Skip to main content

High profile group to lead New Zealand to Frankfurt Book Fair

A diverse group of high profile and successful New Zealanders has been selected to lead New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme for the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage today announced the advisory group members who will steer New Zealand’s year long programme of events in Germany, culminating in the book fair in Frankfurt in October 2012.  

“The exposure that our creative industries, culture and people will receive at the Frankfurt Book Fair is extraordinary – on a world-wide scale. The Ministry and the Advisory Group are excited about this opportunity which will offer an international audience a fresh view of what New Zealand has to offer.” said Lewis Holden, the Ministry’s Chief Executive.

Theresa Gattung will Chair the Advisory Group and is joined by Peter Biggs, Managing Director of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne; Kevin Chapman, Managing Director of Hachette New Zealand and councillor of the Publishing Association of New Zealand; Kerry Prendergast, Company Director and arts patron; Neil Quigley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Victoria University Wellington, Chair of VUW Press; Carol Hirschfeld (Ngāti Porou), Head of Programming at Māori Televison; Stephen Diver, Managing Director of SDR international trade consultancy specialising in German and Austrian business and John Allen, CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade . The group will oversee the development of the project which will see New Zealand’s arts and cultural industries centre stage in Germany for the year long lead-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012.

Theresa Gattung said the chance to present New Zealand’s culture and business throughout Germany is unique, “Germany is the powerhouse of Europe and the world’s fourth largest economy.  German tourists are among the highest spending visitors to New Zealand; alongside our cultural offerings the exposure at Frankfurt offers New Zealand huge potential to build stronger connections in education, food and wine and the broader IT sector as well as in publishing.” 

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest book fair in the world, selling not only books but international film rights and digital content such as games. More than 110 countries exhibit at the five day fair which is attended by nearly 300,000 people a year. The Guest of Honour country is the focus for the fair, and receives extensive media coverage during their year-long programme – last year’s Guest of Honour country Argentina received more than 5000 international press articles alone.

“Not only is this the world’s biggest book and media fair where we can show-off our creative talents, but the Guest of Honour Country status provides unparalleled opportunity to showcase New Zealand in all its dimensions, from art, books, music, to our fashion and our growing multimedia and technology industries.” Mr Holden said.

For more information about the book fair and New Zealand’s involvement visit:

Updated on 23rd July 2015