How did New Zealand fare as Guest-of-Honour?
PANZ News Frankfurt Roundup
“We just did it, and it was quite good.” – Tanea Heke, NZ Guest of Honour Project Director
PANZ president Kevin Chapman believes it is too soon to truly know how successful our Guest of Honour Year at FBF was for New Zealand’s publishing industry. “When we receive reports from publishers and authors and collect the feedback due at the end of November, we will then be able to say results and benefits have accrued.
“Nevertheless, we can say at this point that Frankfurt Book Fair management are extremely pleased to have had New Zealand’s presence. We’ve broken every previous record for Pavilion attendance, and we drew in the biggest public attendance over the final days, so we upheld our part of the deal.
“It was hard to say goodbye to Juergen Boos, Claudia Kaiser, Simone Buehler and Karina Goldberg as we had been such a good team, and they were incredibly supportive of everything we tried to achieve. We deeply appreciate their help and involvement in making this an incredible focus on our country at an international event.
“PANZ thanks must also go to the rest of the New Zealand team: Tanea Heke for a stonkingly good cultural programme; Andrew Patterson and Mike Mizrahi for a Pavilion which astounded everyone who went near it; and Michelle Tayler for massive coverage in German media. But within the industry special thanks and commendation must go to Sarah Ropata for the amazing feat of bringing off a top notch books and author programme.”
Once back in NZ, Kevin got out the original proposal document he and Sam Elworthy drafted three years ago and used for presentations to government and agencies. “We said we would get senior politicians to the launch, have a substantial NZ trade presence, involve NZ Tourism, have an engaging cultural programme and provide a writers and book base on which New Zealand could promote itself... We did all that and the FBF and large number of Germans went mad about New Zealand!
“Our people worked so hard. We were under-staffed, under-resourced and under-funded, but we did the Kiwi thing and pulled it off!”