the library profession. Jacqueline has worked in heritage, academic and public libraries and her library career has centred on improving and protecting access for Māori to information. Prior to her career in libraries she worked at Kohanga Reo. She has a few mokopuna and reads to them often.