23 Mar 2023
Each year, the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement, organised by Creative New Zealand, celebrates writers from Aotearoa who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
On Wednesday the 8th of March, the Rt Hon Chris Hipkins, Creative New Zealand staff, the recipients and their whānau gathered at Premier House for an intimate, celebratory lunch event.
This year’s award recipients were fiction writer Stephanie Johnson, historian Vincent O’Malley and poet James Norcliffe.
This was the first event Prime Minister Chris Hipkins had hosted at Premier House, and he was delighted to be able to recognise the recipients for their work in contributing to New Zealand’s cultural landscape.
“I want to say thank you to all of you for the contribution you have made to New Zealand, to making us a richer country in every respect.”
The event reinforced how much readers and learners from all walks of life appreciated and valued the contribution of writers to literature in Aotearoa New Zealand.
2022 Prime Minister Literature Award winners:
- Fiction: Stephanie Johnson is a writer of novels, short stories, and poetry and she has also written for stage, television and radio. She established the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival and was awarded the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship in 2000.
- Non-fiction: Vincent O’Malley is a founding partner of HistoryWorks, a group of historians specialising in Treaty of Waitangi research. He is the author of a number of books on New Zealand history including The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encounters, 1642–1840 .
- Poetry: James Norcliffe is a poet, fiction writer and educator. He has published 11 collections of poetry, a short story collection, a novel, and several award-winning novels for young people.
The recipients were given a certificate of acknowledgement; last year they received the financial award of $60,000.
In February an online panel discussion was hosted by Nick Bollinger with the three writers. Caren Rangi, the Arts Council Chair, said the panel discussion was a wonderful event that fostered rich kōrero.
“These prestigious awards are such a special and important way to celebrate the value our writers bring to Aotearoa. Today’s event is a really lovely in-person addition to the fabulous online panel event hosted by Nick Bollinger last month. It’s an honour to be amongst such treasured and accomplished writers from around the motu.”