The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

New Zealand's premiere book award winners are announced each May.

Ockham Book Awards Logo
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Each of the four main categories: Poetry, Fiction, Illustrated Non-Fiction and General Non-Fiction will be judged by a panel of three judges, all specialists in their fields.

Prior to 2015 the award was known as the The New Zealand Post Book Awards.


Recent Winners

the wish child

 2017 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize

The Wish Child

by Catherine Chidgey

It is Nazi Germany, 1939. Two different children observe their parents become immersed in the Second World War. Drawn together as Germany collapses, the time spent together will shape the rest of their lives.


coming rain

2016 Book of the Year

Coming Rain

by Stephen Daisley

Set in Western Australia in the 1950's. The story focuses on two shearers, the satisfaction of hard work well done, of the love and friendship and the damage that both contain.




Peter McLeavey cover

2014 Book of the Year

Peter McLeavey: The Life and Times of a New Zealand Art Dealer

by Jill Trevalyan

A compelling biography which chronicles the life of pioneering art dealer Peter McLeavey and which provides a fascinating insight into the last half century of New Zealand art.



The big music

2013 Book of the Year

The Big Music

by Kirsty Gunn

A powerful work that tells the story of John Sutherland who is dying. In the last days of his life he is creating a musical composition that will define his life.

The first time a fiction entry has won the top award since 2009.

New Zealand's native trees cover

2012 Book of the Year

New Zealand's Native Trees

by John Dawson and Rob Lucas

A beautifully produced, comprehensive and authoritative book on New Zealand trees with extensive photographs.

Blue Smoke cover

2011 Book of the Year

Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music

by Chris Bourke

A book about the development of popular music and musicians in New Zealand and their place in our nations cultural heritage.

Encircled Lands cover

2010 Book of the Year

Encircled Lands: Te Urewera, 1820-1921

by Judith Binney

This richly illustrated history of Te Rohe Pōtae o Te Urewera over a hundred years gives perspective to the Tūhoe’s never-ending quest for authority in their lands – a quest that has come again to the negotiating table.