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 ONZM (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 and a board member of The Coalition for Books.
Karen Ferns is the New Zealand General Manager for HarperCollins, with responsibility for all local sales, marketing and publishing activity. She is a former Managing Director of Random House New Zealand and is a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.
Anne Morgan represents the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) on the Trust. She has worked in public libraries and the National Library of New Zealand for nearly two decades. Anne’s current role is National Manager for Reading Services for the National Library’s Services to Schools.
Dr Paula Morris MNZM (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 directs 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.
Richard Pamatatau, of Cook Island, Niuean, German and English descent, is a journalism academic at AUT University and teaches ethics, media law, public affairs, news and broadcast writing. He is a member of the AUT Popular Culture Research Group and researches the intersection of space, place and identity. Richard has a Master of Creative Writing with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland and is working on a PhD in poetry at Massey University.
Melinda Szymanik is an award-winning writer of picture books, junior and YA fiction, and short stories. She was the 2014 University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence, and was a judge for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in 2016. Melinda represents the New Zealand Society of Authors on the Trust.
Jenna Todd (Kāi Tahu) is the manager of Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden, which was named in the top three bookstores in the world in 2017. She is Deputy Chair of Booksellers Aotearoa NZ and is their representative on the Trust. Jenna was named Young Bookseller of the Year in 2015. She was a fiction judge for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, reviews books monthly on RNZ’s Nine to Noon, fortnightly on 95bFM’s breakfast show and is a host on The Spinoff's Papercuts, the podcast all about books.
Mel Winder (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is Managing Director of Hachette New Zealand and sits on the board of Hachette Australia. She is the Vice-President of the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), and represents PANZ on the Trust.
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.