Before 1996, there were two major New Zealand literary prizes, the New Zealand Book Awards (1973-1995) and the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards 1968-1993.

Montana took over the sponsorship of the latter in 1994, and the Awards became the Montana Book Awards (1994-1995).

In 1996, the two Awards merged to form the Montana New Zealand Book awards (1996-2009).

In 2010, sponsorship of the Awards will be assumed by New Zealand Post, which had been supporting the Children’s Book Awards for the previous 14 years.

In 2015, the governance and management of New Zealand’s national book awards were assumed by the newly formed New Zealand Book Awards Trust. Ockham Residential Limited became the principal sponsor, and the name of the awards was changed to the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards The award categories were streamlined: the Book of the Year Award and the Booksellers’ Choice and People’s Choice awards were discontinued, and a fourth Best First Book Award and a longlist were introduced.

From 2016 on, the awards are held each year in May, as part of the Auckland Writers Festival, in a partnership between the New Zealand Book Awards Trust and the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival Trust.

A list of past award winners can be found here - New Zealand Book Awards Past Winners

Children and Young Adults

For over 70 years, the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) had been rewarding excellence in New Zealand children’s literature. Starting with New Zealand's longest-running book award established in 1945, The Esther Glen Award which is given for ‘the most distinguished contribution to New Zealand literature for children and young adults', it has been won by many of New Zealand's favourite children's and young adult writers. The LIANZA awards grew over the years to include awards for illustraton, non ficiton and young adult. Christchurch City Libraries website hold previous winner information here: LIANZA Childrens Book Awards

From 1982-1989 in New Zealand the national award for children's literature was known as the New Zealand Government Publishing Awards - Christchurch City Library has the past winners of that here: NZ Government Publishing Awards

From 1990-1996 The New Zealand’s national awards for children’s literature were known as the Aim Children’s Book Awards. Christchurch City Libraries has a list of award winners on their website for 1990-1996 AIM Childrens Book Awards 1990-1996

In 1997, New Zealand Post assumed the sponsorship and the awards became known as the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and later the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. New Zealand Post was the principal sponsor of the awards until 2014. A list of past award winners back to 1997 can be found here - NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults - Past Winners

In 2015, the awards entered a new era, with the support of Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd, and in 2016, the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults merged, leading to name changes for some of the categories, the addition of an award for illustration, and a change in the judging format for the Te Kura Pounamu Māori Language Award. This last award will continue to be judged by Te Ropu Whakahau. These awards now have a major sponsor, in the form of HELL Pizza.
The awards NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are administered by the New Zealand Book Council on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.

Booksellers NZ announces exciting changes for 2017 - Booksellers NZ Childrens & YA Book Awards

Last updated: 1 April 2017