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We Read Auckland festival launches

Published: 21 May 2021

Auckland Council Libraries is celebrating and promoting reading with We Read Auckland | Ka Pānui Tātau i Tāmaki Makaurau, a new winter programme of live and online events running from Monday 31 May – Sunday 13 June.

We Read Auckland offers four different but equally captivating explorations of storytelling - for and by Aucklanders:  Imagine Auckland; Speak Auckland; Uncover Auckland and Read Together Auckland.

There are many more free events and workshops for everyone to dive into at libraries and community venues across Tāmaki Makaurau too, helping Aucklanders to discover the lifelong benefits of reading for pleasure and wellbeing.

Sharing Auckland's stories

“We have so many things calling for our attention but taking the time and opportunity to read a book is healthy and important for all of us,” says Councillor Cathy Casey, Deputy Chair of Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee.

“Helping whānau and aiga (families) across Tāmaki Makaurau enjoy reading is something that benefits us all.”

Catherine Leonard, Head of Content and Discovery at Auckland Council Libraries agrees.

“Reading for enjoyment and relaxation allows us to pause, breathe and lose ourselves in a different story than our own.  It stimulates our imagination and creativity and has been shown to increase our ability to empathise with others – the opportunity to experience stories from different perspectives and worlds can broaden our own perspectives.

Catherine adds that We Read Auckland isn’t just about celebrating the reading of books.

“Tāmaki Makaurau is full of incredible storytellers. We Read Auckland allows us to share the stories that bring our people and our city together.”

Imagine Auckland | Te Pōhewa i Tāmaki Makaurau

Imagine Auckland focuses on the art of fiction and the authors that bring creative words and worlds to life.

Don’t miss the featured event, Coastal Crime: Auckland Crime Writers Panel, being held at the Warkworth Town Hall on Wednesday 9 June, 7-8pm, and livestreamed via the Auckland Libraries website.

Featuring acclaimed Auckland writers Rose Carlyle (The Girl in the Mirror), Madeleine Eskedahl (Blood on Vines) and New York Times best-seller Nalini Singh (Quiet in her Bones), the panel will discuss the thrills and spills of writing and reading crime.

Be prepared for a journey through high-stakes suspense, murder and the darker side of human nature.

Speak Auckland | Ngā kōrero i Tāmaki Makaurau

Rangatahi come together to present workshops, exhibitions and performances based around the themes of haerenga (journeys).

Aucklanders are invited to share their own journeys and stories by taking part in one of Speak Auckland’s interactive events and workshops including stand up poetry, hip-hop dance, Pasifika storytelling and poi rerenga sessions for tamaiti (children) and kaumatua (older people), exploring story through active movement.

Two exhibitions will also be on display from 31 May to 13 June at both Manurewa and Te Matariki Clendon Libraries.

Rangatahi ō Manurewa, a collaborative exhibition with the Humans of South Auckland features twelve rangatahi (young people) with connections to Manurewa sharing their stories in their own words.

The Tū mai, Kōrero mai! Stand and Speak video exhibition explores the theme of haerenga (journeys) presented by Action Education spoken word poets.

Uncover Auckland | Te Hura i Tāmaki Makaurau

Uncover Auckland events reveal fresh perspectives and voices of Tāmaki Makaurau.

Head along to the Kai Connection Festival at Onehunga Library and Community Centre on Saturday 12 June. Hear fascinating kōrero from experts all working to put food sovereignty and sustainability back on the table in the Onehunga and Manukau harbour area.

Attendees can book a free ticket for one or both panel sessions, and enjoy delicious kai and meet the locals at a free community lunch, generously provided by Onehunga Bites, a 312 Hub Onehunga youth initiative.

On Sunday 6 June at Art Matakana Gallery, Dr Paula Morris and a panel of writers discuss ‘A Clear Dawn: New Asian Voices from Aotearoa New Zealand’, a new landmark anthology edited by Morris and Alison Wong. Following refreshments, ex-BBC journalist Juliet Robieson will then interview Morris about ‘Shining Land’, her 2020 book tracing the footsteps of New Zealand author and adventuress, Robin Hyde.

Read Together Auckland | Te Pānui Ngātahi i Tāmaki Makaurau

Read Together Auckland is a fun whānau festival of reading with local children’s authors, performances and workshops with plenty to ignite young minds.

Free workshops presented by Literacy Waitakere, SPELD NZ, Oratia Media and HIPPY (Home Interaction Programme for Parents and Youngsters) will teach simple techniques to help make reading and writing more fun and rewarding for everyone in the family, including specific assistance for those who may have learning difficulties.


Discover more and book tickets for We Read Auckland on the Auckland Libraries website: aucklandlibraries.govt.nz/WeReadAKL and visit your local library in person or on Facebook to find out what’s going on in your neighbourhood.

Read more: Libraries

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