Back from left: Vincent O’Sullivan, C. K. Stead, Ian Wedde, Bill Manhire, Jenny Bornholdt, Rob Tuwhare. Front:
Cilla McQueen, Michele Leggott, John Buck (Te Mata Estate), Brian Turner, Bill McNaught (National Librarian) and Elizabeth Smither. (Credit: Mark Beatty)
Work by ten laureates was on show as part of Writers Week at the 2016 New Zealand Festival in Wellington. The event was co-hosted by the National Library, which administers the New Zealand Poet Laureate programme, and Te Mata Estate Winery, which initiated a laureateship in the 1990s and is still closely involved in the current programme. Victoria University Press publisher Fergus Barrowman MC-ed the evening, which drew a capacity audience of 200.
The five Te Mata Estate laureates were up first: Bill Manhire (1997-99), Hone Tuwhare (1999-2001) represented by his son Rob, Elizabeth Smither (2001-03), Brian Turner (2003-05) and Jenny Bornholdt (2005-07). Then came the five New Zealand laureates appointed to date: Michele Leggott (2007-09), Cilla McQueen (2009-11), Ian Wedde (2011-13), Vincent O'Sullivan (2013-15) and CK Stead (2015-17).
We present video excerpts of all ten performers and thank them for permission to make the material available online. Files of the full reading appear on this page and will also be archived at the National Library.