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NZ breaks record in Frankfurt

New Zealand has broken all previous records as Guest of Honour at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair.

More than 90,000 people visited the New Zealand pavilion at the world’s biggest book fair over the weekend, where we are this year’s Guest of Honour.

Fair director Juergen Boos said it was the first time in the fair’s history a Guest of Honour had managed to have presence in every hall of the fair, including the comics zone, educational publishers, gourmet gallery, outdoor space and transmedia conference Storydrive.

Weekend attendances at the New Zealand pavilion also broke attendance records. By mid Saturday morning 15,000 people had visited the spectacular twilight setting and that soared to about 90,000 by the end of the weekend.

Saturday also saw the popular Cosplay costume competition take place which was this year invaded by JRR Tolkien characters.

The Hobbit themed competition attracted hundreds of fans dressed as orcs, elves, Gollums and hobbits all vying for a prize of a trip to New Zealand. The competitors were put through their paces by judge Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop. The film, directed by Sir Peter Jackson, has its world premiere in Wellington next month.

Other highlights over the weekend included a live broadcast by Radio New Zealand’s Kim Hill Saturday morning programme, and a closely-fought rugby match between the German National Team and the New Zealand Ambassador’s XV, won by the Germans, 22-20.

Meanwhile, Kevin Chapman, president of the Publishers Association of New Zealand, said the fair has been a huge success for New Zealand.

“Not only are we seeing more publishers than ever before, and they are buying our books, but we have an incredibly enhanced reputation as a publishing country.

“Quite simply we are seen as having an enhanced status as a nation of writers and publishers. All the targets we have set have been surpassed,” he said.

Mr Chapman said publishers now had new relationships with other publishers around the world who were looking to buy our books.

“Most publishers are saying they have had more interest and that interest  and that interest is more firm than they have ever experienced before. We have also been approached by the Taipei Book Fair to be guest of honour there.”

The fair is due to conclude tomorrow morning New Zealand time, with a handover ceremony when New Zealand passes the Guest of Honour status to Brazil.


Updated on 23rd July 2015