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Press conference to preview the programme of Guest of Honour New Zealand at Frankfurt Book Fair 2012

Frankfurt, 13 October 2011: “He moemoeā he ohorere / While you were sleeping / Bevor es bei Euch hell wird”

This is the slogan under which New Zealand will present itself as 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair’s Guest of Honour. The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, which is dedicated to preserving the national heritage of Aotearoa, views the country’s selection as the Guest of Honour for the Frankfurt Book Fair as a unique opportunity to present the cultural diversity of New Zealand.

Today’s press conference, which got off to a spectacular start with a performance of the New Zealand haka Ka Mate ritual dance, included speeches by project leader, Tanea Heke; the Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos; and New Zealand’s Chief Executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Lewis Holden, on the opportunities involved for New Zealand as the Guest of Honour. Also present were a number of other famous New Zealanders, including world famous Māori author Witi Ihimaera (The Whale Rider) and the President of the Publishers Association of New Zealand, Kevin Chapman. Hollywood director Sir Peter Jackson and the Chief Science Advisor to the New Zealand Prime Minister, Sir Peter Gluckman, sent their greetings to Frankfurt via video link.

“New Zealand’s role as Guest of Honour in 2012 is an unprecedented high point for our writers, publishers and artists. The opportunity to share our creativity and unique perspective with Germany and Europe at the Frankfurt Book Fair is a once in a life-time opportunity and we are excited to bring our voice to you next year,” says Tanea Heke.

The diverse programme of the 2012 Guest of Honour is being eagerly anticipated. The Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos, said: “For us as readers New Zealand is a terra incognita – and what could be better than the prospect of a journey into the unknown? New Zealand’s literature has been heavily influenced by a variety of cultures and media formats, so its presence at the book fair promises to be an exciting and intense cultural experience.”

The New Zealand literary scene is enjoying growing popularity. The press conference speakers also emphasised some of their home country’s other extraordinary qualities. Aside from its world-famous spectacular natural scenery, New Zealand has made a name for itself with its technological and scientific expertise in highly developed economic sectors, such as ultra-modern post production and the design of 3D feature films. Chief Executive Lewis Holden drew the audience’s attention to the wide range of presentation options available to New Zealand: "The Frankfurt Book Fair is a hub of energy that creates and shares new ideas that become part of our lives through books, e-books, and films – all the things that give us pleasure in life and inspire us an intellectual way. New Zealand is delighted to be the Guest of Honour for 2012 and to share our stories with the world.“

With New Zealand as Guest of Honour, visitors can look forward to a compelling mix of modern and traditional influences, as well as an outstanding programme of art and culture.

New Zealand stand: Halle 8.0 M 908.

Press contact:

Sebastian Warschow

häberlein & mauerer Rosenthaler Str. 52, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Tel +49 30 726 208 202 Fax +49 30 726 208 250


Updated on 23rd July 2015