Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Longlist

The country’s most prestigious literary awards are preparing for their 51st year of presentations. The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards have announced their longlist nominee’s, and the community is rife with enthusiasm.

The categories for awards are Fiction, General Non-Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction and Poetry, ensuring an extensive variety of New Zealand authors are represented. Ten books are nominated in each category, putting a host of New Zealand writers on display for the whole country to celebrate. Prizes range in value, but the prestige and publicity that come with even a nomination are invaluable to these authors.

The shortlist for nominations will be announced next month, with the final ceremony taking place at a public festival in May.

Bellow is the final longlist of nominees; the awards provide the perfect booklist for any reader looking for a new favourite.


The Man Who Would Not See by Rajorshi Chakraborti

The Life of De’Ath by Majella Cullinane

The New Ships by Kate Duignan

Mazarine by Charlotte Grimshaw

Caroline’s Bikini by Kirsty Gunn

The Cage by Lloyd Jones

The Ice Shelf by Anne Kennedy

This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman

The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke by Tina Makereti

All This by Chance by Vincent O’Sullivan



Filming the Colonial Past: The New Zealand Wars on Screen by Annabel Cooper

Song for Rosaleen by Pip Desmond

Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love by Joanne Drayton

Memory Pieces by Maurice Gee

The Heart of Jesús Valentino: A Mother’s Story by Emma Gilkison

We Can Make a Life by Chessie Henry

Swim: A Year of Swimming Outdoors in New Zealand by Annette Lees

The Vulgar Wasp: The Story of a Ruthless Invader and Ingenious Predator by Phil Lester

With Them Through Hell: New Zealand Medical Services in the First World War by Anna Rogers

Dear Oliver: Uncovering a Pākehā History by Peter Wells


Illustrated Non-Fiction

Fight for the Forests: The Pivotal Campaigns that Saved New Zealand’s Native Forests by Paul Bensemann

Galleries of Maoriland: Artists, Collectors and the Māori World, 1880-1910 by Roger Blackley

The New Zealand Horse by Deborah Coddington and photographs by Jane Ussher

Wanted: The Search for the Modernist Murals of E. Mervyn Taylor edited by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith

Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon with Sébastien Galliot

Mataatua Wharenui: Te Whare i Hoki Mai by Hirini Mead, Layne Harvey, Pouroto Ngaropo and Te Onehou Phillis

Birdstories: A History of the Birds of New Zealand by Geoff Norman

Whatever it Takes: Pacific Films and John O’Shea 1948-2000 by John Reid

Down the Bay: A natural and cultural history of Abel Tasman National Park by Philip Simpson

Hillary’s Antarctica: Adventure, Exploration and Establishing Scott Base by Nigel Watson, photographs by Jane Ussher



Edgeland and other Poems by David Eggleton

The Farewell Tourist by Alison Glenny

Are Friends Electric? by Helen Heath

All of Us by Adrienne Jansen and Carina Gallegos

There’s No Place Like the Internet in Springtime by Erik Kennedy

The Facts by Therese Lloyd

Winter Eyes by Harry Ricketts

Walking to Jutland Street by Michael Steven

Poūkahangatus by Tayi Tibble

Aspiring Daybook: The Diary of Elsie Winslow by Annabel Wilson