Witi Ihimaera named as inaugural patron for Auckland Council Libraries’ We Read Auckland Festival

Publish Date : 17 Jul 2023
Witi BW 1 Credit Auckland Council Libraries
Witi Ihimaera on Auckland City Library steps

Witi Ihimaera is named as the first ever patron of Auckland Council Libraries’ Ka Pānui Tātau i Tāmaki Makaurau / We Read Auckland festival, celebrating diverse stories across Tāmaki Makaurau this August.

We Read Auckland is an annual celebration of local writers and readers, and this year Aucklanders can head along to free author talks or check out the new Bestie collection to get hold of local bestsellers from authors such as Michael Bennett, Hayley Holt and festival patron Witi Ihimaera – without the wait!

With more on offer than ever before, iconic Kiwi author Witi Ihimaera is proud to be the first ever patron of Ka Pānui Tātau i Tāmaki Makaurau.

“I’m truly honoured to be part of the We Read Auckland festival with nine other Auckland writers,” he says.
“Through the power of literature, we embark on remarkable journeys, explore diverse perspectives and expand our imagination.
“Join me in this joyous celebration of the written word as we come together throughout August to celebrate the stories of Tāmaki Makaurau and forge connections within the writing, and with each other.”

This year, We Read Auckland presents the Bestie Collection – the popular must-read books from Auckland authors with multiple copies available in each of our libraries from 1 August so borrowers can skip the holds queue and read them right away!

From fiction to non-fiction, crime to coming of age, there’s something to intrigue every reader in these compelling stories that feature themes or authors from Tāmaki Makaurau.

To celebrate the collection, Auckland Council Libraries is hosting a stellar line-up of free talks featuring authors of the Bestie collection from 3 – 11 August.

Hear festival patron Witi Ihimaera and Coco Solid kōrero on creative and collaborative practices; Dominic Hoey and Michael Bennett on contemporary crime writing; Girls That Invest podcaster Simran Kaur on finding financial independence, and much more.

Richard Hills, Chair of the Planning, Environment and Parks Committee is delighted to support the Auckland Council Libraries’ annual festival.

“We Read Auckland not only nourishes minds, but also strengthens our communities – bringing together people from across Tāmaki Makaurau to promote literacy, cultural exchange and a shared love for books,” Richard says.
“It’s a great time for everyone to explore new narratives and celebrate the stories and authors from across our incredible city.”

Auckland Council’s Head of Library and Learning Services Catherine Leonard is excited for Aucklanders to join in the discussion with these incredible authors.

“Our Bestie collection features an impressive line-up of Auckland writers, with something to appeal to a diverse range of readers. We’re pleased that our patrons will get the opportunity to access these stellar works without the wait, and to hear from the authors themselves at a variety of events held across Tāmaki Makaurau.”

Ka Pānui Tātau i Tāmaki Makaurau / We Read Auckland launches at Auckland Council Libraries from 1 – 31 August 2023.

The Bestie Collection is:

  • Better the Blood – Michael Bennett
  • How to Loiter in a Turf War – Coco Solid
  • There’s a Cure for This – Dr. Emma Espiner
  • Poor People With Money ­– Dominic Hoey
  • Tangi – Witi Ihimaera
  • Second Chances – Hayley Holt
  • The Doctor’s Wife ­– Fiona Sussman
  • Girls That Invest – Simran Kaur
  • One of Those Mothers – Megan Nicol Reed
  • Everything is Beautiful and Everything Hurts – Josie Shapiro

Hear from the Bestie collection authors at events throughout Auckland:

  • Home fires: Witi Ihimaera and Coco Solid. Thursday 3 August, 6.30 – 7.30pm, Takaanini Community Hub, Te Paataka Koorero O Takaanini
  • A rock and a hard place: Michael Bennett and Dominic Hoey. Thursday 3 August, 7 – 8pm, Te Manawa, Westgate.
  • Rising / Falling / Rising: Josie Shapiro and Tessa Duder. Tuesday 8 August, 6.30 – 7.30pm, Takapuna Library
  • Finding financial independence with Simran Kaur – Girls that Invest. Thursday 10 August, 7 -8pm, Pioneer Women’s Hall, Ellen Melville Centre, CBD
  • Suburban Secrets: Fiona Sussman and Megan Nicol Reed. Friday 11 August, 6.30 -7.30pm, Te Oro Music and Arts Centre, Glen Innes

Visit the Auckland Council Libraries website for full event information.

Back to News