The four-week national ‘lockdown’ which commenced on Wednesday 25 November has changed the way we’re working. In this article, we’ll briefly explain what’s happening, the status of our projects (notably Kokihi in Waterview) – and how our sales team can assist you over the next month.
We’ve kept a close eye on the tragic situation unfolding in Europe, especially in Spain and Italy, in recent weeks. Like most New Zealanders, we welcome the government’s decisive actions this week which we hope will save the lives of tens of thousands of our countrypersons. We’re truly all in this together.
Over the past fortnight, the Ockham Design, Project and Finance teams have quietly been preparing to move to ‘working from home’. With the closure of our physical sales suite at 52 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, our sales team have been busier than ever getting their virtual sales suite working.
Talk to our sales team
"Our construction team were in their final stages of site preparation at Kokihi and we were about to start construction," says Ockham’s Joss Lewis.
"Depending on how long this lasts, there may be delays. But the project itself is in good shape. We are well-capitalised and have sold 71 of the 95 apartments already. When we get the all-clear, we’re ready to hit the ground running."
In the meantime, the Ockham sales team can take you through Kokihi or The Greenhouse, via video. "We’re available for virtual viewings with the help of our incredible interactive walk-throughs," says Joss. "It’s 'business as unusual' for us. So if you can squeeze us in between your Netflix binges(!), we'd love to hear from you – please book an appointment online."
"Alternatively, you can call or FaceTime us anytime."
- Joss Lewis 021 245 5155
- Nick Reid 021 721 915.
Take care out there
If the situation changes again, we'll update you on our website. In the meantime... look after yourselves, your families, your people. Together we’ll get through this.
With love, solidarity and a rousing kia kaha to you all.
Joss, Nick and the Ockham Residential team
Debut writers and literary luminaries vie for the country’s premier book honours in today’s finalist announcement of 16 compelling works that explore and re-imagine the natural, cultural and creative landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ 2020 finalists were selected by four panels of three specialist judges (for fiction, poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction) and were drawn from 40 longlisted titles that had been narrowed down from more than 170 entries – a 12 percent increase in submissions on the last three years.
The 2020 finalists for the $55,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction are: Auē by Becky Manawatu; Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall; A Mistake by Carl Shuker and Halibut on the Moon by David Vann.
Mark Broatch, spokesperson for the fiction judges, applauds the “cheeringly excellent year for New Zealand fiction,” with novels and short story collections of great range, depth and surprise.
“Forced to winnow a great longlist to four, the judges found that these books stood above the others – for their storytelling brio, their exploration of salient ideas, and their dedication to language as a salve and seasoning for the mind, the marrow, the spirit,” he says.
Award-winning Australian (Wiradjuri) writer Tara June Winch will assist the three New Zealand judges to select this year’s Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction winner.
The finalists in the 2020 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry are: Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy; How to Live by Helen Rickerby; Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint and How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young.
“The four shortlisted poets write in different styles, however all pay superb attention to craft, form and tone, and all have produced books with lasting impact,” says Poetry category convenor Kiri Piahana-Wong.
The 2020 Illustrated Non-Fiction category finalists are: Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner; Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns; We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee; and McCahon Country by Justin Paton.
Odessa Owens, convenor of the Illustrated Non-Fiction judging panel, says the four finalist books are landmark publications that address significant cultural milestones. “These brilliantly crafted publications also demonstrate the growing confidence of writers, designers and publishers to innovate with design and world-class production values,” she says.
The 2020 General Non-Fiction category finalists are: Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter; Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos; Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green and Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus by Sarah Myles.
General Non-Fiction convenor of judges Sharon Dell says beautiful writing and compelling content have worked together to create four finalist books whose impact will be felt beyond this year. “The deployment of archival resources, solid research and the mining of memory bring insight into the lives of creative people, and an understanding of how individual lives and experiences reflect the identity and character of Aotearoa.”
New Zealand Book Awards Trust spokesperson Paula Morris says that “each year brings surprises, and this highly competitive year is no exception. The quality of books on the shortlists is exceptional. We anticipate that the decisions of the judges in each category will spark passionate debate.”
The winners of the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, including the four MitoQ Best First Book award winners, will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 12 May as a marquee event during the 2020 Auckland Writers Festival.
The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted titles are:
Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction
Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)
Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall (Vintage, Penguin Random House)
A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press)
Halibut on the Moon by David Vann (Text Publishing)
Mary and Peter Biggs Awards for Poetry
Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press)
How to Live by Helen Rickerby (Auckland University Press)
Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint (Victoria University Press)
How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press)
Illustrated Non-Fiction Award
Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner (Te Papa Press)
Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns (Te Papa Press)
We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee (Massey University Press)
McCahon Country by Justin Paton (Penguin Random House)
General Non-Fiction Award
Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter (Victoria University Press)
Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos (Victoria University Press)
Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green (Massey University Press)
Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus by Sarah Myles (Allen & Unwin)
The General Non-Fiction, Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners will each receive a $10,000 prize. The winners of the four MitoQ Best First Book awards will each receive $2,500.
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs, MitoQ and the Auckland Writers Festival.
See the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards website for more information about each of the shortlisted authors.
Each year, the winner of the fiction category at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards receives a Acorn Prize for Fiction worth $50,000. Today we reveal the identity of this extremely gererous woman.
The anonymous benefactor responsible for funding the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ $50,000 annual fiction prize is ready to be known.
Retired Bay of Plenty radiologist Jann Medlicott has been an avid reader her whole life and believes we cannot call ourselves a civilised society until we celebrate our writers and poets as much as we do our sporting heroes and heroines.
“Our novelists have a deep understanding of the human condition and can convey it in all its messiness. We need them,” she says. “Everything I’ve read in my life has made me who I am. I believe we are products of what we read, not what we eat.”
The winner of the fiction award – now to be known as the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction – will be presented with $55,000 in 2020. It is one of the world’s richest literary honours.
Medlicott said the idea to support New Zealand novelists came to her in 2015 after she returned from a trip abroad. “I’d travelled extensively and found myself thinking there was no other place I felt compelled to go to. I developed this idea that I could fund a major new prize for New Zealand fiction. It did feel really quite outrageous, but I spoke to a friend, then went to the Acorn Foundation, who began discussions with the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.”
The Acorn Foundation is a community foundation based in the Bay of Plenty, which encourages people to leave a gift in their wills and/or their lifetimes. Donations are pooled and invested, and the investment income is used to make donations to local charities or in accordance with the donors’ wishes.
Late last year, Medlicott was diagnosed with pelvic cancer. She has now completed radiation therapy for the unexpected recurrence of a tumour 14 years after initial diagnosis and surgery. “I had been considering whether to make myself known, but the cancer diagnosis was a wake-up call and a reminder that we’re all on a continuum between being and not being, and that I’d better get a move on.”
She had initially chosen to donate anonymously out of a desire to live without the pressure of recognition as a major philanthropic benefactor.
“But circumstances change,” she says. “Supporting New Zealand writers gives me a good deal of satisfaction. I want to make myself known in order to encourage others to step up and donate in any way possible.”
Born in 1942, the middle child in a family of five, Medlicott spent her early years in Kohi, rural Taranaki. She learned to read at an early age and developed a fascination for words and stories. “I experimented with words at meal times, with mixed results! The Oxford Dictionary was a favourite and I browsed it at random,” she says.
“By intermediate school age, I had devoured most of the 19th Century novels on the shelves. From secondary school, Katherine Mansfield’s The Dolls House and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway are vividly recalled as transitional. The beauty of the prose became as important as the narrative.”
During her medical training at the University of Otago, Medlicott read books in between shifts as a barmaid and as a nurse aide at what was then Porirua psychiatric hospital. By the time she left to work in England, she had a collection of more than 1,000 books.
She says the extent of her overseas travel has strengthened her appreciation of New Zealand. “I have an absolute commitment to where I am from, that’s why I want to support our writers.”
“I can unequivocally say that our literature is as good as any in the world. We need to look at new and innovative ways to support our writers. If you go to any other country, there are shelves and shelves of books of their own writers; they showcase it.”
Jann Medlicott has been involved in private radiology practice in the Bay of Plenty since 1988, latterly as a partner in MEDEX radiology. She retired in 2011.
The New Zealand Book Awards Trust chair Nicola Legat says that New Zealand literature has a true patron saint in Jann Medlicott. “Not only is Jann’s endowment of the fiction prize a remarkable act of generosity, but she is also deeply invested in New Zealand literature, reading widely and knowledgeably and keenly aware of how important it is to our national cultural conversation. We are hugely grateful to her.”
The 40 books longlisted for the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards were announced late last month. The Awards’ 16 finalists will be announced on 4 March 2020. The winners in each of the Awards’ four categories – fiction, poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction, as well as the four MitoQ Best First Book awards, will be announced at a ceremony on 12 May as a marquee event during the 2020 Auckland Writers Festival.
The Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction is judged this year by author, journalist and reviewer Mark Broatch; short story and non-fiction writer Nic Low (Ngāi Tahu) and Chris Baskett, an independent Tauranga bookseller of 20 years’ standing. A longlist of 10 books was announced last month which will be narrowed down to a shortlist of four books in early March.
In an office with more than its share of romantics, sops and heart-on-the-sleevers, we get pretty excited about Valentine’s Day. It lets us listen to Dame Judi Dench recite the loveliest love poem ever, watch ABBA and Belinda Carlisle without shame, and then lock in some rom-coms – a Bridget Jones, A Star is Born, Amelie, Dirty Dancing – for the weekend. Note: Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
But most of all, Valentine’s Day gives us the perfect excuse to talk about our love for this dynamic Pacific city we call home. “Last, loneliest, loveliest, exquisite, apart…” said Rudyard Kipling on an 1891 whistlestop tour. Auckland, Tāmaki Makaurau is a stunning city – we have a subtropical rainforest on our doorstep, the wild and wondrous West Coast beaches just beyond. There’s the extraordinary beauty of the Hauraki Gulf and its 50 islands, then the city itself built among 50 maunga, the volcanic sentinels which centre you wherever you are.
Whether you're a born-and-bred Aucklander, or someone whose seduction and induction was more recent, this is a city of wonderful possibilities (and, to be fair, a lot of roadworks). Very simply... we love Auckland and, since it's Valentine's Day, we've had a crack at explaining why. We've made a list!
We ❤️ Karekare. We ❤️ Tiritiri Matangi Island. We ❤️ Food Alley. We ❤️Concert FM. We ❤️ Selina Tusitala Marsh. We ❤️ Puhoi Pub. We ❤️ Rangitoto. We ❤️ Objectspace. We ❤️ Aotea Great Barrier. We ❤️ Taika. We ❤️ Taste in Memory. We ❤️ Auckland War Memorial Museum. We ❤️ Hotunui. We ❤️ K’Road. We ❤️ Anika Moa. We ❤️ The Black Friars. We ❤️ Oakley Creek. We ❤️ Cielito Lindo. We ❤️ The Greenhouse. We ❤️ John Campbell. We ❤️ Mr Zhou's Dumplings. We ❤️ Otara Markets. We ❤️ Avondale Markets too. We ❤️ Q Theatre. We ❤️ 300km of cycleways. We ❤️ Rose Matafeo. We ❤️ Michael Parekōwhai’s The Lighthouse. We ❤️ Tuatahi. We ❤️ JK. We ❤️ SBW. We ❤️ SPQR. We ❤️ Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve. We ❤️ Prof. Jane Harding. We ❤️ The Wine Cellar. We ❤️ Waikōwhai Walkway. We ❤️ Witi Ihimaera. We ❤️ Whau Cafe. We ❤️ Marsic Bros Fish ‘n’ Chips. We ❤️ Anawhata Falls. We ❤️ Awesome Architecture. We ❤️ Tapu Misa. We ❤️ Te Ara I Whiti – Lightpath. We ❤️ Bob Harvey. We ❤️ Daily Bread. We ❤️ Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. We ❤️ Coco’s Cantina We ❤️ Creative Mornings. We ❤️ Waiheke vineyards. We ❤️ Diana Wichtel. We ❤️ Beauden Barrett @ the Blues. We ❤️ Kakamatua Inlet. We ❤️ Oscar Kightley. We ❤️ North Shore Literary Walk. We ❤️ Lake Wainamu. We ❤️ Te Oro. We ❤️ Britomart Train Station. We ❤️ Britomart’s fairy lights. We ❤️ Neil Finn. We ❤️ Metro magazine. We ❤️ Auckland Theatre Company. We ❤️ the Waitakeres. We ❤️ healthy kauri. We ❤️ our 48 maunga. We ❤️ Simon Wilson on Auckland. We ❤️ Symonds Street Cemetery. We ❤️ Cafe Abyssinia. We ❤️ Academy Cinema. We ❤️ Grey Lynn Park. We ❤️ The Civic. We ❤️ books. We ❤️ bookshops. We ❤️ science. We ❤️ critical thought. We ❤️ The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards aka #theockhams.
We ❤️ Auckland.
Forty books across four categories - fiction, poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction - have been longlisted for the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, the nation's premier literary competition. A shortlist of 16 titles - four in each category - will be announced on Tuesday 4 March. The awards ceremony itself takes place in Auckland on Tuesday 12 May.
The 40 books longlisted for the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards announced today are a wide-ranging and inspiring collection reflecting the diversity of contemporary Aotearoa and the excellence of our writers, artists and publishers.
Traversing cultural, historic, artistic and political landscapes, the longlisted books explore who we are as a nation, from our social issues and natural environment, to the lives of our artists and explorers, imagined experiences and worlds. The list features exciting debut writers as well as a number of previous award-winners and literary stars.
Ten books are longlisted in each of the four awards categories – fiction, poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction.
"This year’s awards drew over 170 entries, a 12 per cent increase on the previous three years," says the New Zealand Book Awards Trust’s Dr Paula Morris. "We’re seeing an unprecedented number of brilliant and beautiful books, with this wide-ranging longlist a distillation of the best for readers to devour. Competition will be fierce in all categories."
The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlisted titles are:
Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize
- The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox (Victoria University Press)
- Lonely Asian Woman by Sharon Lam (Lawrence & Gibson)
- Necessary Secrets by Greg McGee (Upstart Press)
- Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)
- Moonlight Sonata by Eileen Merriman (Black Swan, Penguin Random House)
- Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall (Vintage, Penguin Random House)
- Attraction by Ruby Porter (Text Publishing)
- A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press)
- Loving Sylvie by Elizabeth Smither (Allen & Unwin)
- Halibut on the Moon by David Vann (Text Publishing)
Mary and Peter Biggs Awards for Poetry
- Craven by Jane Arthur (Victoria University Press)
- Listening In by Lynley Edmeades (Otago University Press)
- Back Before You Know by Murray Edmond (Compound Press)
- Under Glass by Gregory Kan (Auckland University Press)
- Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press)
- Ransack by Essa-May Ranapiri (Victoria University Press)
- How to Live by Helen Rickerby (Auckland University Press)
- Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint (Victoria University Press)
- Because a Woman’s Heart is Like a Needle at the Bottom of the Ocean by Sugar Magnolia Wilson (Auckland University Press)
- How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press)
Illustrated Non-Fiction Award
- Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner (Te Papa Press)
- Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gordon, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns (Te Papa Press)
- Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys edited by Catherine Hammond and Mary Kisler (Auckland University Press and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki)
- Funny As: The Story of New Zealand Comedy by Paul Horan and Philip Matthews (Auckland University Press)
- The New Photography: New Zealand’s First-generation Contemporary Photographers edited by Athol McCredie (Te Papa Press)
- We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee (Massey University Press)
- Louise Henderson: From Life edited by Felicity Milburn, Lara Strongman, Julia Waite (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)
- McCahon Country by Justin Paton (Penguin Random House)
- Colin McCahon: There is Only One Direction, Vol. 1 1919-1959 by Peter Simpson (Auckland University Press)
- The Meaning of Trees: The History and Use of New Zealand’s Native Plants byRobert Vennell (HarperCollins)
General Non-Fiction Award
- Women Mean Business: Colonial Businesswomen in New Zealand by Catherine Bishop (Otago University Press)
- Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter (Victoria University Press)
- Dead Letters: Censorship and Subversion in New Zealand 1914-1920 by Jared Davidson (Otago University Press)
- Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos (Victoria University Press)
- Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green (Massey University Press)
- Finding Frances Hodgkins by Mary Kisler (Massey University Press)
- Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus bySarah Myles (Allen & Unwin)
- The New Zealand Wars | Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa by Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books)
- Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica by Rebecca Priestley (Victoria University Press)
- Whale Oil: One Man’s Fight to Save His Reputation, then His Life by Margie Thomson (Potton & Burton)
The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlist of 16 titles will be announced on 4 March 2020. The winners, including the four MitoQ Best First Book awards, will be announced at a ceremony on 12 May as a marquee event during the 2020 Auckland Writers Festival. The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards website has more information about the longlisted titles.
The Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize will award $55,000 in 2020. It is judged by author, journalist and reviewer Mark Broatch; short story and non-fiction writer Nic Low (Ngāi Tahu) and Chris Baskett, a passionate reader of local fiction and an independent Tauranga bookseller of 20 years’ standing. An international judge, whose identity will be revealed in March 2020, will join them to decide the ultimate winner from their shortlist of four.
Finalists and the ultimate winner in the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry will be selected by publisher and acclaimed poet Kiri Piahana-Wong; poet Tim Upperton,whose collection The Night We Ate the Baby was an Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalist in 2016, and Phillippa Duffy, whose two decades in the book industry include publishing, board positions and bookselling.
The General Non-Fiction Award will be judged by Hocken Librarian and experienced documentary and cultural heritage collections advisor Sharon Dell; respected bookseller, reviewer and practising artist Stella Chrysostomou and well-known journalist, presenter and voracious reader Guyon Espiner.
Odessa Owens, an award-winning publisher and Whitireia publishing programme tutor, is joined in judging the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award by Lana Lopesi, an independent critic, editor and author, and Hamish Coney,an award-winning writer, arts advisor and founder and former director of the auction house Art+Object.
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM, MitoQ and the Auckland Writers Festival.