08 Dec 2022

This content is tagged as Literature .


NZCYA 2023 judges

A varied and experienced panel of judges with a shared belief in the importance and power of books and reading in the lives of young New Zealanders has been appointed to judge entries in the 2023 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Associate professor in children’s literature at the University of Waikato Nicola Daly will convene the English language panel. She will be joined by Ōtepoti bookseller Daniel Buchanan, Kirikiriroa-based writer Feana Tu‘akoi, Wānaka school and public librarian Maia Bennett (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Tūwharetoa), and award-winning author and illustrator Ruth Paul from Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Nicola, who was also a judge in the 2021 awards, says she was honoured to be asked to convene the English panel. "There are so many facets to producing excellent children's literature, and our 2023 judges bring a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives with them to the judging process. I am looking forward to exploring and judging the books entered this year with them.”

The panel judging the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for books written or translated into te reo Māori for 2023 will be convened by Ruki Tobin, who has previous experience on both the English and te reo Māori panels. Ruki is the Kaihautū |Director Ratonga Māori at Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, National Library of New Zealand. Joining him this year is kaitiaki pukapuka Mihi Te Rina Henare from Tāmaki Makaurau, and Rotorua-based kaiako and translator Te Wairere Ngaia. 

Ruki says the 2023 panel of kaiwhiriwhiri are from the first generation of graduates of Kohanga Reo, raukura and manu pīrere from Kura Aho Matua and Kura ā Iwi. “Mihi and Te Wairere bring with them expertise in te reo Māori, tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori that will enhance Te Kura Pounamu Award. I look forward to working with them to ensure the sanctity of the work ahead of us. Nau mai te ao hou, kia kite atu ai au i a koe. We welcome the new world, so we may see what potential lies ahead of us.”

The 2023 judges will read and appraise an expected 160 or more entries in six categories: Picture Book, Junior Fiction (the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award), Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction (the Elsie Locke Award), Illustration (the Russell Clark Award) and te reo Māori (the Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award). They will select up to five finalists in each category, as well as up to five finalists for the NZSA Best First Book Award, and then a winner in each category. The overall winner, the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year, will be decided by both panels from the six main category winners.

Submissions for the 2023 awards are now open to books published between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2023. The first deadline, for books published up to 30 November 2022, is Tuesday 13 December 2022. More details about how to enter can be found here: http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards-for-children-and-young-adults/how-to-enter/

Category finalists will be announced on 1 June 2023 and the awards ceremony will be held in Wellington on Thursday 10 August 2023, preceded by a programme of finalist author events under the Books Alive banner.

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are made possible through the generosity, commitment and vision of funders and sponsors Creative New Zealand, HELL Pizza, Wright Family Foundation, LIANZA, Wellington City Council, The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa, and Nielsen BookData.

For more information about the 2023 judges, see below or go here: http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards-for-children-and-young-adults/2023-awards/judges/

Any queries about the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults should be directed to Awards Administrator Joy Sellen at childrensawards@nzbookawards.org.nz


Released on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust by:

Belinda Cooke, manager@nzbookawards.org.nz, tel: 021 481044.

(Publicist Gemma Finlay of Notable PR will once again run the #NZCYA marketing campaign, from early 2023.) 

2023 Judges

Convenor of judges Nicola Daly is an Associate Professor at the University of Waikato, where she is codirector of the Waikato Picturebook Research Unit and teaches courses in children’s literature. Nicola’s research focus is the use of languages in picture books, and she has received several fellowships to pursue this interest, including at the International Youth Library (Munich), and a Fulbright New Zealand Scholar Award at the University of Arizona. She has loved picture books for a very long time, and feels lucky to have been able to follow this passion in her academic career. Nicola was a judge of the 2021 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

Daniel Buchanan has worked in bookstores in Ōtepoti for 18 years, and he is currently a book buyer at Paper Plus Dunedin, looking after all categories. Daniel has a particular enthusiasm for comic books and manga, which he reads and collects himself, and sees as the stepping stone to breaking reluctant young readers into reading novels. He also reads fantasy/sci-fi, classics and children’s books, all of which he champions in the shop. Things that can distract him from reading are his cats, gaming, playing drums and guitar, and going to gigs.

Feana Tu‘akoi is a Kirikiriroa-based writer, with a strong background in educational writing. She has over 230 published titles (including books, readers, plays, articles, poetry, creative non-fiction and radio stories) and much of her work centres on Tongan-Pālangi families, like her own. Seven of her nine trade books for children have been named in the junior fiction, non-fiction or picture book categories of various awards, and her work has been translated into several languages. Feana won the 2022 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for her soon-to-be published novel, Lopini the Legend, and was the 2022 Massey University Writer in Residence.

Maia Bennett (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is a secondary school and public librarian in Wānaka. A lifelong library lover and besotted bibliophile, her professional path has traversed information technology, academic research and early childhood education, with all roads leading to librarianship. The constant throughout her careers has been the importance of words and writing. Knowing the vital role of school libraries in fostering literacy and wellbeing, she strives to provide a diverse and inclusive collection of books so students can see themselves and learn about others.

Ruth Paul is an award-winning writer and illustrator of children’s picture books, and a New Zealand Arts Laureate (2019). Her books have been published in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, the UK, China and Korea, with translations into five languages. She has twice won the Picture Book Award at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Ruth is an experienced presenter at both schools and literary events, and takes up the University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence fellowship in 2023. She is also a champion of her local community Mākara, Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

Ko te tuanui o tōku whare, ko te Ranginui e tū nei! Ko te paparahi ko Papatūānuku e takoto nei! Ko ngā maunga whakahī, ngā poutapu rau! Ko Rahiri kei te kōruru! Ko Ruki Tobin tēnei e kōki nei! Tēnā koutou!

Ruki Tobin is the convenor of Te Kura Pounamu Award panel, and was a judge on both the English language and Te Kura Pounamu judging panels in 2022. Ruki is the Kaihautū / Director Ratonga Māori at Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, National Library of New Zealand. He is a raukura of Te Aho Matua and graduated with his Masters in Tikanga from the University of Waikato. He is also a graduate of Te Panekiretanga o Te Reo Māori, the former institute of Te Reo Māori excellence. As Kaihautū, Ruki is working with the National Library leadership team to progress the organisation’s aspirations to meet its Tiriti obligations and embed Te Reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and Te Ao Māori Tirohanga as standard operating practice.

He uri tēnei nō Ngāti Hine, Te Waiariki, Ngāti Korora, Ngāti Porou, nō Te Whānau a Apanui anō hoki.

Mihi Te Rina Henare is the Kaitiaki Pukapuka and Kairangahau Māori at Te Wānanga Takiura o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa. Mihi Te Rina is a raukura of Te Aho Matua and a kōhanga reo graduate, and she has a Bachelor of Library and Information Studies from Open Polytechnic. Her current role supports students at Te Wānanga Takiura who are undertaking the Rumaki Reo programme as well as the Tohu Paetahi Ako Kura Kaupapa programme. Mihi Te Rina spends most of her spare time reading and reviewing books, and posting or scrolling through bookstagram.

He uri a Te Wairere o Taranaki Tūturu, Ngāruahinerangi, o Te Ātiawa, o Waikato-Maniapoto, o Ngāti Porou, o Ngāti Pikiao, o Ngāti Rongomai, o Ngāti Tarāwhai, o Ngāti Whakaue hoki.

Te Wairere Puāwaitanga O Te Whakaaro Ngaia is a Rotorua-based kaiako of Te Reo Māori and a qualified translator. Her dedication to Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori was nurtured though her own total-immersion education, beginning at kōhanga reo, through kura kaupapa Māori, to wharekura. Te Wairere has degrees in Communications and Māori Performing Arts, and a Masters of Management Studies specialising in leadership communication and Te Reo Māori. From a young age she has had a love of literature and the arts, but her biggest passions are her people and her culture.