Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Celebrating 10 years of books from Oratia

It was in May 2009 that Oratia Media launched the first book under its Libro International imprint — a new edition of Tim Tipene’s junior novel Kura Toa: Warrior School

Ten years on, Kura Toa remains in print, like almost all the 80 books Oratia has now published. In 2016, the imprint name changed to Oratia Books, better to reflect our roots in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges.

Founded in 2000 by Peter Dowling and Alessandra Zecchini, Oratia was primarily a publishing services company with global clients including Reed Publishing NZ, where Peter had become publishing manager.

‘After Reed was taken over in 2007, editorial director Carolyn Lagahetau and I continued our relationship with Reed authors, many of whom were ready to work with an independent publisher,’ Peter recalled. 

            The first four books from 2009

‘In 2009 we tested the waters with short runs of Tim’s novel and Jeff Evan’s Nga Waka o Nehera, then jumped right in with two big new books in Outrageous Fortune and The Iron-Bound Coast.’

All four books in that first year were from a West Auckland stable, and the link to Waitakere creativity remains strong — as does a commitment to market the books worldwide through distribution, rights sales and presence at international book fairs.

Children’s books, Māoritanga and local non-fiction (especially history) form the majority of the books published to date, and Oratia Media continues to offer publishing and management services.

Oratia's 2019 catalogue; click here to view
‘In 2019 Oratia will publish 11 new books, from large pictorial hardbacks to a new non-fiction series for young adults,’ said Belinda Cooke, who joined Oratia part-time as sales & marketing consultant in 2016.

The Oratia team (pictured from left Alessandra, Belinda, Carolyn and Peter) join with their friends from the past decade to celebrate this milestone and look forward to a solid future in publishing.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Oratia Books available through University of Hawai'i Press

Readers in North America and Asia can now purchase a selection of Oratia Books list through the University of Hawai'i Press.

Starting from their Spring 2019 catalogue, which released in April, University of Hawai'i Press has seven Oratia titles available across the U.S., Canada and East Asia:

12 Huia Birds – Julian Stokoe & Stacy Eyles
Favourite Māori Legends – A.W. Reed
Māori Weapons in Pre European New Zealand  – Jeff Evans
Māui — Sun Catcher – Tim Tipene & Zak Waipara
New Zealand Tattoo – Chris Hoult & Steve Forbes
Ngā Atua – Robyn Kahukiwa
Polynesian Navigation and the Discovery of New Zealand – Jeff Evans

More books will be listing in the Fall 2019 catalogue.

"We feel a natural affinity with the Pacific and Asian orientation of the University of Hawai'i Press and look forward to a long relationship as one of their publishing partners," commented Oratia Books publisher Peter Dowling.

To view or order, click here to go to the Oratia Books page on the University of Hawai'i Press website; and to email the Press, click here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Oratia Books Catalogue 2019 out now

The Oratia Books Catalogue 2019 is now available in print and PDF formats.

We're pleased to present 11 new books for this year, along with a growing back list.

Here's what the introduction says; click here to view the entire catalogue.

In 2019 Oratia Media marks ten years of publishing our own books, and our nineteenth year as a publishing and media business. To celebrate, Oratia Books brings you at least ten titles that encompass outstanding writing and illustration in both new and revised editions.

There’s a maritime theme in adult hardbacks, with Sir Bob Harvey’s much-awaited Sea Edge celebrating the Waitematā Harbour, and Gavin McLean’s Shipwrecked: New Zealand maritime disasters, while the pensive Home Child follows a group of children shipped from the UK for adoption on the other side of the world.

Our commitment to te Ao Māori deepens with new editions of classic works by Sir Hirini Moko Mead and A.W. Reed, Merata Kawharu and Paul Tapsell’s seminal work on entrepreneurship, and Darryn Joseph’s Whakarongo ki ō Tūpuna, written in te Reo with English translation.

Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird put a new comic spin on the international bestseller I Need a New Bum! with a side-splitting sequel, and Tracy Duncan gives a makeover to the most popular of Melanie Drewery’s Nanny Mihi series. In July we launch the first two titles in The NZ Series, a new non-fiction collection for young adult readers, with works by Gordon Ell and Sarah Ell.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Home Child: new picture book remembers British child migrants to New Zealand

London 1950: a father makes the heart-wrenching decision to send four of his children to New Zealand for a better life. 

Young Pat and one of her sisters are allowed to stay together when the four are adopted out, but they will never see their father again. 

Many years after coming to New Zealand, Pat and her sister are reunited with their brother and sister and one other sister that didn’t travel to New Zealand with them. 
Home Child hauntingly captures the experience of young children consigned to a new life in a strange country, with its sadness and also happy times. 

This is the reality of the UK's child migrant policy in story form that today's children can read and digest.

Dawn McMillan recounts the essence of Pat’s experience, which is beautifully represented by illustrator Trish Bowles. 

Included is biographical information about Pat (now living in Nelson) and her tireless work for child migrants in New Zealand, and an explanation of the history of the thousands of children that were sent all over the world from England.

In 2010 Pat represented New Zealand at the British Government’s official apology to child migrants. This is her story.

For more information on the 593 child migrants sent to New Zealand, see Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand online:

As the UK-based Child Migrant Trust website writes:
Britain is the only country in the world with a sustained history of child migration ... The reality of this policy was to remove children, some as young as three years old from their mothers and fathers, from all that was familiar to them, and to ship them thousands of miles away from their home country to institutions in distant lands within the Commonwealth. Many of these children were removed without their parents' knowledge or consent. 
Dawn McMillan is the much-loved author of numerous children’s books including the international hit I Need a New Bum! In this emotion-filled story    she shows her writing talent is not restricted to humour. Dawn meticulously researched the story and developed a friendship with Pat. Trish Bowles is a well-respected and widely published illustrator. She lives in Christchurch.

Publication: 9 April 2019  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-58-2 |  RRP $27.99
Hardback, 270 x 210 mm, 40 pages colour

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Congratulations to Scribble Books, BOP Bologna Prize Oceania winner

The BOP Bologna Prize for Best Children's Publishers of the Year were announced at the Bologna Children's Book Fair overnight.

Our hearty congratulations go to Melbourne's Scribble Kids' Books, which took out the Oceania section this year.

Scribble headed off Oratia, EK Books and Scholastic Australia to take the prize. 

Well done to the Scribble team, as well as to the winners of the other regional prizes. A list of the winners can be viewed here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

New book, old book – celebrating Rotorua and A.W. Reed

A new facsimile edition of the A.W. Reed and Dennis Turner classic Legends of Rotorua and the Hot Lakes hits the bookshelves today.

Several generations of readers have learned of key elements of Māori history from the pen of the late Alexander Wyclif Reed. His list of published works in this area is long and deep and his popularity has rarely waned.

In Legends of Rotorua and the Hot Lakes, first published in 1958, Reed collected many of  the classic myths from that cradle of Māori culture, Rotorua – with relevance across New Zealand.

Legends of Rotorua and the Hot Lakes brings together the timeless accounts of great ancestors such as Ngatoro-i-rangi and Ihenga with beloved stories like those of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, or Hatupatu and the Birdwoman. 

It presents many legends and historical events in relation to localities, lakes and volcanoes around the Rotorua region — the township, Lake Rotorua, Mokoia, Ngongotaha, Tarawera and beyond — and includes a chapter on place names. 

This facsimile edition reproduces the original edition, speaking to the era of the book’s original publication, with A.W. Reed’s graceful text matched by the beautiful and detailed illustrations of Dennis Turner.

A.W. Reed (1908–1979) was one of New Zealand’s most influential writers and publishers. He helped build A.H. & A.W. Reed into the country’s leading publisher by the mid-twentieth century, and authored more than 200 books. His works on Māori mythology have served New Zealanders for several generations.

Publication: 20 March 2019  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-57-5 |  RRP $29.99
Paperback, 210 x 148 mm, 164 pages b&w

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Oratia shortlisted for 2019 BOP Bologna Prize, Best Children's Publisher in Oceania

For the second year running Oratia Books has been shortlisted in the Oceania section of the prestigious BOP Bologna Prize for Best Children's Publishers of the Year.

Organised by the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the BOP Prize highlights the editorial projects, professional skills and intellectual qualities of work produced by publishing houses all over the world – and fosters the mutual exchange of knowledge and culture between different nations.

Six prizes are awarded by geographical area. Oratia is the sole New Zealand candidate for Oceania this year, alongside several fine Australian publishers. Click here to see all the regional shortlists.

The award will be decided by voting from exhibitors attending the Bologna Children's Book Fair from 1–4 April 2019, and announced at a ceremony in Bologna on 1 April.

Votes can be placed in the reserved area for exhibitors until 15 March.
Books from shortlisted publishers including Oratia on display at Bologna in 2018
The shortlisting is a tribute to our authors and the team that make Oratia's children's book list, led by Editorial Director Carolyn Lagahetau, with Cheryl Smith of Macarn Design overseeing most of the book design.

Thank you to the talented children's authors and illustrators whose new books we published in 2018: Martin Bailey, Rosie Colligan, Melanie Drewery, Tracy Duncan, Vanessa Hatley-Owen, Ross Kinnaird, Dawn McMillan, Giulia Malerba, Malcom Paterson, Febe Sillani and Nikki Slade Robinson.

While we won't be at Bologna ourselves this year, eight other Kiwi publishers will be on the Publishers Association of New Zealand stand there, and we wish them every success at this mecca for children's books.

— Peter Dowling, Publisher, Oratia Books

Exhibitors can get to vote through a link to the book fair website:
Express your vote on the reserved area at this link
Please log in using your Exhibitor username and password and choose your candidates.
Do not forget, you will be able to choose only one candidate for each geographical area.
Please take note that the poll service is available until March 15 2018.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Talking Auckland's future on Magic

Author Owen Gill appeared this Monday on Magic Talk's morning show with Peter Williams, discussing the issues he raises in his book Turning Point Auckland.

The extensive interview takes on the challenges facing New Zealand's biggest city as it approaches a population of two million, and outlines radical solutions that the book proposes.

To listen, click here.

Oratia Books put together the book for Owen, and is marketing it on his behalf.

Turning Point Auckland: Radical Policy to Prepare Auckland for Two Million People
Publication: 12 February 2019  |  ISBN: (print) 978-0-473-46550-6 
(ebook)  978-0-473-46551-3
Urban Hymns Publishing, with services by Oratia Books | RRP $29.99  |  Paperback
Paperback, 210 x 148 mm (A5) portrait, 124 pages colour and b&w

Friday, February 22, 2019

Base Tres to represent Oratia Books for Latin America

Oratia Media has appointed Base Tres to represent Oratia Books for Spanish and Portuguese translation rights in Latin America, effective immediately. 

The agreement will see Base Tres promoting and negotiating rights for Oratia titles across Latin America, with a particular focus on children’s books. 

Based in Guadalajara, Mexico, Base Tres is a multi-faceted agency providing editiorial services, publishing event management and consultancy in addition to rights representation (see

Pablo de la Vega
Principals Pablo de la Vega and Verónica Mendoza are seasoned publishing professionals who have both worked in the past for the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the most important publishing event in the Spanish-speaking world. 

“Pablo and I met at the 2014 Taipei International Book Exhibition and have built a friendship since, as well as collaborating at recent Guadalajara and Bologna book fairs,” commented Oratia Media publisher Peter Dowling. 

“I’m delighted to formalise our partnership and look forward to developing new opportunities for New Zealand authors in Latin America with Base Tres.”

Peter Dowling (left) and Pablo de la Vega at work on the Publishers Association of New Zealand stand
at the Guadalajara  International Book Fair

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Turning Point Auckland outlines radical solutions to challenges facing NZ's largest city

Turning Point Auckland: Radical Policy to Prepare Auckland for Two Million People
Owen Gill

Auckland is rapidly approaching a turning point: it could take off and become one of the best cities in the Pacific, or continue to struggle with runaway population growth and living costs, argues public policy advocate Owen Gill in a book out today.

Turning Point Auckland featured in news coverage by Auckland correspondent Todd Niall on Stuff this past weekend:

Todd followed up with this op-ed:

And author Owen Gill took part in a discussion on Auckland's future today on Radio New Zealand National's Nine to Noon show with Catherine Ryan:

Published by Urban Hymns through Oratia Books, Turning Point Auckland provides a pithy analysis of the choice Auckland faces as it reaches the landmark population of two million people. 

The book provides an up-to-the-minute account of how New Zealand’s largest and most complex urban centre, with its dynamic economy and highly diverse population, increasingly resembles powerhouse cities like Melbourne and Vancouver. 

Turning Point Auckland aims to raise the quality of the debate about Auckland’s long-term future, approaching the 10thanniversary of the final report of the Royal Commission into Auckland — which led directly to the Super City in 2010. 

Owen Gill explains how Auckland has entered its second big leap in population, which will take the city to two million people around 2026–28 at current growth. The last time it experienced a big urban leap like this was in the 25 years to 1976, when its population doubled.

 Drawing on his international experience of policy development and city management, Gill believes Auckland is under-prepared for two million people. He says the city faces four main problems:

  •       How to pay for the services that two million people will need, without continuing the steady increase in the cost of running the city that Aucklanders are seeing now
  •       How to raise the $45 billion to build roads, bridges, tunnels and railways for two million people, without shackling households and businesses with the cost
  •       How to ensure Auckland’s spectacular natural environment is preserved as the growing population puts more pressure on space and resources
  •       How Auckland can take direct control of most aspects of its future, with less reliance on central Government and the rest of New Zealand
Turning Point argues Auckland must face these questions with a big-picture view, following policies that would address the four big questions, including:

  •       Reaching a formal contract between Auckland and Government, under which the city would enjoy greater autonomy in exchange for increasing its own investment
  •       Raising a big slice of private capital to pay for Auckland’s roads, bridges and railways, accepting that private funders may demand tolls and fares 
  •       Providing Auckland with its own urban development statute — replacing the Resource Management Act to address Auckland’s special demands in planning, consenting, and building
  •       Providing an innovative form of rate rebate in suburbs that are being built up quickly, so that existing residents feel less imposed upon by densification
  •       Encouraging the big businesses that make Auckland their base — and which draw on its workers, schools, and transport — to take a central role in advancing Auckland’s interests 
Finally, the book proposes a deal with citizens that would inspire a deeper sense of what it means to be an Aucklander. Such a compact would demand more of Aucklanders, but would lead to local government that is better equipped to run the city — and a city that is more ambitious for itself. 

Owen Gill was born in Auckland’s west, and lives there now. He has worked in financial services, urban services, and regulation in New Zealand and Australia. He has an MBA from Macquarie University, Sydney, and a degree in politics and a post-graduate diploma in public policy, both from Victoria University of Wellington.
Turning Point Auckland: Radical Policy to Prepare Auckland for Two Million People
Publication: 12 February 2019  |  ISBN: (print) 978-0-473-46550-6 (ebook)  978-0-473-46551-3
Urban Hymns Publishing, with services by Oratia Books | RRP $29.99  |  Paperback
Paperback, 210 x 148 mm (A5) portrait, 124 pages colour and b&w


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Te Ahi Kā: The Fires of Occupation launches to the world

Te Ahi Kā, Danish photographer Martin Toft’s homage to tangata whenua of the upper Whanganui River, is now on sale after a ceremonial blessing yesterday morning. 

Representatives of Te Whānau o Tieke and Te Whānau o Mangapapapa, led by Tawhero Haitana, travelled from the Whanganui region to Auckland’s North Shore to bless and receive copies of the book, which was published in the UK and craft-printed in Poland. 
Martin's step-daughter Indra-Kaye and partner Callum, travelling from the UK, represented him at the event, which was hosted by the team from Publishers Distribution Ltd and Oratia, which are distributing the book in New Zealand and Australia.

Writing from his home in Jersey, Martin posted:

"Finally Te Ahi Kā has reached the shores of New Zealand and yesterday the books were blessed in a special Māori ceremony in Auckland. Such an honour and privilege to be part of this special journey that began in 1996 when we returned home to the ancestral homeland of Mangapapapa."

In the mid-1990s Martin spent six months living among Ngā Uri O Tamahaki  far up the Whanganui River, learning of their struggles to retain ancestral lands. The whānau cemented the bond by giving him the Māori name Pouma Pokai-whenua. Twenty years later, Toft returned to complete his photo report.

Te Ahi Kā: The Fires of Occupation records that interaction in photos, archival images, interviews and text — summarising the key political, environmental and cultural issues for the iwi.

Images from the book

Produced by Dewi Lewis Publishing and distributed in New Zealand by Oratia, this sumptuous hardback features superb colour and black & white photographs, fold-out pages and alternate female (fern) and male (embers) covers. 

Te Ahi Kā evokes the physical and metaphysical relationship between a river and its ancestors, between Māori and the author. It aims to leave a legacy for future guardians of the Whanganui, and to share the aspirations and desires of this unique community.
Martin Toft
Martin Toft is a photographer, photo book artist and educator who works on commissions and long-term collaborative projects. Born in Denmark in 1970, he has travelled widely and since 2004 has been based in Jersey, where he teaches photography at Hautlieu School. His work has been exhibited and awarded widely around the world.

Publication: 5 December 2018  |  ISBN: 978-1-911306-38-2  |  RRP $65.00
Hardback, female & male editions, 205 x 165 mm portrait, 200 pages colour incl. foldouts


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...