Its rich literary heritage, creativity and educational leadership provides a veritable hive of dynamism and energy to engender this Congress with life, inspiration and idea generation and sharing.

New Zealand, in the past, has been home to many luminaries in creative endeavours and literacy education, such as Katherine Mansfield, James K Baxter, Sylvia Ashton-Warner, Dame Professor Marie Clay (originator of the internationally-famed Reading Recovery) and our much-beloved Margaret Mahy, the 2006 winner of the Hans Christian Andersen writer’s award.

Today we celebrate the literary creativity of Joy Cowley, Lynley Dodd (Hairy Maclary’s creator), Eleanor Catton (2014 Man Booker Prize winner) and Witi Ihimaera (author of The Whale Rider); the international leadership of Dame Wendy Pye and countless others; the musical creativity of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and more recently, the young sensation, Grammy award winner, Lorde; the magician of the film and digital world, Sir Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, King Kong) and Sir Richard Taylor and Martin Baynton, creators of the fantastical Weta Workshop and internationally loved children’s television series, The WotWots.

If you are from one of the over seventy IBBY member countries and have never been to our unique country where Hobbits, sheep and kiwi roam, but you’ve always wondered what it was like, you will find compelling reasons to make the journey across the ocean in a fast aircraft.

The time to make a commitment to plan your once-in-a-lifetime experience is now!

The final day of the Congress is combined with the 23rd annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand’s Writers and Illustrators Family Day – the largest Children’s Literature festival in the Southern Hemisphere. A bonus for Congress attendees to witness and experience!


New Zealand’s creative heritage makes it an ideal venue for the 35th IBBY International Congress to celebrate the multiplicity of literacy and of literature in our world.

Congress venue

The Congress will be held at the Aotea Centre, on Queen Street in the heart of Auckland City. It is home to two theatres, function rooms, Auckland’s largest inner city outdoor space: Aotea Square, and the BOX Cafe & Bar is on the terrace. Inside the foyers you can find a large collection of New Zealand artworks. The photos show the main auditorium, it's called the ASB theatre, where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and main talks will take place.